This is an excerpt from Wikipedia about an alleged double murder that flooded the media headlines and gripped the nation of New Zealand
for many months:
'Scott Watson (born 28 June 1971) is a New Zealander who was convicted in May 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope on his boat Blade on 1 January 1998. The bodies of Smart and Hope have never been found. A sonar search of the entrance to Tory channel, an area of interest to the investigating police, found "there is no indication that the missing remains of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope are present or visible on the sea bed inside the search area".
Watson is serving a life sentence with a non-parole period of 17 years. The New Zealand Court of Appeal rejected an appeal by Watson. An application to the Privy Council in London in 2003 resulted in a finding that there were no grounds for further appeal.'
Recently I came across a docudrama that relives the case and was struck by a few things that weren't apparent to me in the media frenzy that followed the original story.
And that's where "Cruisers Forum" comes in. In the course of events
there are two entities that consistenty come up that seem at odds to the outcome of the case. One is a mystery man that appeared to be an usavoury character who was never formally identified or found, that seems to have been observed over that New Year celebration time of the disappearance of Ben and Olivia by more than one witness. And the other is the seemingly consistent witness by several people on the evening of the disappearance, and for some days around the disappearance, of a very distinctive ketch
(or perhaps a yawl) that was in the area. From my very limited experience of identifying designs and the rather sketchy description- I can hazard a guess, but I know there are many supporers of this forum that are far more knowledgeable that may be able to offer some more tangible suggestions. Indeed it may be, since the size of this vessell appears to be upward of 12 or so metres that it's a blue water boat
that some may recognize not just the general design, but this distinctive boat itself.
It seems to be by the sketch a double ender, like a Valiant 40, or Hans Christian, but the rigging
and masts were (apparently) of very traditonal form. The rigging
being hemp (at least in appearance) with wooden blocks perhaps, no spreaders. Varnished or oiled decks and nice bright work
, particularly the polished brass round portholes were mentioned. By many accounts an exemplary boat in fine fettle.
Here is a link to the docudrama: "Doubt: The Scott Watson Case"
It also appears to be on YouTube.
Perhaps it would be wise to watch the docudrama and listen to the various descriptions by witnesses of the boat before judging just on the basis of the following link to a sketch of the vessel.
What do you think?