A Bay of Islands game-fishing fast boat last in the water in 1946 took out the top prize at this year’s NZ Antique &
Classic Boat Show, held at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park over the weekend. (March 4 & 5).
Over 130 clinkers, steam launches, classic motorboats, sailing dinghies and their owners enjoyed two days of
boating and chatting about boats, with the Jens Hansen trophy for best vessel overall going to ‘Malolo’ owned by
Max Cumming and Ra Tangaroa from Russell in the Bay of Islands.
The 5.7m kauri fast launch was built in1929, taken out of the water in during the war due to fuel rationing,
relaunched briefly in 1946 and had sat in paddocks and sheds around the Bay of Islands until acquired by the
current owners in 2011.
Max Cumming says with no photos of the original boat the restoration was based on the memories of four old boaties
who could remember going on ‘Malolo’, which was originally built to act as a ‘water taxi’ for game fishermen.
“We opted to go with a restoration that was faithful to the original build, which would have been done on the ‘smell
of an oily rag’ back in the 1930s when there was not much money around,” he said. “It’s not a glamour boat like a
Chris-Craft..not a blingy boat, so we kept true to that and went with painting the original kauri hull rather than
polishing it up.”
Judges’ spokesman John Harris said there was the usual high standard of boats entered, representing hours of work
in new builds and restorations from their passionate owners.
“The winning launch stood out for the faithfulness of the restoration and the story behind it,” he said. “We were
impressed that it still had fittings like the brass holders for game fishing rods.”
Other award winning boats were:
Best New Craft: 15 foot Cracker Box craft, owned by Karelan & Greg Doran, Queenstown
Best Restoration Prize: 1920s clinker ‘Omerta’ owned by Wayne & Carol Edmonds, Nelson
Port Nelson Rowed Craft Trophy and People’s Choice Award: Gentleman’s rowing skiff Summer Wine owned by
Russell Smith of Petone
CWF Hamilton Jet Propelled Craft Trophy: 20ft Placecraft ‘Goin' Places’ owned by John Derry of Blenheim
Johnson Family Sail Powered Craft Trophy: classic sailing dingy ‘Chase’ owned by David Pinker of Nelson
Mathieson Jeffcott Motor Powered Craft Trophy 1895 fantail clinker steam boat ‘Blue Duck’ owned by Peter & Angela
Murton of Appleby
Outboard Motor Boat Prize: mini hydroplane ‘Lil Satan’ owned by Dion Blackler of Christchurch
Eventiac Award for the Best Themed Display: Electric powered rowboat ‘Mini Mojito’ owned by Todd Johnson of
Leithfield, North Canterbury
Ron Culley Steam Boat Trophy: Replica steam launch ‘Vital Spark’ owned by Peter Tait of Richmond