18 thoughts on “Rawea

  1. Hi, I’m Rob Butchers son and remember Dad talking of the Rawea and the disapointment of her being sunk. He totally blamed the Navy as she was built with 5 or so watertight compartments.
    She was hit in the stern area at night on the waterline and above and Dad had being trying for some time to get material like asbestos to seal the exhaust pipes as they went through 2 aft bulkheads and warned the navy when he was taken off as captain to run a barge with fuel tanks from Auckland up the Wairoa river to refuel the dairy factory in case our roads were bombed out.But alas the exhausts were never sealed and the captain upon being hit went full throttle for the coast until the engines drowned and she sank! Dad reckoned he would have ditched the 12 or so depth charges on the rear deck and had the crew stand on the bow and reverse slowly to shore and she would have been saved.
    Rawea had one main engine and a wing motor thats why you are all wondering why 1 rudder and 2 props! I have photos somewhere I can dig out. Cheers, Phil Butcher. 021 931 888

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  2. Havimg now enlarged the photo & also studied it carefully I must say, I inevitably, like others, subscribe to the view, that she had one rudder, & one central propeller shaft,– (unfortunately.. — It would have been great with twin engines in my opinion) .– KEN RICKETTS

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  3. I’ve swung to a single Gray too. There are just too many contemporary reports of her which just talk about a single engine. After all, some of those reports were pre-launch when the presence of twin shafts would be mighty obvious even to a cub reporter sent down to Beaumont Street to check the boat out and provide 3 inches of copy.

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  4. I’d like a boat like her with twins, and I only say single as various captions and newspaper reports from when she was new state “a 160hp motor”.

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  5. Nah, bet she was two shafts. Ummm to side track, Mr Butcher was better off than Lady Margaret’s owners: He got to enjoy his fine ship for 10 weeks. Lady Mag’s owner (Bill Clark) only got a weekend away with the family, if I recall right, before the Navy chartered her and took her away. Interesting that Bob McDougall (who had access to Navy records -I can remember the Philomel drawing office being a little terse at his requests for information and that was 1962 puts Rawea down as two diesel 125 hp in New Zealand Naval Vessels at pg 103. I was in the drawing office tracing Black Prince’s plans during school holidays. Peter Soljak -Barney’s son was in there at the time and would confirm) My money’s on twin screw: She’s not got a lot of draft to tuck one big prop down aft. Any bids? Sorry, fellahs, we may have to have a dive off Cape Brett and find her remains to lay this one to rest. Oh, if she was a registered ship, we could access her certificate. Harold?

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  6. Twin screw single rudder was present on other big Bailey boats slightly earlier than her so could be, I am very disturbed to see our leader gadding about the harbour today instead of nose to the grindstone as the rest of us.

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  7. This was a captioned photograph fully referenced from the PapersPast resource which I passed on, not the more usable cropped photograph, Harold. An excellent resource just pity about the resolution.

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  8. I’ve looked carefully at the N.Z. Herald pic reproduced by Nathan but the quality is little better than what Nathan achieved. However, I have convinced myself that it looks as if she had twin props and a single central rudder.

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  9. I’m sure I can see a starboard prop, shaft and A bracket in that launching pic. But then, the more I look, I think I can see a central rudder and a prop there too. Alan you’ve got the picture. watcha reckon? Te R was twin screw, would the man of taste and discernment in boats go for less?

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  10. A caveat here; the usually highly authoritative “NZ Naval Vessels” says she had twin diesels, but a careful re-reading of the contemporary newspaper reports on her launching (about 8 of them) today persuades that she had a single 6 cylinder Graymarine diesel. A 165hp engine would happily knock her along at 12 knots, her nominated speed, I would think.

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  11. RAWEA was built By Charles Bailey & Son Ltd for R.W. Butcher of Hamilton. She was under construction when war was declared in September 1939 but not launched until mid-March 1940. She was 50’x12’6″x5′ and she was poered by twin 165hp Graymarine diesels. She was taken over by the RNZN 10 weeks later for patrol work out of Whangarei as Q06. On 12/2/1943 she was in collision with the freighter PORT OF TAURANGA 10 miles SE of Cape Brett and sank within 20 minutes. All crew were taken off. There were stories about the sinking; one that the freighter rammed her purposely, mistaking her for a submarine.
    Butcher had a string of fine launches over years including RONGO, RAWEA, STRATHMORE, MOLLIE/ALCESTIS/RAIONA and LINORA (later FLORENCE KENNEDY).
    I understand he was a transport contractor, mainly in petrol distribution, based in the Waikato.

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  12. WHAT A MAGNIFICENT & REALLY BEAUTIFUL CRAFT!! – I would have loved so much to have seen her for myself, but unfortunately, she apparenlty met her demise before my time, — must admit I had never seen her or heard of her before, but I agree, she does have some similarities to TE RAUPARAHA.
    I also know that Mr Butcher had several larger boats– he later had a circa 60-70 foot vessel, painted blue, when built, not unlike an HDML in some ways, which as I recall, was in an unfinished state at a marina for a time.
    I wonder what RAWEA was powered with, & how many engines, I hope someone knows.
    I do hope someone can give us more info & shed more light on the life of this superb classic boat.– KEN RICKETTS

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  13. Regrettably the fine vessel was sunk 12 Feb 1943 in a collision. I forget the details but will dig out the Navy Ships bible when I get home. I think she has a better sheer fwd than Te Rauparaha. Very clever detailing aft to disguise the freeboard. Lovely boat.

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