Tiromoana

TIROMOANA

Designed & built by A (Bill) Couldrey in 1937 for W R Craig, she saw serve with the RNZ Navy & Police during WW2 as a harbour patrol vessel. B/W is on launch day & its fantastic to see her 76 years later so close to her launch day configuration. The ‘solo’ colour photos were taken in Issy Bay at the 2012 CYA Cake Day event. The photo with the launch Joan was taken off North Head just prior to the CYA picnic cruise to Stillwater in 2011 (?)

Russell Ward Comment

Beautiful beautiful ship. Every line is just right -look at that sheer and the line of the cabin tops. Even that turtle deck on the “bikini deck” between the wheelhouse and aft dodger: raised to give the headroom but not at the expense of spoiling the line. The detailing of the windows -the work of one of the real masters. Not many boats look ok from any angle -she does. 

She did time as a police launch too, I seem to recall. I also seem to recall (from a visit in the ’60s) that one could service the trusty Gardner while sitting on the throne -useful bit of multi tasking and clearly another design feature!

An update from Ken Ricketts

An insight into Tiromoana’s – (early years 1939 – circa 1988)

Background

As I sit at my computer, at 76 years old, & reflect back, I have realised, there is no doubt, that this, most beautiful Bill Couldrey, double skinned, (1 fore & aft 1 Diagonal), 37ft, 1937 masterpiece of design & build, has had a profound affect upon me, & substantially directed & affected the entire course of my life, since I was a small boy of 7.

It is absolutely certain, that I would never have been able to make the contributions that I am able to do, to this website, if it were not for my beloved Tiro. Ken Ricketts

Early Ownership

She was built in 1938  for a Mr Craig, he however only owned her for a very short time & sold her to a friend & business associate of my late father, Ralph Ricketts. He was a Mr. Henry Allen who owned The Auckland Handle & Dowel Ltd sited in Manukau Rd, Newmarket. He, & his wife, Mrs Joyce Allen, lived in a large villa right next door to the factory where they brought up their 3 children, Jack, the oldest, (who later owned the beautiful C, ( later F), class keeler, C22 “Turangi,” for many years & his 2 sisters, Mavis the older, & Esme the younger.

Henry A  & Mrs Joyce A, moved to No.4 Suddley St  Orakei in 1946-47 where he lived for the rest of his life.

Henry Allen bought Tiro., shortly before WWII & was destroyed, when the Navy took her initially, & then passed her to the Police shortly after, as a harbour patrol boat. The Police painted her grey, & for the next 3 years Henry A., fought tooth & nail to get her back, eventually succeeding in 1943. Such was his joy & excitement, he didn’t even bother to repaint her, but used her for the rest of the season in her grey Police livery,.

This was the point at which Tiro came in to the lives of my parents & me.

Henry A owned her until he died, but long before this, & not too long after WWII, his children all married, Jack Married a lovely lady called “Doreen,” Mavis Married a young businessman called “Doug Millar,” & Esme married another young businessman, called “Joe Coggan,”

The marriage into the Coggan family seemed to my family to be a not only a great love for Esme, but also almost as great a love of Tiro, & for many years in Henry A’s later life, Joe was always seen at his side, whenever “things had to be done,” Such was his love for this boat.

When Henry A eventually passed away, Joe bought Tiro off the estate, & loved her as Henry had before, for the rest of his life as well.

During Henry A’s stewardship, she was moored her entire life at Westhaven, just off the dinghy launching ramp which was there at that time, right in front of the Auckland Motor Yacht Club & she was right next to that other lovely Couldrey classic “Reremoana.”.

When she passed to Joe C,, he moved her to the Tamaki River, at the bottom of his garden, right on the waters edge’ with riparian rites, to the Tamaki River, in Riverview Rd Panmure, & just 2 minutes around the corner, from my parents who lived at No 1 Bridge St Panmure, also on the waters edge, with riparian rites, & my parents used to look at Tiro., every day on her pile moorings a few yards downstream from their home & their own “Gay Dawn.” She remained there for the entire time Joe’s custody lasted, which was also until he died.

A wonderful pedigree for a wonderful boat

Changes to Tiromoana along the way:

Propulsion

When Tiro was built, she was powered with a green painted 4 cyl Gardner truck Diesel, with a huge open flywheel, & detached gearbox, which I think was made pre the days of the “LW” series of engines, as it had 4 separate cylinder blocks, on a separate crankcase with side inspection covers in the crankcase, & could only be started with the crank handle, & by opening the exhaust valves with the decompression levers, whilst one built up flywheel speed & then closed the compression levers. There was a chain drive from the rear end crankshaft between the oil seal & the flywheel to a shaft along the top of the engine to the front end, & one swung on the handle at the front of the engine.

My father & Henry A were both absolutely outstanding precision engineers, & my father did not think much of anyone swinging on a crank handle to start the engine, so about 1945, with the assistance of the entire very extensive facilities, of Mason & Porter Ltd’s (Masport today), machine shop, of which he was manager, he designed & made an electric starter system, for the Gardner, which, as with everything my father ever made, worked perfectly. Its necessity however, was fairly short lived, because circa 1948-49,  my father & Henry A, jointly removed the 4 cyl Gardner & replaced it with a brand new 5LW Grey painted Gardner marine engine, which is still painted grey as far as I know,  & is now, over 60 years later, once again, as far as I know, is still running like a Rolex. I was on Tiro 4 or 5 years ago & it was still just like new then.

Paint, colour schemes, changes, & modifications

I am really delighted that the successive privileged owners of this aesthetically outstanding craft, have appreciated the traditional wonderful balance & beauty she has always had, in her original design, & have not tried to “improve” her, virtually at all. — a different mast is really about all that is visible on the outside, & when I was on board, she was still virtually original inside as well, long may it continue.

Paint

Tiro was one of the very first pleasure craft in NZ to be spray painted.  Joe C was a craftsman with a spray gun, & began spraying Tiro’s hull every winter when the rest of us were all laboriously brushing away & trying to get rid of the brush marks to make an “eggshell like finish” to our various pride & joys, as we all did in those days, & Joe achieved an unbelievably better job with far less effort. – I never understood why my father never followed his example with his own “Juliana,” & later, “Gay Dawn.?”

Colour Schemes

Tiro has had a small degree of modification done by Joe C., somewhere around the time he took her over from the estate. From memory I think it may actually have happened when Henry A was still alive.

As you will see, in the pics taken by me, in Christmas 1947, at anchor in Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, & Christmas 1949, at speed, entering Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, with her “brand new 5LW,” she originally had totally varnished combings, which Joe later painted through in white, on the aft cabin section, where the 3 oblong windows are.

Actually, I personally like that present concept, however I feel that the pic on the wheeled trolley with her going in to the water, already on the website may be intended to convey that this was her original concept, as at her launching day, which is of course not possible, because of the pics I took, & that colour concept was not introduced until circa the 1970s.

I think it could very well be, this was taken when she was living in the Tamaki River, & she may have been slipped at the Panmure Yacht Club area. (ww comment – the b/w photo was taken from a 1937 newspaper & is at the launch of Tiromoana)

THE RICKETTS FAMILY ASSOCIATION, & SHAPING OF MY LIFE, BY TIRO.

For a number of years my parents rented a batch on the waters edge of Christian Bay Takatu Peninsula on the farm of a Mr Donald Jones. We looked straight in to Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, from our batch.

One morning, during Christmas 1943, this beautiful looking bridge decker painted grey, came across from Mansion House Bay, in to our bay, & would you believe it, the Allens came ashore & invited us out on Tiro for the day. I can still remember being beside myself with excitement, at being invited out on this “huge” boat.

We had a wonderful experience, which I could not know at that time, was to be the first of many over the next 3 years, until my father bought his first boat the “Juliana” in 1946.

My father had been born in to a pioneering boatbuilding family in Nelson dating back to the 1840s & of course was bought up in, & loved boats of many types.

My mother on the other hand was the daughter farming family, new nothing about boats, or cruising on them, but like me, was besotted with this wonderful way of life,

It had been my parents intention to buy a batch of their own after WWII, but after just a very short time, after being introduced to Tiro, she said to dad one day, “Dad, do you think perhaps we could buy a boat instead of a batch after the war?” — Well, you can imagine what my father said & thus my whole life has been focussed on & revolved around this idyllic lifestyle, & will until I die, almost certainly solely, thanks to the Allens, & Tiro.

Nothing I can think of, has had a more profound effect on me, or my life, than this life long passion for cruising on comfortable pleasure launches, (especially at Kawau Island, which is, & always has been, since 7 years old, my favourite place of any part of any country in the world, I have ever been to.)

Now, to get back to the “Allen, Coggan, Family Dynasty.” I am trying to Liaise with Helen Coggan daughter of the now deceased Joe & Esme, to try to  add correct & timing for various things referred to above & will report further if I can achieve this.– I was actually talking to Helen, within the last 18 months  or so, so hope I can locate her again.

In the meantime may “Tiro” continue to grace us all, with her beauty, for another 75 years

Photos added to posting

# 4 ladies standing on tuck of Tiro in 1945 pic holding on to dodger are L to R Miss Mavis Allen, Mrs Wyn Ricketts, Miss Esme Allen, & Mrs Doreen Allen, (Jack Allen’s new wife).

# 2 photos of Tiro at Kawau Island

# Ken Ricketts as “Santa” at 9 years old, Christmas Day 1944 in the bridgedeck of Tiro with Mavis Allen

An Update for Tiromoana’s Owners 17/08/2013

My husband, John, and I are the current custodians of Tiromoana. Photos 1, 2 & 3 are of John and I (Carolyn) cruising the Gulf. Tiro currently resides at Bayswater Marina, although she is currently in “hospital” on the Westpark hardstand, being treated for rising damp and gribbles behind the keel cooling. With her out of the water for awhile, we took the opportunity to get into all the nooks and crannies, and remove accumulated detritus, including six anchors! And, going on the size of the gaffs we found on board, earlier owners must have caught much bigger fish than us.
I must assume that the head has been moved, since vintagesteamer’s day, as we can no longer multitask from the throne. However, the trusty “new” Gardner, installed in the 50’s, is still going strong. Recent changes we have made is the installation of an electric head, and holding tank, and new batteries and charging system.
As I work in the Operations Room at Coastguard, I have great delight in reminding the Maritime Police of our association as Auckland Police Boat #1.
If you see us around the Gulf, do drop by and say hello.

10 thoughts on “Tiromoana

  1. Commenting on your electric head. Pappie had a brass capstan drum which was powered off the motor,( the v-belts at the front) which werre removed when Joe took over Tiro. It also had a Tin Lizzy steering wheel & a bronze box & shaft to rudder which was 1 to 1 & also removed by Joe who replaced it with a nautical helm.

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  2. When Pappie got “Tiro” back from the navy the stern was black, so Ralph, Claude & pappie ( Henry Allen) gave it the’ cup of tea test’ . the cup of tea test was placing a cup of tea upon the rocket cover 7 if it disposed it’s contments over the engine it was not running evenly. Eventually it ran like a Rolex & it’s stern became clean.

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  3. As per your article on Tiro’s history. I am a grand-daughter of Henry & Alma (not Joyce) & only daughter of Comer & Joyce Allen, Henry & Alma’s third child, Esme being the youngest. Comer had four children. Comer married Joyce Innes, A Private Secretary to the Managing Director Of British Developments.(covering 5 companies). The first three children in conjunction with Henry’s other grandchildren & a fourth 10 years after & therefore much younger than the other grandchildren. We all have very fond memories of our time on Tiro which was alternate xmases & every weekend. When Henry & Alma built “Suddeley St” Tiro became moored at Okahu Bay & we enjoyed many weekends working at slips painting & doing maintenance with Nannie & Pappie. It was around 1963 that Joe purchased Tiro ( not when pappie died) & Tiro went to live at Tamaki Estuary. Henry’s Company was “Auckland Handle & Dowel Company” in Manukau Rd & around 1956-7 was relocated to Carbine Rd, Mt Wellington, 2 blocks down Carbine Rd from Joe’s Storage Warhouse
    factory.

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  4. Thank you so much for your wonderful & valuable input Mark, you have updated & corrected my memory lapses after this very long passage of time, along with your sister Helen & her husband Richard with whom my wife & I had a delightful lunch, at their home last week. You 2 have the ultimate knowledge of this special boat’s history — KEN RICKETTS

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  5. My parents were Joe and Esme Coggan. The above is substantially correct and thanks to Ken. Here are some corrections and comments. My grandparents were Henry and Alma Allen. My parents purchased Tiro @ 1963 after Henry had a heart attack – but Henry lived on for another few years. The lower part of the cabin was kauri and the “varnish” look was by “graining” that was becoming an extinct art hence that part of the cabin was painted. Over the winter of 1964 or 1965 the interior was substantially updated. The engine room walls were removed and a box covered the engine that also served as a dining table. The toilet was moved from alongside the engine to just forward of the bridge. The saloon was lined in mahogany . The boat was rewired by Ralph Ricketts (Kens father) I think the cost was “whiskies” at day end – one or two … more likely 3 or 4 or 5 – it was a very social boat. The keel cooler was fitted @ 1965. When I last saw the boat the only difference was it had an exhaust funnel in my parents day it had a wet exhaust. My parents sold it in 1981 or 1982 the issue was that the upkeep was too much for my father and he would not entrust that to anyone else as they could not meet his standards. The timing proved right as in 1982 he had a major operation and was 6 weeks in intensive care. He doed 1992 and my mother 2004. They loved that boat.

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  6. People on deck in Tiro in front half photo, include, from L to R, Mr Joe Coggan, Mrs Wyn Ricketts (obscured), Miss Mavis Coggan, Ken Ricketts (Circa 9yrs old), Mrs Alma Allen, & Miss Esme Allan (later to become Mrs Esme Coggan) At helm in Bridgedeck is Mr Henry Allen
    — Photo taken in 1946 — KEN RICKETTS 21.8.13

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  7. My husband, John, and I are the current custodians of Tiromoana. Photos 1, 2 & 3 are of John and I (Carolyn) cruising the Gulf. Tiro currently resides at Bayswater Marina, although she is currently in “hospital” on the Westpark hardstand, being treated for rising damp and gribbles behind the keel cooling. With her out of the water for awhile, we took the opportunity to get into all the nooks and crannies, and remove accumulated detritus, including six anchors! And, going on the size of the gaffs we found on board, earlier owners must have caught much bigger fish than us.
    I must assume that the head has been moved, since vintagesteamer’s day, as we can no longer multitask from the throne. However, the trusty “new” Gardner, installed in the 50’s, is still going strong. Recent changes we have made is the installation of an electric head, and holding tank, and new batteries and charging system.
    As I work in the Operations Room at Coastguard, I have great delight in reminding the Maritime Police of our association as Auckland Police Boat #1.
    If you see us around the Gulf, do drop by and say hello.

    Like

  8. Beautiful beautiful ship. Every line is just right -look at that sheer and the line of the cabin tops. Even that turtle deck on the “bikini deck” between the wheelhouse and aft dodger: raised to give the headroom but not at the expense of spoiling the line. The detailing of the windows -the work of one of the real masters. Not many boats look ok from any angle -she does.
    She did time as a police launch too, I seem to recall. I also seem to recall (from a visit in the ’60s) that one could service the trusty Gardner while sitting on the throne -useful bit of multi tasking and clearly another design feature!

    Like

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