Said to be one of the finest pleasure craft ever built in New Zealand. She is the 65ft twin screw motor yacht, Dufresne, designed by Laurent Giles and partners of England for Mr Jack Butland of Auckland, and built by M.C. Carter Ltd. Laurent Giles is noted not only for the excellence of his designs, but also for the very distinctive character and good looks of his boats.
Dunfresne is no exception, and the workmanship of her New Zealand builders matches the high standard of her design. Mr Butland and Mr Carter went to England to discuss both design and construction methods with Jack Giles in November, 1964, and found that they had not yet used glued construction to the extent that we have in the U.K. Max Carter took with him photos of some of the local boats built by the methods he wanted to use, and Mr Giles was most impressed with them and keen to see so much laminating used in the proposed boat. He was, however, a little taken aback at the idea of building such a large boat upside down.
The hull design was left entirely up to Laurent Giles exept for a suggestion that she could have more beam. This was increased by 18in at the deck but the bottom shape, which had been tank tested,and was not altered. Building started on May 19,1965 and she was launched on October 1, 1966. One of the first jobs and the biggest laminated member was the stem.
Construction is unconventional, there are no floors in the boat other than at the main bulkheads. These are replaced by 2 3/4 x 3/4 ribs from gunwale to gunwale dinghy fashion, at varying centres according to positions but averaging about 2ft spacing. Ordinary spotted gum timbers were fitted at 7in centres with multiple light stringers of 2 3/4 by by 3/4, running force and aft. Planking is two diagonals of 1/4in, and one fore and after outer skin of 9/16in, all Epiglued and through fastened. It was estimated that in 1965, half a ton of nails and over 1000 pounds worth of glue were used.
The complete hull was sheathed in dynel before being turned over. The whole constuction is unusually light for a boat of this size but undoubtedly very strong. Dufresne`s probable top speed is 15 knots at 3,000 rpm and 13 knots cruising speed at 2,500. The hull is of a round bilge high speed displacement type and an unusual feature is the knuckle built into the topsides for`ard.
The fast displacement hull needs a fine entry and the knuckle allows this while still gaining plenty of reserve bouyancy very quickly. It also gives the effect of a big flare without excessive width on the decks, and makes the boat relatively steady and dry in a seaway. Mr Butland has named his boat after the famous Frenchman Marion du Fresne (pronounced du Frain), who came to N.Z. in 1772 in his ship Marquis de Castries, in company with Lieut. Crozet comanding the Mascarin. They spent several months in the Bay of Islands carring out repairs and du Fresne was the first person to survey the area. He also attempted to claim New Zealand for France and called it France Australe, although he knew Captain Cook (1769) had already claimed it for Great Britain.
History books record different versions of the events leading up to his violent death. Some say it was revenge for the cruelty of another Frenchman, others that Marion du Fresne and his crew were the friendly with the Maoris until they inadvertently desecrated some sacred tribal ground. However, it is a fact that du Fresne and about 20 of his crew were enticed ashore, killed and eaten in the Bay of Island.
Details of the kit
The kit is based on a detailed glassfibre hull with rubbing strip, bulwark scrollwork, proptube and rudder exits, moulded into the hull.
The Deck is from printed plywood with lining for engraved planking. Vacformings in styrene form the complete cabin assembly and ships boat. Printed plastic supplies the construction for the wheelhouse cockpit. A full set of fittings is included in the kit with decals and details to complete the wheelhouse To aid construction a comprehensive instruction book and full size plan is included. Printed plastic supplies the construction for the wheelhouse cockpit. To aid construction a comprehensive instruction book and full size plan is included.
Sailing weight 3.8kgs