The end of WWII triggered Tim Windsor’s true creativity and resourcefulness. n last month’s issue I took Tim Windsor’s professional career with Shipbuilders Ltd to the end of WWII, a period in which there was unprecedented expansion in Auckland’s shipbuil
Tim Windsor Pt III
In Tim Windsor, Shipbuilders had the right man to design motor launches for the post-war era.
excellent, following Sam Ford’s audacious branding and full-page advertisements for his bridgedeckers in the 1930s. ‘Supacraft’ was Shipbuilders’ brand and the launches bearing this brand put Tim Windsor at the forefront of local designers for a time.
The 36-footer Mahara was the first of these Supacraft glamour launches, launched for Graham Speight on 21 February 1946, the first large pleasure craft to be launched in Auckland after the war. She had a six-cylinder 90hp Redwing petrol engine.
The second boat was the 40-footer Rosemary II with twin 90hp Redwings for Noel Manthel of Wellington. The next vessel, the 54-footer Rakanoa, in October 1946, was even more of a knockout. She was fitted with a 165hp Graymarine diesel, soon replaced with a 300hp Hercules diesel.
Of mixed ancestry, Rakanoa’s origins have always raised controversy. She started as a commission from owner Stan Parker, a very tall man, to Arnold ‘Bill’ Couldrey, who produced a superb design to be built by Shipbuilders. But things started to change once the keel, frames and stern were in place. (see sidebar).
In November 1947 the next Supacraft flagship was launched – the 45 footer Lady Eileen which Shipbuilders built for Gordon Hunter. She had new, twin EX-USN 145hp eight-cylinder Chrysler Crowns.
Among Tim’s design jobs was a hard-chine 26-footer which, with great variations, became a stock Shipbuilders’ hull for some years. In 1948 he designed the 60-foot seine boat Aorangi
(AK85) for the Loverich brothers with twin 88hp Kelvin diesels. At the time she was the biggest wooden-hulled seiner constructed in Auckland.
Another quality job Tim undertook was the redesign of the Shipbuilders-built Fairmile ML408 for F.B. Cadman which my uncle Andy Ryland had bought in 1947, fire-damaged. Shipbuilders constructed a handsome new cabintop and reengined her with twin 165hp GM diesels in place of her original petrol 650hp Hall-scotts. Cadman named her Karamana, the family name for its power boats. Before Cadman died in early 1957, she was sold and renamed Colville.
In 1950 Tim ‘remodelled’ the launch Ngapuhi for ‘Hoki’ Williams, the manager of Shipbuilders. I am not sure how Ngapuhi started life, but she was possibly the 1939 Lidgardsbuilt trawler of that name, taken over by RNZAF and disposed of postwar. Tim also designed the attractive 32-footer Lynceus (now Tantalus) for Jack Mckelvie, the company’s secretary.
A more involved job for him was the conversion of an undelivered USN 114-foot powered lighter built by Shipbuilders with engineering by Seagar Foundries and rigging by John Burns. She became the cement ship Marua for Winstones Ltd.
FAR LEFT Mahara, the first Supacraft, launched in February 1946.
ABOVE This advertisement is from the back cover of a 1946 Sea Spray magazine and shows Shipbuilders Ltd spreading its wings for the bright new postwar world. Alongside in red, the Supacraft builder’s plate.
LEFT Karamana, the Fairmile conversion for F.B. Cadman in 1949.
TOP Rakanoa in Shipbuilders’ shed just before her launch in October 1946.
LEFT Rosemary II, built for Noel Manthel of Wellington in 1946.
INSET Penguin Boats’ builder’s plate.