Mystery Boats at the Zoo

Mystery Boats at the Zoo

photo ex Baden Pascoe

Now todays posting is a little strange, CYA member Baden Pascoe was visiting the Auckland Zoo recently & stumbled across the white launch above. So the question is – will it be included in some display or is one of the ‘keepers’ doing it up?

Also there were the ‘remains’ of the red boat as well. What appears to have been  a professionally built hard chine boat of the 1930,s or 40’s.

Anyone able to ID the launch or enlighten us on whats going on ?

Update from Paul Drake

Old b/w photo of Kotahi from THE N.Z.YACHTSMAN, p 274, February 22, 1913. This launch was at Taupo for many years in the 1960’s under the same name and with a similar cabin to that shown in the zoo photo. Looking at the 1913 photo, I think the step in the hull is quite distinctive, Also the number of ports and the position of the forward port.

To my mind, there is no doubt about it!!



Hi there

We stumbled across this post.

Yes, we can confirm it is the Kotahi. She is being refurbished and will form part of our new Rotoroa Island Conservation Centre display, highlighting biosecurity issues in the Hauraki Gulf. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about this.

We too are very interested in her history and one of our volunteers was about to start some research on this. Any assistance you can provide would be gratefully received.

Kind regards Natalie

Natalie Hansby

Head of Visitor Experience and Business Development

Auckland Zoological Park

5 thoughts on “Mystery Boats at the Zoo

  1. Well, they’ve pretty much got the bones of it above. I have more early pics and Neil Boak has some good mid-30s pics.


  2. Paul is right; there is too the very distinctive form of linear foliate carving of the bow, quite different from other boatbuilders of the time. Bailey & Lowe’s carver, for example, was less linear and used a vee-ed section for his work.


  3. KOTAHI was built by Bailey & Tyer at Hall’s Beach Northcote in November 1912 for Charlie Goldsboro of St. Heliers with a 5hp Zealandia. She was in Tauranga in 1920 owned by Major Mirrielees who put in a ‘Frisco Standard and used her for gamefishing. Claude Boak had her at Lake Rotoiti in 1933-6. He replaced the Standard with a 4 cylinder Ailsa Craig. She went back to Tauranga in 1936 and obviously gravitated to Taupo from there.


  4. The launch is probably “Kotahi”, ex Taupo in the 1960’s. There is a photo of “Kotahi” as a flush decker taken in Mansion House Bay which appears in the February 22 1913 edition of THE N.Z. YACHTSMAN magazine.(p 274). Copy of photo sent by separate email..


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