This article is reproduced, with permission, from the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust website.
By Larry Paul, Chair of the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust
The Classic Yacht Frances was designed by Arch Logan and built by Logan Brothers in 1906 at St Mary's Bay. It was designed as a snapper fishing boat with a broad beam and open hold for that purpose. For the first two years it was owned by an Auckland storekeeper and sold to Robert Shakespear of Whangaparāoa in 1908 who used it as a 'farm to market' transporter. The Shakespeare family owned it until 1991. Anson Shakespear, Robert's son, said they could get nine bales of wool below decks and as much as four tonnes of cement. At the height of the season Frances would carry up to 600 large watermelons from the family farm to the market in Auckland and hence became known as the 'Watermelon' boat.