Fellow Woody Boater and contributor Philip Andrew is once again making headlines in New Zealand, this time with his beautiful 1967 Century Arabian. However this time, the story is about Philip, not from Philip – which was published in Wellington, New Zealand’s daily newspaper, the Dominion Post on January 1st.
You see it’s now offically summer in New Zealand, which at it’s height, is from December thru February. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and the forecast for this weekend is sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s.
Unfortunately we can’t publish a link to the story about Philip and his Century, as we need to have a paid subscription to view the digital version of the newspaper. (Becoming more common these days I suppose) But, after getting to know our friend Philip over the years, we do know how the story goes and it’s a good one worth sharing… Here’s how the recent newspaper version of the story started, in Philip’s own words.
Texx – The (enclosed) pictures where taken by Dominion Post photographer Ross Giblin back in the depths of last winter. I had taken the Arabian (named “Miss Tahoe”) out for a test run having just put new electrics in her.
I was just pulling her out of the water and Ross comes running and puffing up to me and says “Mate – I have been chasing you around the edges of the harbour as I wanted to get a picture but I wasn’t able to attract your attention… Would you mind slipping her back in the water and letting me take a few shots. Its a slow news day and I need to get something.”
So I did, and then a reporter called me just before Christmas and said the newspaper was doing a series called “Me and My Boat” to run over the summer holiday and they wanted to do a story on the Arabian. – Philip
Philip, a long time wooden boat enthusiast and Century boat fan, said that from the first time he saw “Miss Tahoe” he just had to have her. After doing his research, Philip decided to travel to Lake Tahoe, California where he found the 1967 Century Arabian of his dreams at Sierra Boat Company.
In 2008, on his 50th birthday, with help from Herb Hall at Sierra Boat Company, Philip bought the boat and shipped her back to New Zealand in a shipping container. The 19′ Arabian is powered by a big 285HP/390CID Interceptor V-8 which still brings a smile to Philip’s face every time he brings her to life.
Up unitl 2008, the boat spent her entire life on Lake Tahoe, so it didn’t take Philip long to decide that her new name “Miss Tahoe” was a natural.
Here’s where it gets even more interesting… Later that same year, Philip returned to Lake Tahoe with his four children to attend the annual boat show and while there, he shared photos of his new Arabian with some classic boaters at the show. Well, one thing led to another (as they often do with these old boats) and Philip was introduced to Steve Lapkin – well known professional boat photographer in the Lake Tahoe area. Over the years, Steve has kindly shared his amazing photography with us here at Woody Boater. (You can check out Steve’s work at H20Mark by Clicking Here)
When he first viewed Philip’s photos, Steve mentioned to Philip that he had a Century just like “Miss Tahoe” when he was a boy, which was named “Ruthie L” after his mother. As Philip and Steve were going through more of Philip’s photos, they noticed one shot of the boat during restoration, which had a faint outline of her original name “Ruthie L”… Steve became emotional and said “Philip – You now own the Lapkin Family boat!” This sparked an immediate and warm friendship between Steve, Philip and his family as they spent time together during their trip to Lake Tahoe – a great friendship which began with an old wooden boat, a friendship that remains to this day.
Shortly after their trip to California, when Philip returned home to New Zealand, he received a parcel from Steve. Inside was a note from Steve saying “This is a key that I found in my Dad’s stuff – I think it’s the key to “Ruthie L”… See if it works and we’ll know for sure you have her.”
So Philip took the key, put it into the ignition of “Miss Tahoe” and she started up first time! Philip hopes that some day his friend Steve Lapkin will come to visit him in New Zealand and reunite himself with the classic Century Arabian from his childhood. – Texx
We should mention that one of Philip’s other Century boats (other than his Palomino) is this freshly restored 1958 Century Resorter “Principessa” which we featured almost a year ago in his 2-day report from the New Zealand Boat Show.
During the boat show in 2012, Philip discovered a few issues with the V-8 Interceptor, and with the help of the fine folks from Antique Boat Center in Cincinatti, the Y-block V-8 is now 100% and looks great. Philip noted – “Jeremy Bragg was awesome, he helped me find some new replacement cylinder heads, had them rebuilt in America and then shipped them out to me in New Zealand. The are now fitted, the engine has had a freshen up and is back in “Principessa”. She looks mighty!”
Thanks Philip for sharing your story of “Miss Tahoe” with us here at Woody Boater and congratulations on getting the engine issues resolved in “Principessa” I know it was driving you crazy… Now get out there, make some noise with those big V-8’s and enjoy those classic Century boats while summer is still there. – Texx
Also thanks to Ross Giblin – “Miss Tahoe” 2012 Photos by Ross Giblin copyright Dominion Post, Fairfax.