Story & photos from Nathan Herbert
Named after the original owner’s farm and adjacent island, was designed by Bob Salthouse for J.N (Jack) Hobbs of Hobbs bay Whangaparaoa and built at the Salthouse Greenhithe yard in 1964. She is 44 feet in length and was powered by twin Lister 60hp diesels cruising at 10 knots and pushing her to around 12 knots with mechanical gearboxes, later replaced by twin Fords on hydraulic gearboxes but retaining the original gear levers. She is a motorsailer with main and headsail of almost equal dimensions.
Her design is modelled from Jack’s previous launch the Pacific, which his father had built by Joe Slattery. Layout is practical with galley in the aft dodger area, long settee berths in the saloon coming up to a flat- floored wheelhouse with engines beneath (a bonus of the bridgedeck layout) and master accommodation and head for’d.
Before the Gulf harbour marina was built she would be hauled up at the eastern end of Hobbs Bay on a purpose- built slipway, operated by a winch driven from a Fordson Major tractor. Pacific had the same setup alongside her. Kotanui was the first boat to enter and berth in the new Gulf Harbour marina, followed by the Pacific.
A fixture of the Auckland cruising fleet from her launch until Jack’s death in 1991 at age 84, Bob Salthouse notes that her presence “opened a few eyes” leading to further commissions of fine, large launches.
Kotanui is now berthed on the marina in Milford, with very few alterations (refer 2012 photo ex Alan Houghton)
Scroll down to view 2 home movies of Kotanui