Manuia – An Update

Manuia Oct2016

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MANUIA – An Update

Recently I was enjoying a coffee at my local Devonport coffee shop, Cafe Santini, & I had on a ww t-shirt. I was approached by a gent, Ron Ackroyd, who commented that he used to own a launch similar to the one shown on the front of the ww t-shirt. Turns out Ron briefly owned the Joe Slattery launch Manuia. Ron offered to send me some details & photos – which he did. Then this week, current owner Tony Butcher sent me a magnificent photo of her taken in October 2016. As you will see not a lot has changed & we like that 🙂

Ron commented that he owned Maunia from May 1989 to November 1989 & bought it from Jack Nears. Ron had spent a lot of great times on the boat with Jack between 1977 and 1989 and he promised Ron first option when he got round to selling her. Jack became quite ill in 1988/89 and the boat was getting beyond him and in May 1989 he offered Manuia to Ron. Ron already had a H28 but bought Manuia planning to use her and then make a decision on which boat he wanted to keep. They used the boat and did a fair bit of  painting, varnishing and general maintenance before coming to the conclusion that sailing the H28 and enjoying the very active H28 club scene was more their thing.

Ron sold Manuia to Paul Jones in Nov 1989.  Included above are a couple of photos of Manuia taken just before Ron sold her & list of what Ron knew of her previous owners (view the link below to the previous ww story on Manuia & you’ll see that Ron’s list dovetails well with Harold Kidd’s records.

Also above is a copy of a survey done by John Gladden while Ron had her. You have to love the honesty & practical advice / opinion given by  John Gladden, there are some significant defects that have been highlighted but John Gladden still says “The vessel is generally in good condition and is well constructed, timber sizes and joinery are of good standards.” In today’s PC world a surveyor would have written the boat off or at least scared any purchaser away.

20-09-2017 Photo below ex Nathan Herbert ex (I assume) the NZ Herald archives. Show Manuia post launching, during her sea trials.



9 thoughts on “Manuia – An Update

  1. Hi, My name is Cess Underwood, my maiden name is Vercoe and we definitely owned this beautiful boat, my father lovingly looked after her, restoring all woodwork to vanish. Time on Manuia as a child gave me a huge love for boating and my husband and I also own a launch birthed in Pineharbour. I will see if Mum can find some other photos of her, I know she has a painting of her which I will get a photo of.

    Awesome to see this thread.


  2. Pingback: Manuia – A Peek Down Below | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  3. My father (Frank) was a friend of Bill Croft who owned this boat in the 60s to early-mid 70s. We were invited aboard in 1965. I was hugely impressed with the sleek, flush-deck look. Headroom inside the cabin was OK for me at 13 yo but my father struggled. It was also very dark inside – lots of varnished wood and just 2 portholes for light each side in the main cabin. Certainly a beautiful boat.


  4. She may have been over zinced. A wooden boat this size only needs one zinc on the shaft. Maybe not even that. Too many zincs breed electrolysis they don’t fix it.


  5. Paul Jones was a friend of mine who lived close to the Weiti Boating Club on the northern shore of the Wade inlet. He was a meticulous owner who also owned a superb Alvis TC21/100 Grey Lady. He became ill at a youngish age and had to sell MANUIA, his pride and joy. He would be delighted to learn that she has prospered.


  6. MANUIA was owned by Les Vercoe during the period 1973-74, & had a 4 cyl Ford Diesel. I was asked by Vercoe during our Christmas cruise, 1974, one day, if I could have a look at an electrical problem he had at the time.
    She was built by Joe Slattery he told me. — KEN R


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