RONGOTAI – Mystery Launch 09-03-2016
photo ex Robin Elliott

The answer is Rongatai – details in the Comments Section

Long over due for a serious mystery launch post. Robin has sent me a collection of photos from the Whangarei Cruising Club Collection, as far as Robin knows, all are from the 1940’s early 1950’s & and were taken by Palmer Photography in Whangarei (1910-1999). Most by the late Graeme Palmer and possibly some older ones by his father.

So woodys who can ID this one? I’ll give a Lake Rotoiti Wooden Boat Parade 2016 Calendar to the first correct answer, backed up with some form of proof & for the record neither Robin or myself know anything about the launch.

Note: Ken R – you only get one attempt, you can’t blast out 5 names & expect to win if one of them is correct 😉

11 thoughts on “Rongotai

  1. As the only daughter of Les Waldron I can confirm that she was launched Christmas Day 1939. Her design was Hughie Coxsmith. My Grandfather James Reid was probably consulted during the process. When the Niagara went down Dad was in Russell but made the trip back in time to join the other boats out on rescue duty. He was also part of the Naval Auxilliary Patrol the started in Whangarei a few months after the sinking but when the Navy took over the organization Rongotai was transferred to Auckland where she served on the boom patrol, specifically from Whangaparoa to Cape Colville. Wjhen Dad died in 1963 my brother Bert bought Rongatai and used her for family pleasure for a while. He tried to sell her at an exorbitant price but finally used her for a trade in for a Wellington boat (name forgotten sorry) Last I heard of Rongotai she was working as a “slow” cruising boat for tourists in the Marlborough Sounds. Dad’s reason for building her was (a) family pleasure and (b) for deep sea fishing as a founding boat for the whangarei Deep Sea Anglers. Tui Waldron is a name I do not know. Dad did not have any Waldron cousins as his father was an only child. I know he did approach people named Waldron looking for relatives. His half brother Arthur Collett Waldron had no interest in boating that I know of.


  2. Leslie Walter Waldron (1896-1963) had RONGOTAI built. Tui was a nickname for, I think, Charles Waldron, who was probably a cousin. I know they were connected. Les was also related by marriage to James Reid, the Northcote boatbuilder.


  3. Rongotai seems to tie up with what I have here.
    In an earlier post on WW HDK gave her build detals as Cox & Filmer 1940 for Les Waldron.
    She is on the WCC Register in the early 1950’s still owned by Les Waldron.

    Excellent work. More to follow all from uncaptioned photo albums


  4. She is RONGOTAI & used to belong to Ken Taylor-Reid, a friend of mine, back in the1970s/80s era. — KEN R


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