Rehutai (the steamer)

REHUTAI (the steamer)
 story & photo ex Russell Ward
Here is a ship with some class.
The steamer Rehutai built for and owned (and I guess engineered) by Seagars. Who built her and when she was launched, I will leave for Harold to advise. There were several Rehutais. Scroll down to the previous post to view another.
I would imagine that she had the old faithful tandem/steeple compound that was Seagars’ stock in trade and they would have been quite capable of doing the boiler too, so I guess they did.
The first of the two pictures show her embarking and taking Lord Plunket for a jolly on the harbor. He was Governor in 1905 so that is as good a date as any. The next shows the container ship Iris moored in the harbour. You can see the craneship Mahua and some good ships around the Iris.
BUT what is this on the foreshore? A steamboat funnel? Is it the Rehutai of my dreams?
A chance glance at one of the pictures in the Matakohe museum revealed that the Rehutai was burned out at Whangaruru and lost. The records show that there was a Rehutai that was diseaslied with 50hp engines in 1934 –not sure if it is the same ship.
Bear in mind that there was an other Rehutai that became the Hauraki –looked a little like the steamer in passing. Again, I will leave to Harold to unravel.
Harold Kidd Update:
There were 3 Seagar Bros-owned REHUTAI steamers. The first was a 36 footer built for them by Bailey & Lowe in 1905. The second was a 45 footer built in April 1905 by Chas. Bailey Jr. (the one in the images above) which was sold the Government in 1910 for work at Thames and the Piako River. She had a 30hp steam engine designed and built by Seagars. The third REHUTAI was a 50 footer built by Chas Bailey Jr in December 1909 with a 35hp compound tandem engine. She was dieselised in 1926. The image on the Devonport foreshore is REHUTAI (II) with the Logan launch KARORO in front of her.

Of course it was this launch (REHUTAI II) that became HAURAKI in the ownership of the Government Lands Dept. and got dieselised in 1934.
Update from Chris Leech:
The floating crane picture looks more like the Auckland Harbour Boards floating crane – Hapai. Seen below uplifting the Devonport Ferry Co.’s Ticket office before relocating it to its new home as the Devonport yacht Club , clubrooms. C.1927. photo ex DYC centennial year book
Pages from DYC Cent Club PDF

10 thoughts on “Rehutai (the steamer)

  1. The photo of MAHUA floating crane carrying the ticket office.. I think this is going over to the new Mechanics Bay landing to be a ticket office. This was in December 1928. The Ticket office that ent to Devonport Yacht Club was a squarer building with a pagoda roof.


  2. That seems likely. Both Rehutai II and Miss Hauraki were 48 footers. Karoro in the picture above is hauled out on Seagars’ slip alongside Rehutai. Karoro went north to Whangarei in 1916 as a passenger launch owned by H H Jagger of Taurikura and had a name change to TUNA around 1932 when she was sold to the Thames.


  3. I have an idea that REHUTAI II, which became Land and survey Depts steamer HAURAKI,and is pictured on page 128 in Cliff Furniss’ book “Servants of the North”, became the towboat MISS HAURAKI under Julian’s Auckland Water Transport.
    Before going to sea 1968 I had sailed on her quite often in early 60’s.
    She was sold circa 1964 to the Hokianga for towing sand barges.
    Her remains lie at Panguru on the Hokianga


  4. Mahua was the AHB’s venerable steam crane ship and that is she in the Iris pic. The crane and steam machinery was removed in the ’70s in conversion to a barge by in the ’70s and her chief engineer bought her engines and took them home (honestly, dear, they followed me home). Such was his devotion to his charges which would otherwise have been scrapped. One is now in Whangarei museum and one was in a private museum in Auckland. Mahua.


  5. Hapai was the AHB dredge that capsized and had a heroic refloating in 1959. The verb for taking out steam engine and replacing with diesels is “diseasiling”. Alan’s spell check didn’t realise this.


  6. The crane in the picture looks very much like the “Hapai” of the Auckland harbour Board.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s