Designed by Fred Wilkins and built by Lane Motor Boat Company in Auckland.
With personally selected kauri from Totara North, Fred placed an order with Lanes to build his launch Sou-East, named after South East Bay on Mayor Island which was the then famous site of the Tauranga Game Fishing Club.
Sou-East was launched on Christmas Eve 1946, just in time for the 1947 season. She was powered by twin St Lawrence straight eight petrol engines of 120 hp.
Sou-east also had many game fishing features, which were a first for the Bay of Plenty, such as twin engines, twin rudders, twin game fishing chairs, permanent outrigger poles, and a built-in live bait tank.
Fred lost no time in proving himself and Sou-East to be a formidable combination with anglers catching multiple billfish and sharks in one day.
Sou-East also had a sister ship named North West, which was built by Lanes for a Bill Higgins, and another named Nor East, which was built by Allan Williams in Auckland.
Sou-East was sold by Fred when he retired from game fishing in 1968.
She then went to Tutukaka as a charter boat owned by Eric Wellington and again caught many a billfish and records. Sou-East eventually returned to Tauranga in 2009.
She is now powered by twin 80hp Ford Diesels and has had many modifications during the years, but is rich in history.
Sou-East has accommodation for seven, a fridge/freezer, four burner hob and oven, electric toilet, holding tank, and shower. Electronics include VHF, GPS/Plotter, fishfinder, radar, autopilot; Sou-East is game-rigged, game chair, live bait tank, and has auto anchoring.
Sou-East is for sale with Brian Worthington from Gulf Group Marine Brokers at $75,000. A great opportunity to own a piece of game fishing history.