Mahara

MAHARA
photo & details ex Mike Ryan

Mike’s family has recently purchased Mahara, a Shipbuilders Supacraft that they are in the process of tidying her up after a year or two of neglect. She is currently out at Okahu Bay & Mike reports that Alan Boyd from ‘x-foul-e-8’ has done a beautiful job getting layers of anti fouling off below the waterline.
Mahara was one of four ‘sisters’ built by Shipbuilders Supacraft in the late 1940’s, early 50’s, the others being – Lady Eileen, Rosemary II & Rakanoa. They were designed (Rakanoa part) by the American trained Thomas (Tim) Windsor, the in-house designer at Shipbuilders Supacraft at the time.
I understand that Mahara is slightly shorter than the others ?

Can we supply anymore info on her past? I’m sure Russell Ward will drop in 🙂

The photo below (sorry about the quality) was taken approx. 10 years ago.

Harold Kidd Input

MAHARA was built for Graham Speight in 1946. Keith Kiernander, a well-known Ponsonby real estate agent, had her between 1959 and 1966. In 1966 she went to E & BM Senior of Herne Bay. In our scruffy launch GREENBANK we came up astern of Kiernander in this launch, or his next, perhaps, stationary in the Motuihe Channel with people rushing about on deck and broadcasting a very loud MAYDAY on the double sideband. There were two or three Orcas playing around his boat and he was seeking help in case his boat was sunk and his crew eaten. We split our sides, muttering quite uncharitable things about “bloody land agents”.

22 thoughts on “Mahara

  1. Pingback: The 1946 Launching Of Mahara | SEA WALKER

  2. Pingback: The 1946 Launching Of Mahara | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

  3. Great news, thank you!
    I have some documentation, the interesting one for me being a handwritten timeline by the man himself in regard to Mahara build and launching. Interesting stuff.
    Very much looking forward to your article!
    If you ever fancy a look around her when your around the panmure end of the tamaki river, let me know.

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  4. Mike, there’s an article on these Shipbuilders Ltd’s SupaCraft launches coming up in the August issue of Boating NZ. (PLUG)
    Nice pic of MAHARA being launched, from Tim Windsor’s collection. Can supply high res copies of that and other pics if you email me through WW.
    Also, in the article, I deal with the origins of the design of RAKANOA with some fresh material.
    RAKANOA was a one-off all right, but NOT “built before the 3 sisters that exist.” The sequence was MAHARA first, then ROSEMARY II + RAKANOA at the same time, all in 1946, then LADY EILEEN, 1947.

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  5. Linda, thanks very much for that, would love to get in touch for more info.
    Thinking of making a folder on board with as much history, photos etc as I can find.
    Have a few already but there’s always room for more!
    Feel free to contact me at
    Mykiboy6@gmail.com or 0275614000

    Cheers

    Mike

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  6. Hi My family owned Mahara from 1986 to around 2007 (not sure of the exact year). We bought her in pretty poor condition, her topsides leaked like a sieve. We glassed the cabin tops, resealed the windows many times. We added sliding windows in the main cabin to improve airflow on hot summer days. We had her back to bare wood several times, the last time we added 3ft tot he stern for a walk through transom, live bait tank and extra storage (for three sets of dive gear). We fared the hull and painted her with 2 pot paint – she was so solid she held that paint without cracking for a number of years.

    We caught some good sized Tuna, hooked some game fish (but our gear was old!) from her and had many happy hours cruising the coastline from mayor Island to Spirits bay. She was ideal for young children and we bought our family up on her. In the time we had her she was moored in Westpark, Matauwhi Bay (for the summer) and Doves Bay. We have a lot of information on her including a letter from one of the ship builders who worked on her.

    Let us know if you want more info

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  7. Spent many weekends fishing with Ted Senior (our neighbour across the road in Herne Bay) She was an elegant ship but not built for speed. However extremely comfortable inside. Glad to see she is still afloat although Ted had a few problems with her during the mid 60’s.
    Dave Phillips

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  8. If Mike would like to contact me I will try to give him some further information as we owned Mahara in the early 80’s.
    Steve & Kath Burrett

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  9. Well she was a short version of Lady Eileen or L A was a drawn out version of Mahara. Drawing the lines out did make a more elegant boat; I loved that foredeck detail on them.
    But Mahara as originally fitted would do me. I am sure it was a Kermath, Ken. I remember Ted Senior (That’s Colonel Senior to you, sonny) using adult language to assist with starting it once when it was flooded. I would have been a nice enough shipmate.

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  10. Kerin, there is no doubt she has been extended, it is only the length of the extension I am not certain of, — she has no symmetry or balance at the rear end of the coamings now, — her original aesthetics, sadly, have been lost by the extension.
    I have some old photos of her somewhere I’ll see if I can dig them out. — KEN R

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  11. Mahara to has been extended if you look at her on the hard she has a horrible bump. Horrible to me anyway at the waterline aft. Looking at her last week the extension looks like it was done in plywood. Steve Burrett brought her maybe mid to late seventies after she partially flooded in westhaven. Before the extension she looked a mirror image of a smaller Lady Eilleen. A very sweet looking girl!

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  12. Can someone run a tape over her and settle the elongation thing for us? She does look a bit more drawn out aft. I don’t recall her having that much cockpit aft of the dodger.

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  13. I think that’s an illusion Ken, there is a temporary canopy of some sort over the aft cockpit in the older photo, not there in the latest ones. Block that out of your vision and the stern seems unaltered (to me).

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  14. Hey, we’ve been here before, before, before.
    RAKANOA was designed by Arnold (Bill) Couldrey but Stan Parker wanted changes, particularly to headroom and styling, and Tim Windsor obliged. She was launched on October 31 1946. When registering the launch with Lloyds’ Yacht Register Stan claimed the design himself (and probably had a big input).
    So MAHARA (and her sisters) and RAKANOA were quite separate designs but built very close together in time.

    Thanks Harold – subject closed. AH 😉

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  15. Mahara looks quite space-age in her smoothed over bridge and windscreen etc, different! I gather that at the time, SupaCraft was intended as a specific sub-brand with core values including cost, fitout, styling theme and production. Rakanoa was a boat built by a yard under commission, whose final designer also designed the SupaCraft line.

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  16. MAHARA was built for Graham Speight in 1946. Keith Kiernander, a well-known Ponsonby real estate agent, had her between 1959 and 1966. In 1966 she went to E & BM Senior of Herne Bay. In our scruffy launch GREENBANK we came up astern of Kiernander in this launch, or his next, perhaps, stationary in the Motuihe Channel with people rushing about on deck and broadcsting a very loud MAYDAY on the double sideband. There were two or three Orcas playing around his boat and he was seeking help in case his boat was sunk and his crew eaten. We split our sides, muttering quite uncharitable things about “bloody land agents”.

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  17. MAHARA was of course built by Shipbuilders Ltd in the later 1940s early 1950s — I remember her well in her early days, when she had lovely varnished coamings, — (which hopefully if her present owner has sufficient elbow grease & enthusiasm he may restore) — & her original Redwing petrol engine. She later had a Ford Diesel fitted
    She as owned by Bob Green an Auckland property developer around the later 1960s-70s & most importantly, RAKANOA, was NOT a “Supa Craft,” she was built before the 3 sisters that exist, & was a “one off” build.
    A number of people wrongly have stated this wrongly, & many of us have never been happy about it. — KEN R

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  18. As a foundation member of the Tim Windsor fan club, I have placed smatterings about the Mahara in amongst entries about her other siblings. She was 40′ in the Seniors’ ownership (1964 or so) and had a Kermath petrol engine . Ran as you’d expect of a well bred American -unobtrusive and efficient. I hope she has retained her good looks!

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