Wakaiti

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WAKAITI

Wakaiti is a 39’4″, kauri carvel launch built by Dick Lang in 1920, as a commercial tow boat. In today’s world having the same owner for the last 55 years is a very rare thing but all good things come to an end & as the sign on her bow say – Wakaiti is now for sale.

She was re-powered c.2001 with 120hp, 6 cyl. Ford diesel running a 2:1 PRM box and 24×16 3 blade prop. This set up pushes her nicely along at 8 > 10 knots, with a top speed of 12 knots. Her beam is 9’10” & draft is 5’10”. (the interior photos have had the benefit of what they call the real estate salesman’s best friend  – the wide angle lens 🙂  ) Thanks to Ian McDonald for the trademe heads up.

So woodys, what do we know about her past?

Harold Kidd Input (lots more in the Comments Section)

WAKAITI = “little ship” in Maori. Dick Lang built this 36 footer at his yard in St. Mary’s Bay in 1922. She was launched on 2nd September of that year for Parry Bros of the Mahurangi to carry cream on the river. By 1928 the Parrys were using her as a tow boat on the Waitemata. In 1936 they sold her to R.G. Brain of Coromandel. Eventually she ended up in the ownership of Ernie Seagar, marine engineer of wide repute in Auckland. Ernie’s not well and is obviously selling his beloved launch.
I was in the 5th Form at Takapuna Grammar with Ernie Seagar. He had been in that Form for 3 years, unable to get School Certificate because of distractions such as being the Captain of the First 15, Head Prefect (in the 5th Form!!) and an outstanding yachtsman and general sportsman.
Later he went on to get his Marine Engineer’s tickets at sea and then ran his engineering business at Sulphur Beach alongside Dave Jackson. An amazing character.

 

7 thoughts on “Wakaiti

  1. Thank you Baden , As most people don’t seem to know is that from the day this boat was brought at Thames is was half owned by Gill Powell from Chas Baileys hence the total rebuild of timber work , A boat he was very proud off

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  2. This boat is an important part Auckland’s commercial history due to the two iconic families who have owned her. I can well imagine if she went to Baileys to be rebuilt she would have been like new when finished. And I have no doubt Ernie would have given her his best during his ownership.
    Come on Woodies this boat is a gem and has won the right to be part of our local traditional work boat scene. Love to see her out in Next years tug and towboat event.

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  3. I live up the road from Ernie and have seen Wakaiti on the hard many times and I am always amazed at how tight the hull and structures are. Ernie bought her from Coromandel basically as a hulk stuck in the mud. They emptied her out and towed the boat back to Auckland where Baileys rebuilt Wakaiti adding the current cabin, refastening the hull and adding additional ribs plus new gunwales to hold the hull firm. It is a great boat in very good condition for an old girl.

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  4. Serving my apprenticeship with Ernie and subsequent years at seagar engineering i got to know wakaiti or (waka) as we called her very well and I can remember great times aboard.
    Very few if any boats can put claim to the copious litres of alcohol that has circulated through her and crew over the years.
    I hope she ends up in good hands and good characters to carry on her sociable tradition. (Note the near lack of varnish !! Ernie taught me well😊😊)

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  5. PS I was in the 5th Form at Takapuna Grammar with Ernie Seagar. He had been in that Form for 3 years, unable to get School Certificate because of distractions such as being the Captain of the First 15, Head Prefect (in the 5th Form!!) and an outstanding yachtsman and general sportsman.
    Later he went on to get his Marine Engineer’s tickets at sea and then ran his engineering business at Sulphur Beach alongside Dave Jackson. An amazing character.

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  6. Her name is, of course, WAKAITI = “little ship” in Maori. Dick Lang built this 36 footer at his yard in St. Mary’s Bay in 1922. She was launched on 2nd September of that year for Parry Bros of the Mahurangi to carry cream on the river. By 1928 the Parrys were using her as a tow boat on the Waitemata. In 1936 they sold her to R.G. Brain of Coromandel. Eventually she ended up in the ownership of Ernie Seagar, marine engineer of wide repute in Auckland. Ernie’s not well and is obviously selling his beloved launch.

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  7. Wakaiti was found in a half buried state at Thames wharf by my father Gill Powell and Erine Seagar 45 years ago brought back to Auckland and fully rebuilt at Chas Baileys and has given many years of great service for both family’s

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