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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.

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3 thoughts on “Tokatea

  1. Great to see the picture of the Hubert Levy. She was initially assigned to my grandfather Norm Jones, a Marine Department Fisheries Inspector whose patrol area included Manukau, Kawhia and Raglan Harbours, Port Waikato and the Murawai Beach and later on the Tamaki area. I remember getting the day off school to go to its launching at a shipyard in Hamer Street. I have a picture of her at Weymouth where my grandfather was stationed if anyone is interested.


  2. This TOKATEA replaced an earlier Coromandel fishery inspector’s vessel also named TOKATEA formerly OLIVE, previously featured here on WW. Neil McDonald was in charge of this one for a number of years until she was latterly based at Putiki Bay at Waiheke Island. Neil was the Coromandel harbourmaster for quite a spell, sadly he crossed the bar not so long ago.


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