Wainui

Wainui on Slipway 1931 Photo sent by Arthur to Cora after purchase30102015

1931 on slipway after purchase

wainui 1931 dark scan30102015

1931 – Love the dogs

Wainui on slipway Bulwer1938 undergoing alteration to stern 30 10 2015

1938 – on slipway undergoing stern alts.

Wainui Bulwer 1940s 30 10 2015

1940’s – Bulwer, Pelorus Sound

Wainui 1955 Smiths Bay Clay Point 30 10 2015

1955 – Smiths Bay, Clay Point

WAINUI
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 brynn.mccauley@xtra.co.nz.

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…

6 thoughts on “Wainui

  1. After a bit of digging and a few weird coincidences I managed to track down a builder I had worked with a few years ago who was from Waitara. He remembers the Wainui at the Waitara wharf as far back as mid 70s he was able to track down some more info on her. She Was owned by a Paul Blossom and used to supply fish to the Waitara fish mongers Fresher Fisheries. She used be docked at 49 Lesley st Waitara in a dock cut in off the river,The wierd coincidence is after contacting the builder connection it turned out that he was just this week building a new wharf at that address.
    Apparantly the guy Sword was a part owner or subsequent owner of her back then as well. The fisherman Paul Blossom apparantly purchased her from the Nelson Bays area. So its seems its the same boat. I would really love to come and visit her.

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  2. Funny reading that about the engine, my Grandfather’s 6 cylinder Lister Freedom range engine is still hard to start I am told!

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  3. Some futher info on the wainui. Arthur McCauley fitted a 3cylinder freedom lister to replace an older 2 cylinder lister. It was natoriusly difficult to start. He sold her to a french pass fisherman Peter Terry who fitted a ford who had her till sometime in the early 60s.

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  4. Amazing Andrew, feeling very greatful that you found her, sounds like she has found a great home, I would be as would my brothers be keen to visit her and chat some more. The construction sounds much like the other Family ikon the Ark which was a clinker unlike the Wainui , with the huge knees running thru her. Unfortunately my father and Grandfather are long gone now but they would be pretty happy to know she is still afloat. We may be able to find some photos looking into her, They would have been able to recall every detail of her construction.They always mused about what had become of her. She was sold to purchase a house in Blenheim and down size to a smaller launch, origianlly funds to purchase her came from Arthur selling his share in the family farm. I recall she was perhaps built in Picton in fact the old photo of her steaming has a picton registration number, Builder wise The name Lane floats back from memory but I can research that some more, her fishing reg with my grandfather was NN77. It was a few years after he bought her he altered her, as you can imagine he needed a bit more free board to take her out into the straits. There are many stories of her loaded with wild boa,r deer and groper big enough to straddle across the cockpit.
    He shortened the cockpit,(you can see in the older photo it extends further back toward the stern), this became a feature of the later built Mccauley boats so the could work standing in it and cleaning fish on the deck,behind,and not get tossed over the side, non of the mccauleys could swim and I guess had a healthy respect for staying in the boat after what happened to there father, he added the running boards raising the level, you see these in the 87 photo of yours and cut off the stern. Arthur was very short…he had to stand on a fish box to see over the wheel house. As i think you said somewhere space would have been pretty tight, less of a problem for the old Mccauleys very short irish men. I will try to find out what her engine was back in those days, wasnt a ford.

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  5. 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 cock pit 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 my Gary Sword. 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 ha,s 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 gardner…we don’t open it right up as she starts to suck the back deck down and…
    cheers
    Andrew

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  6. Great article Alan, As I said the Wainui was and remains a special part of our family history,and the sounds history, many ,many family stories, have been told and recited over her, from her as the family work horse, the fishing, farming and even one told by Arthur when out fishing involving a close encounter with a Japanese sub surface beside her mid WW2 in the cook strait off the Chetwoods.This particular one has a few versions and depends on when it was being told and the amount of alcohol consumed at the time.

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