Tokatea was built by WG Lowe & Sons in approx 1958 for the Fisheries & based at Coromandel & partially sank there when her skipper (Neil McDonald* possibly) clipped the black rocks in the dark while seeking to chase a trawler sneaking out to do a “burglar shot” as they called them in those days. Proof of the incident was that just forward of the engine room bulkhead, port side, she had 2 or 3 short planks & a couple of tingles where she had been repaired.
Rodger Edwards & Ian McDonald tendered for her when Fisheries bought in the big Steber boats c.1987/88 & took her to Tauranga.
Prior to Tokatea Roger & Ian also owned another ex fisheries boat, Hubert Levy (named after a man who worked for Lowes) & if you look at the step-down from the foredeck on both vessels, you will definitely see the similarity in both vessels. Ian was told that Hubert had a hand in both designs.
The Hubert Levy (photo below) pre dated Tokatea by about a year and was built with a very shallow draft, with twin bilge keels, as she was based for a while on the Manukau harbour. Ian & Roger tendered for her successfully when she retired from service in Tauranga. She had a Gardner 4LW in her – last seen by Ian at Great Barrier Island and powered by a 6cyl Ford, the owner couldn’t afford to fix the 2UC Gardner gearbox – a sacrilege Ian reckons.
*Neil McDonald – was nicknamed in Coromandel the ‘Black Mac’, Ian believes he became the Harbour Master there after he retired from M Fish.