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Story & b/w photos from Ken Ricketts (colour photo ex Russell Ward)
She was built by Shipbuilders Ltd in 1946. A magnificent 56 ft example of artisans work, in both design & build.
She is 3 skins Kauri, is enourmously strong, will last forever, & had the very best of everything that money could buy used, when she was created. She is still kept in beautiful condition at Gulf Habour.
There is no doubt in my view, she is an important part of a real dynasty, & one of the very few boats that have been in the same family from new, for that huge length of time. She was “modernised, in the 60s, & there were moderate combings alterations done in the cockpit area. She is shown on launching day &  pic I took at North Harbour Ponui Labour weekend  in 1948
She was orignally powered by a 671 Gray marine diesel, for one year, then replaced it with a 250 hp Herecules Diesel in 1947, she had this until 1981, when her present Gardiner 6L3 diesel was fitted.
Indeed a vey important part of NZs maritime heritage

NOTE: This posting has been edited on the request of the owner (the late) R Parker, the information supplied by K Ricketts was obtained without the owners knowledge or approval that it would be published in the public domain.

09-04-2016 – photo taken at Gulf Harbour (April 2016) by Ken R.

RAKANOA at GH 3.4.15

Dec 2016 Hauled out at Gulf Harbour – photos ex Ken Ricketts

21-09-2019 Update
Photo below sent to me by John Parker, the ‘great nephew of Ross Parker. It was ex the estate of his late father Wallace Parker.

18 thoughts on “Rakanoa

  1. All these wonderful stories…. Did Nathan Herbert ever provide a link to his video of Rakanoa after her launching? I would be fascinated to see it. My late grandfather Cyril Parker was Stan’s brother and he had some fun stories to tell about Rakanoa 🙂


  2. Pingback: Rakanoa + Reminder Re Cool Woody Event | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  3. I still think that she is Couldrey in essence (as did Bill. Bill did not, of course, remotely have the resources to build her in 1946 so she was always going to be built by people like Shipbuilders.


  4. Colin Dennes did own the Couldrey launch WAIRIKI briefly c1949 and REREMOANA too as well as the Gladden-built VALHALLA later.


  5. Rivet counting: Note on the launching photo that the exhaust exits port side of the transom. When I first went on board, that exit was blanked off with a plate and the Hercules exhaust went out the side. The owner told me that the original pipe was built in and inaccessible, hence the mod. I suspect that the wheelhouse had simply been widened up to the sides of the saloon sides -originally it was quite narrow. The widening gave it more camber to the top than the saloon did. I liked the Kent clearview screen and the engineroom telegraph. Little things enthrall young minds.


  6. * To original post, Col Dennes was of ‘Valhalla’, not ‘Wairiki’ which his father owned once, well beforehand. It was in fact he who sunk in the dinghy and needed to be saved! Can video be posted here?- I have footage of Rakanoa at sea when relatively new with Stan, and also later on in the ’60s when she still had the rear cockpit


  7. Trouble is that their yarns and anecdotes will have melded into fallacious fantasies. I saw it happen to Lincoln Wood over the years, from the vigorous, humorous Lincoln that took us Devonport likely lads sailing on MEMORY in the late 1940s, entertaining us with amazing tales of his experiences up and down the coast, from sailing as bailer boy in the big Logan patiki MAROONDAH to fixing the Emtage’s water pump on Moturoa in the Depression, to the Lincoln of the end of the century, whose stories had all run together into about 5, none of which had any trace of veracity remaining. One on one with a tape recorder is still the best approach.


  8. HDK thinks Tim Windsor may have crossed the bar. Great designer. It does highlight the merits of this website (thanks O Fearless Leader) in getting the facts and even fallacies in print.
    I did suggest to F L that we reinstitute the old RNZYS Cobweb Corner scenario. Get all the old sages in one place with plenty of scotch, rum or whatever and the recording devices and thoroughly debrief them before they, too shuffle off.


  9. Tim Windsor was the in house designer at Shipbuilders. The problem was that Stan Parker stipulated that he had to be able to stand in the engineroom and as Couldrey had her, he couldn’t.


  10. I was told the very interesting story of Rakanoa’s conception, build and later modifications (under supervision of another boating identity, Col Dennes) but won’t relay it at this stage as I may forget exact details.
    Harry Julian also had a dramatic story of a time when Rakanoa broke her moorings in Okahu bay in a storm and was being slammed against the wall at Tamaki drive. Long story short, a rug was rolled up from the lounge at Paritai drive, strapped to the bow of Haunui as a fender and used to pull Rakanoa off the rock wall, just short of being holed and sunk.


  11. Ken, Do you know who at ship builders desigened her? I think I have seen her at gulf Harbour, yes a huge launch!!


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