Metric units


Owner: R.S. Hamlett

Area: New Zealand


Launch. Construction: Kauri Keel, White Pine Cavel planked on White Oak..
Hull model: Simpson-Strickland designed by Simpson-Strickland (UK) / Bruce Askew (NZ) at Wellington, NZ
Built by Lionel Jefcoate at Havelock, South Island, NZ
Fit out 2009 by Lionel Jefcoate, R S Hamlett at New Zealand
LOA: 26' 5", Beam: 8' 4", Displacement: 6820 lbs.
The original Flirt was built with a double planked mahogany hull and oiled canvas separating the planks. Her dimensions were 31 ft 6 in x 6 ft x 3 ft 3 in and was to Simpson-Strickland's design #2266; she was boat number 376 off the production line. Before leaving Simpson-Strickland’s boatyards in Dartmouth in 1894, Flirt was registered with the Registrar of Shipping as British ship number 99109. This same registry was later recorded as closed in May 1928 with the reason given as "broken up in British Columbia".


Designed by Colonial Boiler Company,
Built 2008 by Ken Pointon at Whangarapoa, NZ
Fuel: Coal, Pressure: 200 psi,
Steel 121 X 3/4" dia Steel tubes. Welded steel ,expanded tubes construction,
condensing, engine driven pump, whistle,


Quadruple Expansion. 2" + 3" + 4.5" + 7" X 4"
Built 1894 by Simpson Strickland & Co. Ltd. at Dartmouth
Design: AB Quad by: Simpson Strickland
Slide valve. Stephenson valve gear.
Power: 14 HP
Flirt's engine is a Simpson-Strickland "Kingdon AB" quadruple expansion (2" + 3" + 4.5" + 7" x 4") with serial number AB.27, This engine runs 125 pounds of steam pressure at 450 revolutions per minute, producing 14 horse-power and a speed of about 9 miles per hour (7.8 knots or 14.5 km/h). The boiler was a Kingdon fire-tube model, serial number AB22, but has long since disappeared. In fact Busk ordered two boilers when he placed his initial order for Flirt, anticipating these would wear out long before boat and engine. It has also been suggested that one of Flirt’s boilers was sold to the Doukhobor’s, a group of Russian language-speaking religious dissenters who migrated to Canada in 1899 and settled in the Kootenay area and based at Castlegar


Bronze, 4 blades, Right Hand, 20" X 32"
Shaft: 1.125, finished " Stainless Steel


With trade from logging and silver mining in and around Kootenay Lake blossoming, Charles W Busk on 30th June 1894 ordered the boat to be christened FLIRT from the English firm Simpson, Strickland Company Ltd. based in Dartmouth, South Devon. Once on Kootenay Lake, Flirt was commissioned into service with the Balfour Steam Navigation Company and mostly plied for business up and down the east shore between Pilot Bay and Sanca. Here Flirt served as a Royal Mail delivery boat to the mills and mines in and around the lake as well as towing small scows of firewood and log booms in addition to undertaking prospecting, surveying and hunting trips. Construction of the rebuilt Flirt commenced in 2008 and was 'finished' in 2010 She was re-launched on 5th March 2011 on Lake Rotoiti at St Arnaud in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

Last Modified: 2016.07.08.


At the Kerr Bay jetty

Simpson-Strickland engine S/Nmbr AB27

Lake head (at the confluence of Cold Water Creek and Travis River) Lake Rotoiti - Easter 2016 after 75mm rain

Only known photo of Flirt working on Kootenay Lake, BC. Date unknown

Original plans, Brixham Museum

On Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes. Mt Travis (2338m) in the far background