Today’s ww story one of the ones that makes it all worth while – Alan Sexton contacted me a while ago trying to track down a launch his father (Howard) owned in the 1970’s – Tarata. Never confirmed but the family believed the 32′ sedan launch was built by Snow Waters, possibly to a Couldrey design. Alan had not photos of her & the last known where abouts was that she was moored in the Tamaki Riv just up from HMB.
Alan’s father sold her to a Wayne Kidd (the broker at HMB) and a partner in 1979.
Now Alan works overseas & returned to NZ last week from Chile & was in the Pakuranga area last Thursday and having been advised that Allan Keane at HMB Brokerage had some history on Tarata, Alan took the opportunity to drop into to his office. He kindly searched thru his sales records and found  the last transaction he had done in 2003 and gave Alan his display photos (as above). Attached are scans of the photos.
As a result of Alan’s time with Allan Keane & other sniffing around he has been able to assemble the details below on Tarata. Still very keen to learn details on her recent history & current where abouts.
” Tarata was built by Snow Waters and launched in 1962 for Lloyd Kitchen (of the H.C. Kitchen formica family). Designer is believed to be Bill Couldrey but this is not certain. She is 32’ x 10’6” x 3’, hull is 7/8” single skin kauri on steam bent ribs with solid timber floors, decks are one diagonal and one fore and aft tongue and groove sheathed with canvas & fiberglass. Cabin coamings are solid timber and cabin top appeared to be plywood over solid beams with the surface between the beams Formica lined. Original engine was a marinised 60hp Fordson Super Major with a Paragon 2:1 mechanical gearbox. The engine installation was quite cunning, the engine is mounted forward of the main cabin and offset slightly to starboard to allow sufficient width for the passage to port and a narrow bunk. The drive train consisted of truck assembly double universal and sliding spline shaft, with thrust from the propeller taken by a rigidly mounted thrust bearing. All tanks were copper as were the bow rails and cabin top hand rails. She has a mast approx. 6m tall fitted with a jib used as a steadying sail.

The Kitchen’s sold her about 1967 to Arthur Wagner and my father, Howard Sexton bought her in 1971, owning her until 1979. She was then bought by Wayne Kidd and a partner who owned her until approx. 1983. She has had a number of owners since and last record is that she was sold to Barry and Jane Radford from Kerikeri in 2003.

She was re-engined sometime in the 80’s with a slightly larger 85hp 4 cyl Lees Ford and a hydraulic gearbox. Otherwise she appears virtually unchanged, at least in 2003 when the photos were taken. She was a tough little launch and would plug on thru just about any sea. There is at least one sister ship, Yin Yang at Westpark, who has had her cockpit extended. At one time we were told Snow had built up to 6 of this design but this is not certain.”

Input from Robert Brooke – Tarata was built by Snow Waters to a modified ” Mapuna” design of my fathers

12 thoughts on “Tarata

  1. Pingback: Almeda – Mapuna – Sisters? | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. I sure hope so John. We had all the electrics replaced, upgraded last year. She is still a grand old lady who still attracts many comments
    Cheers, Warwick


  3. Warwick, It is nice to know she is still in good hands. She will see us both out! John C.


  4. I am the current owner of the Snow Waters built launch Kwan Yin. As John Crawford mentions in his comment (greetings John) she is Tarata’s look alike, with the exception she has bilge keels, probably to suit her earlier life on the Kaipara for many years. We purchased her from John Crawford in 1986 she being a beloved member of our family. Kwan Yin Is berthed at Hobsonville Marina (Westpark) and is probably the “Ying Yang” that someone mentioned in a post. Has the same Ford engine etc that John spoke of. Still shows her registration number.


  5. Wayne Kidds partner in Tarata was my father. We spent many summers on this boat and I miss her greatly. She was fitted with a hinged duck board during our tenure so she could fit on the berth, and the warmest part of the boat was in the head as it was right next to the engine. Great for drying out the togs. My sister and I both learned to row the dinghy tied to her stern. She certainly handled a rough sea well and kept chugging no matter what was thrown at her.


  6. Snap! I thought exactly the same thing when I glanced at the photos this morning and saw she was built by Snow Waters ☺


  7. Tarata appears tp be identical to Kwan Yin. I purchased Kwan Yin in March 1983 from Andy Warren who had her up at Tinipai on the Kaipara Harbour> I understood her to be built by Snow Waters for Hector Forsyth who had apparently spent many years in China, hence the name. She had a Lees Marine conversion 1973 Ford 75 hp. She had been registered O.N. 317622


  8. Thanks for filling in that gap Robert. I had always looked at Scott Colville and thought the forard hull sections looked very similar. Further Brooke connections were that the your brother Don was the broker when my father purchased Tarata and she came with a 9′ rowing dinghy (to which Don later added a centre case) which was said to be to the Sunburst junior design.


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