A Mystery Boat 20/05/14 – RIO RITA > RESOLUTION

A new photo & a question from Chris Manning – is the above photo taken at ‘Curious Cove’ Marlborough Sounds (possibly c1950’s) of the boat with the tyre fender possibly  Rio Rita? The sheer line looks about right, as do the vintage stanchions and the after windows . Can anyone comment on this ?
Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 9.06.52 AM

A Mystery Boat 20/05/14 – RIO RITA > RESOLUTION

Ok woody boaters – todays post is an enigma to me. The boat is unknown to me, but she is flying a CYA burgee, a check of the CYA database shows no match so the vessel is either belong to a very distant lapsed member or someone has ‘borrowed’ the burgee.

The photo is ex the very talented pro photographer Dean Wright & most likely shot in the BOI.

Anyone able to shed some light on the vessel?

It also appears she is currently in Tauranga & listed on trademe (thanks Andrew Pollard for the tip). Photo added above.

Lots of chat about todays mystery boat in the comments section – check it out. I can confirm it is ‘Rio Rita’ > ‘Resolution’ . I have also added a great photo sent to me by Harold Kidd of her on launch day, 1929, at St. Marys Bay, she was built by Collings & Bell & launched as a tourist passenger boat, note the open cockpit forward. Looked rather grand, quite different now days.

Updated photo– 13/06/14 – ex Harold Kidd of Rio Rita in the Sounds, still with ‘Rio Rota Auckland’ on her transom.

Updated photo – 23/07/2014 – ex Liam Daly on or close to her launch day

Rio Rita lauching 1929

2014 photo below ex Dave Jones ex Baden Pascoe

26 thoughts on “A Mystery Boat 20/05/14 – RIO RITA > RESOLUTION

  1. Travelled on her many times in the 60s , 70s and 80s , as the Resolution, traveling between Picton and Resolution Bay


  2. On xmas 87 our woody Moeraki was berthed beside Rio Rita at Tutakaka and we had a beer on board her with the then young owner he told me some history, her topsides replaced due to fire


  3. Mystery photo is the resolution aft area under the canvas the roof of that area folds upward like a gull wing to make a open space the boat is in waikawa bay Picton


  4. I remember this boat was used by Doug Brown of Resolution Bay in the Marlborough Sounds to ferry his guests to and from Resolution Bay Holiday cabins(1970s – 1980s). Doug later sold the boat to the new owners of the Resolution Bay holiday cabins, Graham and Pat Sowman. I was wondering what became of her after the Sowmans sold her. Glad she lives on.


  5. I received a response to this posting via email from Liam Daly – see below. Alan H

    Certainly no mystery about this vessel, it is definitely “M V Rio Rita” later re named “Resolution” by Doug Brown who purchased her from Bill Kenny aka Red Funnel Launches Picton.
    The ‘Resolution’ is currently advertised for sale at Sulphur Point Marina, Tauranga.
    The black and white photo taken at Curious Cove is certainly not the ‘Rio Rita’ but more likely to be the ‘Rawene’
    The ‘Rawene’ like it’s predecessor ‘Rio Rita’ was later in service with Red Funnel Launches as Mail Boat in Queen Charlotte Sound.

    Attached is photo of Rio Rita taken soon after launching (added to the main post.AH)
    Rio Rita was launched in 1929 from Collings and Bell shipyard St Mary’s Bay Auckland.
    Built for a Mr Steele of Picton.
    Served for forty years as a passenger ferry and Royal Mail boat in Queen Charlotte Sound N Z.
    Full length Kauri planked and powered by a 52 W Gardner diesel engine.
    Loa: 42 feet
    Beam: 11 feet
    Draft: 3 feet


  6. I agree with Murray, what a beautiful original configuration. I was thinking she would be ripe for hacking that cabin off and restoring her into a day boat of sorts until I saw the asking price. I’m sure there are a number of equally lovely hulls going for a song that could have the same done.


  7. wow – that launch day pic -is that good looking or what?….. Makes you consider some of these old girls with the later cabins removed and light weight modern diesels fitted…


  8. Ramona wouldn’t have been a bad guess – she is certainly from the same era in Picton. Red Funnel Launches had Ramona, Reo-Rita (until she was replaced by Rawene), Reo-Moana (now looking particularly un-pretty in Auckland) and Reo-Wai. Ramona was not dissimilar to ReoRita but she was a originally a double ender. During the war when was cut in half by a coaster near Picton and was later given a new stern – this time with a transom. She is a bit beamier and was rebuilt heavier for barging duties. Ramona had a long career as a Mailboat and pushing a barge (powered by an 8lx Gardner) for Red Funnel Launches and then Kenny Barging in Picton. Ramona has been on the hard in Picton for about 15+ years awaiting a refit which she is now getting. Hopefully we will see her afloat again soon.


  9. Its the old Rio Rita renamed Resolution , ex passenger and mail boat from the Marlborough sounds., now privatly owned.
    Its now berthed in Tauranga and for sale.


  10. Yes, my guess (and it would have been a guess) was “Rio Rita”, with maybe “Ramona” as a back-up guess. The hull looks about right, but as Merv Stockley has noted, she now seems to nhave a bigger wheelhouse. The dry-stack exhaust funnel was a give-away sign.


  11. My 91 year old father in law, Don Ross lives with us and recognises the name `Rio-Rita’ from 1942 during the war when he served for period as a Battery Artificer on a gun crew in the Sounds out from Picton. His gun crew were one of a number of temporary guns protecting the inner sounds while more substantial gun implacements were built to protect the anchorages in the area. There’s a book telling the story of these gun emplacements called `The Price of Vigilance’ by Kerry Neal and Nola Leov for anyone who may be interested.
    The `Rio-Rita’ used to transport them out to the bay below Gunners Point (His name I think) and drop them off or pick them up and take them back to Picton when on leave. Don has one Box Brownie photo of the `Rio -Rita’s’ bow only nosed up to the beach while dropping people off.
    In that picture she doesn’t have the semi forward wheelhouse she does in todays mystery boat picture.
    Thank you and your forum Alan, It’s just great for Don when boats he know’s pop up on Woodies and that is quite often.


  12. I can do 78s (have 11,000 of them), stretch to LPs, struggle with CDs, but the alphabet soup you quote is beyond me. In the meantime, YouTube is full of the glories of Bebe Daniels……………


  13. Chris is spot on. I’ll send Alan a launching pic of RIO RITA tonight when her configuration as a tourist launch was quite different. Many launches were named after musical pieces of the time eg VALENCIA. RIO RITA was a popular 1929 “talkie” musical based on the stage play of the same name. I found the title song hard to get out of my brain as a child. Pity Alan’s blog doesn’t have a sound track or I’d post a scratchy 78 of the song.


  14. I have ‘blown’ the image up to focus on her name plate & given the Resolution suggestion it looks like Mr Manning might be right, the number of letters looks right. I’ll wait until another woody chips in re her ID.


  15. Her size & purpose (ex ferry) are right.The info below may or may not be correct, hence why I post here & not in the main section.

    ‘Resolution’ was launched in 1929 from the Collings & Bell yard, St Marys Bay in Auckland as ‘Rio Rita’ for a Mr Steele of Picton. She served as a passenger ferry and Royal Mail boat for 40 years in the Marlborough Sounds.
    Her new owner Mr Sowman of Resolution Bay, Picton renamed her ‘Resolution’ in 1971.
    LOA: 42′ Beam: 11′ Draft: 3′ . She is full length kauri planked and powered by a 52W Gardner engine


  16. Its far too late at night, but could it be Rio-Rita? Collings and Bell built for the Marlborough Sounds. Possibly named Resolution now.


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