Finally on the water after 35 years

18:59, Aug 23 2012
  	 Richard Lowen
RIVERBOAT: Richard Lowen considers a smile as his boat, 35 years in the making, is finally launched.

A Christchurch man is on the crest of a wave after completing a project more than three decades in the making.

Richard Lowen yesterday launched his boat, the Eunice Brenda, in the Waimakariri River, 35 years after he bought the first parts.

After a long spell on dry land, Lowen faced another delay yesterday, albeit short, when it was found the boat's battery was flat.

Eunice Brenda Lowen
DRIVE SAFELY: Eunice Brenda Lowen, after whom the boat was named, watches yesterday’s launch.

However, any concerns the 11.9-metre launch may not float were soon eased.

The retired Lincoln University technician, 81, said he was not sure he would ever finish the project.

But his son Jonathan pushed him all the way in recent years.


Richard Lowen
FINAL TOUCHES: Richard Lowen looks on as his friend Frank Haynes, who carried out much of the boat’s welding, helps mount the port prop.

"All sorts of things got in the way, including the reconstruction of an aeroplane.

"There was about five to seven years taken out of the boat building," Richard Lowen said.

"The fitting out's taken probably a couple of years and it's not completely finished yet."

The boat was named after his wife of more than 50 years, who eagerly watched yesterday's launch.

Friend Frank Haynes, who did most of the 4.5 kilometres of welding, was also on hand.

The boat will be moored at Cass Bay, but Lowen hoped to get some use from his labour of love.

"My time is running out, I'm 81 now. It will go to my No 2 son [Jonathan]. He's done a lot towards it."

The Press