photos & details Karen Moren & Harold Kidd
The above b/w photo of Rangiora was sent in by Mac McGeady’s grand daughter Karen Moren ex her mother Lyn McGeady, Mac was her father in law. Karen gathered the story below a couple of years ago from one of McGeady’s apprentices – Ben Hipkins.
“Mac’s condition deteriorated and he was very confused and at this time we received an order from Gordon Collie for a 48ft bridge deck Motor Launch. Mac still had the ability to design the hull. This boat was too big to build in Summer Street, so we built the backbone and frames in the factory and built the boat in a shed supplied by Mr. Collie on a poultry farm at Pakuranga.
Gary Wheeler and I built the hull from the deck level and Gordon and his cousin Ralph laid the decks and built the superstructure and furniture, a truly excellent job. The name of this boat was Rangiora”.
Harold told ww that Rangiora was built in 1964 & she was a breakthrough McGeady design with the substantial beam of 15′ on an overall length of 52′. Her original engines were twin Fords. Tony Vazey bought her in the 1980s and replaced the Fords with twin GM 4/51 supercharged diesels. He kept her at Westhaven, always absolutely immaculate as you can see from Harold colour photo below. In late 2001 Tony sold her to Nick Tansey of Wellington. These days she can readily be seen from the shore on her marina berth in Wellington, a very beautiful hull with totally aesthetically pleasing topsides.
02-04-2020 – Input from Brian Hewitt – My company Sea Services had the pleasure of owning Rangiora for 4 or 5 years, my business partner was Fred Keith and we bought Rangiora in Whangamata, she was owned by Stan who ran the local putt putt golf park beside the movie theatre, he was in the middle of a very messy divorce and had to sell her. She was very tired in the exterior but good and sound and we brought her to Auckland to the Shipbuilders slipway and rebuilt the decks, took all the brightwork back to clean timber and applied 8 coats of varnish, recaulked and repainted the hull using Transocean paints. We serviced the Ford engines including replacing the injectors, serviced all the pumps etc…replaced the funnel, beds and squabs, the toilet, radio, steering cables, carpet etc and she was quite a picture and gave us a lot of enjoyment. This included 2 seasons in the BOI with trips to Whangaroa, The Cavalli Islands, Poor Knights and Cape Brett, many trips to Barrier and Coromandel and 2 trips to Mayor Is. We had on-going overheating issues when under max revs as her heat exchangers were barely adequate when the engines were in their full glory, the engines were also slightly out of sync and we tried changing propellers, fine balancing the drive shafts and realigning the motors with new mounts but never really solved the issue. We were originally on ‘A’ marina then moved over to (I think T) when Westhaven expanded the southern side. Fred left Sea Services in the early 80’s and I was also getting divorced so we sold her to fund the business. Rangiora was a Lloyds Registered vessel (I think she was 36 tons). We sold her to Murray from Chanton Apparel who took the engines out and had them balanced, replaced the cable steering with dual hydraulic steering and I think it was Murray who also rebuilt the stern into a walk through transom. In reality Murray bought Rangiora for the marina as 18M marinas were very sought after and he had a new 54′ launch being built by Salthouse. I saw Rangiora some years later at Tutukaka and she looked fabulous, also saw her in Wellington 3 years ago still looking good. I live in France most of the year and have some photos there and will revert with them when I return to France. Brian Hewitt
30-04-2020 Update from Brian Hewitt – “I’m back in France now and found my photo album that had some photos of Rangiora, I think we sold her in 1984. I also had an earlier 34′ launch called “Joel” built by Ship Builders, the new owners renamed her, I had a quick search and couldn’t find anything relating to her, is this a name anyone may have come across ?