Sounds Ranger


Sounds Ranger

The above photo of Sounds Ranger was emailed to me by Frits Schouten & was taken by Frits in the Bay of Islands, sorry but that all I know.
I suspect the name  & style are a hint to her past

What do we know about her & her past?

Update 10-02-2022 – Photos below of Sound Ranger on the slip at Dargaville. ex Dave Stanaway

9 thoughts on “Sounds Ranger

  1. Just saw her last weekend at Pahi, northern Kaipara harbour. A beautiful boat. Googled the name which brought me here… great site, thank you


  2. Re Enterprise, I was deckboy aboard the Enterprise, in 1956. Brian Pickering was the captain. We serviced the Stephens and Brothers Islands’ lighthouses every fortnight. Cargo was carried out to these stations, which consisted of 44 gallon drums of diesel, 100wt sacks of coal, stores, lighthouse keepers and their families. Also building materials, and other maintenance people too, to service Lister diesel engines, which ran the generators for the lighthouses.

    The Brothers Island lighthouse was single men only, and I recall we brought out from time to time, cargoes of ingredients for homebrew, for the Dickens brothers. One of them told me his ambition was to drink himself to death before he was 40, or so he said. I recall one instance in Picton, at Oxleys Hotel, at 8am in the morning, dragging one of the brothers out, totally inebriated, and on arrival at the Brothers, I remember rolling him into the net under the cargo crane like a sack of potatoes.

    Between the Island lighthouse trips, we maintained unmanned shore lights, and ferried in and out batteries for recharging, empty and full acetylene bottles, and carried out general maintenance painting etc.

    The batteries and acetylene gas bottles were all taken ashore by a wooden clinker-built dinghy, rowing only, no outboards. Some of the landings were quite tricky, in surf and swell, although we had extra crew at these times, as the batteries were very heavy and so were the acetylene bottles.

    One cargo we took out was about six 44gal drums of highly toxic acid, for dumping in deep water off the Brothers. We were somewhat nervous about it.

    The Enterprise, as I recall being told, was built for Thomas Dalton McManaway circa 1932 by E. R. Lane in Picton as a line-fishing boat. It was powered by a 40hp 4JP Lister diesel. This had gearbox problems around 1950, and the engine was replaced by a 5LW Gardener, 60hp at 1200 rpm. The service speed of the Enterprise was 8knts at 1080rpm and burnt 1.5 gal/hr. Very economic. The Enterprise was very fine forward, and very good in a head sea, made good time, but was scary in a big running sea, reputedly had 5 tons of ballast, easy motion but it could certainly roll.

    Davey Jones.


  3. Heya, my family owned her from approx 1986 to early-mid 90’s. She was, as the name suggests, the ranger’s boat in the Marlborough sounds. They serviced lighthouses etc. I think she went to Auckland when we sold her, recently a friend spotted her for sale in Whangamata 🙂


  4. Hi people, we have been fortunate enough to look after Sounds Ranger for the last 10 years. We have just sold to a lovely family who are basing her in Tauranga. She was built by Ernie Lanes as a deep sea hapuka fishing boat but put into service as the light house tender for cook strait without ever fishing. Originally Enterprise but re named Sounds Ranger when she became the Rangers boat in the Sounds. Sold to a private owner whose name escapes me who now lives in Waihi, he kept her in the sounds also for some years. Sold to a family who based her in the Kaipera for a few years then my wife and I purchased her 10 years ago. We kept her in Wellington for 4 years, Napier for 5 years and Whangamata for 1 year. She spent just 5 months in the bay before sale to the new owners. A lovely kindly sea boat, the photo was taken when we had the masts off for maintenance since reinstated and what a difference they make to her motion at sea! Powered by a Gardner 5lw she maintains 7 to 7.5 knots mostly on about 4.5 litres an hour. Cheers Tim Whelan.


  5. Hi there, my granddad owner her for a while and it was keep at pahi. I do know bit about the history off her.


  6. Originally “Enterprise”, by Ernie Lane. I think she may have originally fished for a living, but is best remembered as the lighthouse tender in the Cook Strait area. After a new boat was designed and built for that job by Roger Carey, she became the ranger’s boat for the new Sounds National Park, with the name change to “Sounds Ranger”.
    Some time later she was fishing on the Kaipara with – I believe – a temporary name change to “Kaipara Ranger”. Must have been interesting, given that she’s pretty deep draughted in the typical Ernie Lane manner for her original home waters.


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