some people might have gnomes or goldfish in their gardens — John and Judy Currie have Miss Sno-Lyne at the bottom of theirs.
Miss Sno-Lyne is a retired fishing boat which worked the oyster beds in Foveaux Strait. Her hull now sits under trees on the Curries’ Alexandra property.
The boat is a 20m wooden carvel, designed by Morrie Davis, of Bluff, built by the Ross Brothers, of C B Boatbuilders in Napier, and launched on May 4, 1963.
It weighed 64.47 tonnes gross when commissioned.
Records show its timber came from a forestry block on the Napier-Taupo highway.
The Hawkes Bay Photo News June 1963 edition said Mrs E. Watson, wife of a director of the company that owned Miss Sno-Lyne, had three attempts to christen her and the official party was eventually showered with wine from the bursting bottle.
After the boat was launched it fished down the coast before ending its working life as an oyster boat.
A semi-retired electrical designer, Mr Currie said they thought the hull would make an excellent wine-tasting room for their 2ha Briar Vale Estate vineyard, near Springvale.
‘‘We thought there was some potential as a visitor attraction.
‘‘If you look around the country, other vineyards had mini-golf and similar.’’
The hull had been partly restored, but that turned into a major project and following a dispute about ownership, a court decision forced its sale.
‘‘I bought it for $3000 in 2007 after seeing it advertised.’’
He hired Fulton Hogan and Peter Holland drove a CW450 Nissan to drag it from Bluff through to Tapanui and over Moa Flat to Ettrick and then to Alexandra over the Clyde dam.
They had to contend with high winds during the trip.
‘‘The transport cost me $6000 or $7000.
‘‘However, the global financial recession hit in 2008 and nothing was done with it.
‘‘It has been under the trees since then.’’
The Curries are selling the vineyard.
The buyer can choose to have Miss Sno-Lyne included in the deal or it can be sold separately.