photos & details from Brynn McCauley. edited by Alan H
Brynn’s grandfather owned the launch Wainui in the Marlboroough Sounds from the late 1930’s to 1950 & she was last seen in Wanganui in the late 1950’s.
Brynn is convinced his grandfather’s Wainui is the same Wainui that featured on ww on 16-07-2015 (link here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/07/16/mystery-launch-16-07-2015/ ) The hull shape and size are a near perfect match for this vessel. This Wainui is lucky to be owned by the Pollard Bros. & when it comes to custodians of classic wooden boats they do not come much better than Cameron & Andrew Pollard.
The Wainui was shortened by cutting off her stern and raised her gunnels by Brynn’s grandfather in the 1930’s so he could use her to fish in the Cook Strait and Outer Sounds. The photos above show her when he originally bought (dark cabin and long stern) her and then the year he sold her (white with high gunnels and cut off stern).
In the 1987 Onehunga photo of the Pollards Wainui we see her with the raised running boards added as she was bought after serving as a mail launch in the Sounds by Arthur McCauley as his fishing boat, and fished on the fishing grounds well out into the Cook Strait and around Durville. She was one of the McCauley Mosquito Fishing fleet described in the book on Nelson and Marlborough pioneering fishing families, and served the family for well over 30 years, fishing, hauling wool and sheep around the Sounds. Patrick McCauley settled in the Sounds in the late 1870’s mining for gold and then cutting the family farm out of the bush. He taught himself to build boats building a fleet of fishing boats initially all sail, then introduced the first petrol engine into the Sounds at the turn of the century in the Ark. He pioneered a design suited to fishing in and out of the Sounds, building them on the beach in Bulwer, Pelorus Sound. He drowned in 1913 by falling off her near Havelock. Arthur his eldest son initially fished from the Ark, on returning from WW1, then purchased the Wainui and fished in her along side the Ark, The I’m Alone and the Eastern Star till 1955 when he downsized to a smaller clinker named the Nunui which unbelievably he continued to fish from well out into the Cook Strait and around Durville. Brynn still has the tender dingy that the Wainui towed which allowed access for picking up the nets and landing ashore on the many hunting trips enjoyed from her around the Sounds.
Wainui has a very special place in Brynn’s family history and they would very much like to learn if this Wainui is the same vessel and be able to chat to the current owners. Which won’t be a problem – Brynn can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
ps when ww does these ‘hook-ups’ it makes all the work in the background so worth while – 🙂 Alan H
Input from Andrew Pollard
She sure looks like the same boat…Many alcohol fuelled stories with Wainui, one involving some an umbrella and some faulty navigation lights..
Anyhow, as mentioned before we bought her in 1997…as a semi afloat wreck, as I hopped on the floorboards floated into the cockpit to meet me…She was a mess, bitumen on the decks,decay everywhere, a stuffed 40hp Ford diesel and a long since departed snapper carcass soulessly eyeballing us from the bilge…
She was at Te Atatu boat club on poles right outside the clubhouse. They kept her there so they knew when she was about to sink, apparently one of her pastimes!
We purchased her off a dubious bloke named Ryan Cornelious. He purchased her of the guy that steamed her from New Plymouth to Onehunga (a Gary Swordc. Rumour has it they had to wait outside the Manukau bar for the weather to calm down and ran out of fags and booze and things got tense between the crew as a result.
Anyhow Sword took her to a K’road panel beaters yard and fitted the cabin she know has but back then it had huge black tinted windows.
Now we were told he purchased her from a couple of Maori brothers who had cray fished her out of New Plymouth and Waitara area and she was built in 1903…
I had heard whispers of a history in the Sounds…with wool bales…
She is two skin not three, and has 6 (3 each side) huge Pohutakawa knees a midships running from deck level to keel…
She steams like a witch with the Gardner…we don’t open it right up as she starts to suck the back deck down and…