story & photos ex Russell Ward
One of my favorite workboats- was built in 1961 by Miller and Tunnage at Port Chalmers. She was built for the Ministry of Works for servicing of Marine Dept and navy installations around Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. Barney Soljak told me that she was modeled on Clematis but with a transom instead of a ducks ass. He felt that she was a little archaic and that they needed a more modern boat.She is 42’6″ LOA x 12’7″ Beam powered by a 4L3 Gardner. She was taken over by the Navy in 1976. She performed some impact hydrography cutting the corner inside Emu Rock and sank in Islington Bay 8 November 1978. RNZFA Arataki and a barge had her salvaged the next day –The tug Arataki had an interesting life in those days, frequently sorting out the Navy coastal cockups (usually before the media got there).
Meola is now in private ownership and much loved. She comes to all the classic workboat events.