Rahemo #1 Post


RAHEMO #1 Post

Described as a Laing bridge decker & built in 1935, her kauri hull is 42′ long. Powered by twin 4 cyl. Volvo 130hp engines she has no trouble cruising at 10>12 knots. Her 4 sale listing states that she has had one owner from new.

Any one able to confirm & expand on what we know about Rahemo ?

Harold Kidd Update

RAHEMO was built in Auckland in late 1936 by Dick LANG (not Laing) at St. Mary’s Bay for R.W. Butcher of Hamilton as STRATHMORE. She was 42’x10’9″x3’6″ and powered with twin 90hp Chryslers. In 1938 she was bought by the Todd family of Wellington and motored down via Tauranga and the east coast in December 1938. The Todds renamed her RAHEMO. She was in NAPS out of Wellington in WW2 as Z76 and fitted with diesels. One TradeMe recently she was advertised as “one family from new”…………………….. not really.

PS R.W. Butcher sold ALCESTIS/RAIONA to Alf Seccombe when he had STRATHMORE/RAHEMO built and had RAWEA built when he sold STRATHMORE/RAHEMO. When RAWEA was  requisitioned for RNZN patrol work in 1940 he bought RONGO. You can’t keep a good launch man down!

Photo below ex Paper Past – 15 Dec 1938 just prior to departing for Wellington, insert photo i of A. R. Clarke who skippered her.

21 thoughts on “Rahemo #1 Post

  1. Pingback: Strathmore > Rahemo | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  2. I’ve reread all the various writings in this post, & notwithstanding Harold is usually correct in his input, on this occasion, since she has been in the same family since 1938, of which Rod is obviously associated, & having spoken to him on the phone a couple of times, as he is very, very, emphatic, about this, I am satisfied for my part, that she has only ever had 3 sets of engines 2 Chrysler & the present Volvos, which are of course, the only diesels. — KEN RICKETTS

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  3. If you can’t see economy, then rationalisation of engines for spares and overhaul still makes sense. NAPS faced a huge variety of engines in the fleet of patrol launches it impressed in the early days of WW2. Replacing them with a pool of Chrysler 6’s and Gray/GM two-stroke diesels partially solved the problem especially when the engines arrived on a plate from the US Navy after Pearl Harbour. The RNZN and the RNZAF shared this supply of American engines for their Q and W craft. The RNZAF W launches used in Fiji as workhorses in the building of the Lauthala Bay flying boat base had GM diesel or Chrysler 6 transplants as a matter of course eg KENYA I/MATAROA’s Ailsa Craig went out and a Chrysler went in.
    Quite why TASMAN’s Kermath was replaced with a 225hp Sterling is an aberration. Doc will know.

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  4. I had a multifaceted relationship with Don & Gordon, both business & pleasure, for many years, in the 50s & 60s & in fact Gordon had a total of at least 4 or 5 complete engines plus a lot of odd spares in addition, for the boat, including those installed in her & I saw the others regularly, when I visited their scoria quarry business premises, at Three Kings, & besides the pair in the boat here was at least one other complete matched handed pair there at quarry workshops, (along with a good number of old pre WW II Diamond T trucks he kept mobile & on the road for ever) — KEN RICKETTS

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  5. Not sure whether economy was ever in the military’s mind when there were people to be killed over there! They put that delicious Sterling in Tasman during the war. Damn shame MoTaT wouldn’t take it and preserve it when she was diseasiled after Sprott sold her (or did he do it). He only ran her at about quarter revs at which speed she sounded lovely and didn’t burn that much.

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  6. RAHEMO was based in Russell in 1953 with the call sign ZLRC.
    Changing the rotation of an internal combustion engine is not terribly difficult and involves a new camshaft and some peripherals. Chryslers were available in both rotations. It can cause difficulties. In GREENBANK I had a RH rotation Universal 6 but the manifold and brass plate giving the firing order was off a LH rotation engine. Pandemonium!
    For what it’s worth, LADY EILEEN had two RH Chryslers according to Don Hunter, the son of her owner Gordon Hunter. I think he would know better than Ken, but what the hell.
    My statement that RAHEMO had diesels (probably ex-USN Gray/GMs) installed during WW2 was based on Bob McDougall’s finely researched “New Zealand Naval Vessels” and makes sense from the point of view of economy and rationalisation of spares amongst the varied fleet of private launches requisitioned by NAPS. It also make sense that the Todds would have immediately replaced the GMs with the old (or more likely new) Chryslers as soon as they got the boat back in 1945. The Todds would never have dreamed of running a GM product in their flagship!

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  7. RAHEMO was based in Russell in 1953 with the call sign ZLRC.
    Changing the rotation of an internal combustion engine is not terribly difficult and involves a new camshaft and some peripherals. Chryslers were available in both rotations. It can cause difficulties. In GREENBANK I had a RH rotation Universal 6 but the manifold and brass plate giving the firing order was off a LH rotation engine. Pandemonium!
    For what it’s worth, LADY EILEEN had two RH Chryslers according to Don Hunter, the son of her owner Gordon Hunter. I think he would know better than Ken, but what the hell.
    My statement that RAHEMO had diesels (probably ex-USN Gray/GMs) installed during WW2 was based on Bob McDougall’s finely researched “New Zealand Naval Vessels” and makes sense from the point of view of economy and rationalisation of spares amongst the varied fleet of private launches requisitioned by NAPS. It also make sense that the Todds would have immediately replaced the GMs with the old (or more likely new) Chryslers as soon as they got the boat back in 1945. The Todds would never have dreamed of running a GM product in their flagship!

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  8. Have just Googled matched handed pairs of Chrysler Crowns & the are plenty of references to them, & a number for sail as well it seems. — The Chrysler Royals, were more or less the same engine, with 8 cylinders in line instead of 6. — KEN R

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  9. The LADY EILEEN, had a matched handed pair of Chrysler Royals of the same vintage with 2 black carburettors each, that had a type of brass louvered upward angled flame arresters on them, & all the carburettors were in the middle — I saw the engines a number of times. — KEN RICKETTS

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  10. I am the present owner of Rahemo and the Chrysler Crown 125s I replaced were “mirror” or a contra-rotating handed pair. They were rugged and reliable, dedicated marine engines. No change of rotation occurred in the gear boxes. They were supplied and installed by Todds as New Zealand agents, not the Navy. Rahemo never had diesel engines before 1987. The “one family from new” is my mistake as I was not aware of Mr Butchers 2 year ownership. I thought the Todd family owner her from new. The Trademe listing was done by Vinnings Brokers. Rahemo returned to Auckland in the 1950s to be used for deep sea fishing in the Bay of Islands before making a second trip back to Wellington.

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  11. Not sure whether you could get mirror engines with most of the industrial conversions. That was the domain of posh proper marine engines like Gardner, Kelvin, Doxford (heh!) etc. They used gears in the reduction box one side and chain in the other side so you got contra rotation. The big petrol engines like Chryslers were easy to live with though.

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  12. PS R.W. Butcher sold ALCESTIS/RAIONA to Alf Seccombe when he had STRATHMORE/RAHEMO built and had RAWEA built when he sold STRATHMORE/RAHEMO. When RAWEA was requisitioned for RNZN patrol work in 1940 he bought RONGO. You can’t keep a good launch man down!

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  13. Not entirely “from new”, see above, but it should be said that there were close links between Butcher and the Todd family. Butcher had a fleet of petrol tankers in the Waikato and was in the forefront of modern-style bulk deliveries. I think he may have been allied to the Todds through distribution of their Europa brand petrol. Secondly, the Todds were, effectively, NZ Chrysler agents and probably supplied her engines.

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  14. Owned by the Todd family and based in either Wellington or the sounds from new. Lovely shippy ship. DL

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  15. A fine looking ship -could Dick Lang do otherwise? Even a tasteful frying bridge later addition. Harold, how about a short bio of Dick Lang sometime? His boats stand testimony to his ability.

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  16. RAHEMO was built in Auckland in late 1936 by Dick LANG (not Laing) at St. Mary’s Bay for R.W. Butcher of Hamilton as STRATHMORE. She was 42’x10’9″x3’6″ and powered with twin 90hp Chryslers. In 1938 she was bought by the Todd family of Wellington and motored down via Tauranga and the east coast in December 1938. The Todds renamed her RAHEMO. She was in NAPS out of Wellington in WW2 as Z76 and fitted with diesels. One TradeMe recently she was advertised as “one family from new”…………………….. not really.

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