LAUNCH YEAR: 1953
DESIGNER: Chris Craft
BUILDER: Chris Craft
OWNER: Peter Mitchell, Hamurana
DESCRIPTION: The Dimock family of Auckland purchased and imported Norma Jeane from the USA in 2015. Its last owner in the USA was Eungenie Freidman (now deceased) of West Bend Wisconsin. The boat was last registered in the USA in 31-03-2007 .
Noel & Colleen Nicholson of Rotoiti owned the boat until Feb 2022 when it changed hands to Peter Mitchell. Noel fibre glassed the bottom of the boat and fitted and bilge pump so it could stay in the water throughout the summer. Noel also had an awesome, retro trailer made with a double axle, a Balex system and white walled tyres by Hamilton marine trailer makers, DMW Trailers.
Norma Jean is a 16ft 1953 "Sportsman" model with a Hercules "K' engine of around 95 HP (about 2500 cc). This is a car engine that has been "marinized:", meaning it draws water from underneath the boat for cool and ejects it out with the exhaust.
In its time the Sportsman launch would have been a common, any man's kind of boat built in the great prosperity directly after WW2. About 1,200 were made in 1953. Now however, a mahogany boat with all original parts would be hard to find, doubly so in NZ.
In '22 Peter replaced the propeller with a new one, replaced the perspex windscreen with tempered glass, repaired some upholstery, had some deck ornaments re-chromed, a new NZ ensign for the stern post.