Brian Finishes His Dingy

Oh, what grand plans some of us have for life. For those of us who can afford it the chance to follow your dream. Sadly money is something not everyone has, our friend Brian sold it all to make his a reality. Sadly life often has its own plans, despite your best intentions. Leaving you as the captain trying best to steer through the murky waters when things don’t quite go as planned.

Back in August 2019, I wrote about our friend Brian and his grand plans for a vast boat, that he called his dingy. At that time he had recently purchased an old Fullers ferry with the idea to modify the interior and turn it into his new place of residence. At the time of our visit. He had been working hard in a Whangarei boat yard hoping to have the boat in the water for the summer of 2019/2020.

When we first saw the boat, it was in the early stages of being renovated inside. The outside of the boat was being prepared for painting, and all the Fullers signage was being removed. The boat was inside a massive shed as it awaited the paint, you get some idea of the size of the shed in the above photos when you factor in the boat is 23 metres long.


Brian is a very keen motorhomer, in fact, he has been living on-site in Whangarei in his motorhome, during the whole build process. During this time he has sold his home and various other assets to fund his plans. Not all of us can turn a dream into reality, or we think about something but never have the courage to take the first step. It’s good to know someone who has taken that step and be able to call them a friend.

We returned a few weeks later. Watching as the massive motorised cradle lifted the boat out of the shed to the exterior hardstand where finishing work would be completed. At this stage, despite a couple of minor delays, it still looked like a launch before Christmas.

Returning again in November things had taken a bit of a turn for the worse. When checking out the two massive 1000hp engines, one required some very costly repairs. Not only where the repairs expensive but parts had to be sourced, and a mechanic found to fit them. Christmas became an unlikely prospect for a return to the water. In the end, the mechanic stayed on site for over a week repairing the engine.

Some things were continuing at a pace though with the extensive solar system starting to be installed on a specially built platform at the rear. Imagine having 3780 Watts worth of solar and 16 lithium batteries in your motorhome. As well as a 27KW generator in case you run out. The interior was getting closer to being finished as well, all in all, We would have to say that Brian was excited.

Sadly 2020 didn’t start that wonderfully for me. As those who have been reading my blog will know I have had to undergo chemo for the second time, meaning the chance to revisit Whangarei and Brian hasn’t eventuated. When I  did speak to Brian after the Christmas break, he was frustrated with progress. Unsure when the finishing touches would be complete.

In speaking with a couple of boaties, it became apparent that the anchor that was fitted to the boat would be insufficient. Since the boat had been tied alongside a wharf during rough weather in the past, it only had a very basic system. Lots of research was needed, and a new anchor was ordered from the USA.

Brian 2

Then Covid 19 struck the world, leaving the delivery of things like the anchor in complete turmoil. Delay after delay piled on top of things. On the plus side, Brian spent the lockdown in a closed community of people from around the world who were getting work done on their boats. He tells me that some lifetime friendships have been formed as a result.

When the workers at the boatyard returned to work at the end of the lockdown. Work recommenced on adding the finishing touches to the boat, including the name Picking Daisies which has special significance for Brian.

Sadly it wasn’t just the workers at the boatyard or the delay in getting the anchor that was effected by Covid 19. It turns out that some members of Brian’s family have experienced some difficulties as well. Being the strong family man that he is Brian has made the decision to sell the dingy before it goes back in the water. He will then use the funds to help out the family. Not an easy decision to make after you have poured more than a year of life into your dream. I admire him for having the courage to make hard decisions.

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