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Don Silk built his first boat, the Patsy Jean, with a book on boatbuilding in one hand. Constructed from specially milled Northland Kauri, it was launched at Opononi, on the Hokianga Harbour, and in 1959 he set off for Rarotonga with his wife and baby daughter.

Scarcely more than a decade later, he was the co-owner, with Bob Boyd, of the highly successful inter-island shipping company Silk & Boyd, based in the Cook Islands. At their peak in the 1970s, they operated a fleet of three vessels and moved thousands of tonnes of cargo around the South Pacific, as well as to various international destinations.

This book recounts Silk’s adventures in the Pacific over four decades. During this time, vessels were bought and sold, rebuilt and wrecked; cargoes of coconuts and corned beef, pineapples and pearl shells were transported, along with crazy English beachcombers and Mormon missionaries complete with bicycles.

Published by Random House NZ, reprint 2006, Don Silk author, 244pp, card covers with flaps, b/w photos.
Vertical crease to rear cover otherwise a reasonably clean and tidy copy.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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