Victory 40-Foot Bridgedeck Launch – Raw Boat Review

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Victory 40-Foot Bridgedeck Launch

A 40-foot Bridgedeck Displacement Launch 

Introducing this monumental piece of local boating history, with the Victory 40-foot Bridgedeck Launch.

When it comes to boats, you have the modern and then you have the retro, the Victory without a doubt is retro, with a classic look that is elegant yet still timeless. So let’s dive into the history of this magnificent launch. Victory was designed and built-in Taupo back in 1939, just before World War II by Boat Builder, Jack Taylor. 

What makes this Victory so unique…

Typical launches that are built today are designed using computerized drafting methods. The Victory on the other hand was designed by carving a scaled-down wooden half model that was constructed of totara frames, jarrah ribs, and Kauri planks, all of which we’re compiled together using solely hand tools.

Over the many years, Victory has gone through its fair share of modifications, without jeopardizing her original look and feel. In 1969, her bridge deckhouse and side decks were widened. In 1982, the main cabin was raised 250mm to give more headroom. What about the engine? well, not surprisingly for her age, Victory has outlived several engines and drive chains. She was originally launched with a 40hp 20/40 domain 4-cylinder petrol engine.

A decade or so after, she was re-powered with a 6-cylinder twin spark Glennifer engine ( now kept in the Museum of Transport and Technology – MOTAT ). In 1950 this was followed by a 6-cylinder Morris diesel and finally, she was fitted with her present 4-cylinder Ford 80hp diesel inboard that is capable of cruising at 8 knots at 2100 rpm.

When you step inside a boat such as this, you have to appreciate the architectural design aspect that is in play. The aft cabin opening to the cockpit has two berths which can be used as doubles at a squeeze. Ahead of this is the saloon and raised bridge deck with helm and controls to center. The skipper’s bunk is starboard of the helm above the galley. The galley is presented with a 2-burner gas stove, oven, sink bench, and fridge are set to starboard of the helm.

One thing notable as you are well aware now is the rich history Victory has with it. An abundance of stories follows this gigantic vessel. During her much younger years, she was operated by Boat Builder, Jack Taylor, and his family as a commercial charter boat on Lake Taupo. She enjoyed her fair share of fishing parties during this time, with locals and tourists. She also hosted day trips during World War II for military personnel who would come back for recreational breaks. ‘Remember Margaret Sweeney, when she became the first person to swim the length of the Lake?…well, Victory was there as a support boat.

There was only a brief period in time when Victory left the fresh water life in Taupo. From 1995 until 2001 she was settled in the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland.

What we think

At just over 40-feet in length, the Victory is capable of taking up to 24 passengers, with accommodation for 6-8 people. Rarely do you get the opportunity to get your hands on something as special as this. Built with classic craftsmanship and rich history, this old girl just commands respect wherever she goes.

This is your opportunity to continue the rich history of this iconic boat, while you absorb all the tales of past trips, whilst you create some of your own.

Gallery view


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