Tautane (>Centaurus)


TAUTANE (>Centaurus)

The above photo of Tautane was sent to me by her owner Clare Robinson, Clare is hoping that we can uncover more on her past.

What we know is that she is a Miller & Tunnage, completed in 1945 or 1946, operated as fishing vessel for a time and then was purchased by the Napier Harbour Board as their pilot boat and renamed Tautane. Sometime during her tenure there, a Detroit 6-71 manufactured in 1963 was fitted to replace a lower power Gardner.

She was purchased by Colin Davenport in about 1993 and was used to ferry guests out to Endeavour Inlet in Queen Charlotte Sound and for day fishing and diving charters. Colin added the canopy.

Clare bought her in June 2017 and is in the process of converting her to a live-a-board.

The photo shows Tautane as she is currently, sitting at Picton wharf next to the ferry terminal in May 2017. Clare has advised the boat is now named – Serenity.

Do we have any more information on? Russell W you must be able to help?

Input from Russell Ward – below are two photos of the ship one as originally launched – Centaurus and the other being used as she should be. More details in the ww Comments Section.

Update 15-05-2020 Line drawings below sent in by Murray Wikinson. Brian Engliss ex Miller & Tunnage foreman sent them to Brian years ago. Andrew Miller of St Leonards designed the hull for Miller & Tunnage. Murray owns a near sistership “Golden Light”.

Serenity (ex Tautane)

15 thoughts on “Tautane (>Centaurus)

  1. Yes, she did originally a Gardner. She was re-engined, presumably in 1963 or 1964 as the serial number for the current 148 Hp (baby injectors) Detroit 6/71 suggests it was built in 1963 and I can’t imagine the Napier Harbour Board putting in a second-hand engine.


  2. Hi Alan, thanks for the run in the harbour the other day, Tautane felt so familiar, our family had a few fishing boats 60’s thru to 80’s, like I said it probably had a Gardener in it before being repowered. Our family had the Golden light which was the sister ship to Tautane and it had a 5 cylinder Gardener it.




  3. Claire has since on sold serenity to me and I have continued to repair and upgrade . I have also renamed serenity back to Taut`ane to reflect her history .seems to run well and the upgrades Claire put in place have made her a very easy boat to handle . look forard to getting Taut`ane completely comfortable within the existing layout as she is far too fine a vessell to “modernise “. Alan


  4. Just belatedly noticed Clare’s comments about the Jimmy and the disparaging name calling. The yanks have lots of nicknames for them from Dripstroits to Rocky Mountain Hummingbirds (from the large number of trucks in the USA that had them). The model 71 was the result of intense research from the late ’20s at General Motors research lab where the brilliant Charles (Boss Ket) Kettering presided. GM had taken over a few manufacturers and had a lot of wise men on hand.
    The engine was given over to Grays for conversion to marine application and was available in 1938. Many millions were built for the war effort and after WW2, the GM diesel revolutionised marine, road and rail transport. (from “American Marine Engines” Stan Grayson)
    They are great engines and I’d not mind one as a shipmate even with that standing-wave organ pipe exhaust. A Kelvin or Gardner is probably more restful on a long passage….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Alan

    Did you get those extra pictures of the Tautane and I sent about a month ago to Flora’s email…have since found other couple. Please let me know if the first were received before I sent the other’s.
    Cheers Dave


  6. Will do Alan …..I will look them out for you ..I believe my sister has most of them. I will get back to you.


  7. My father was skipper of the Tautane during most of its service in the NHB. I have a number of other photos should you want them. I had dozens of trips board as a kid….long before all the safe rules.


  8. That should have been “davits” but I think autocorrupt might have got me.

    My parents owned an Athol Burns yacht “Christina” for 35 years.

    I am a live aboard because I like the lifestyle and don’t want to be tied to one place. I am in Seaview marina at the moment but who knows where I will be next year 😀


  9. I am currently making up for a few years of deferred maintenance. Yes, I am living on her but she is a “working” vessel first and foremost. I have a policy of being ready for sea at a moment’s notice (30 minutes maximum unless I have a particular project such as an engine overhaul) that precludes it. I am aware of how vicious fresh water is to wood so salt water is applied and I am also contemplating an “irrigation” system to keep the deck and upper works salt water moisturised (us older ladies need our “beauty” treatments).

    I have, with the help of my father, already reduced some of the oil leaks and we have our sights on a few more. By the way, I spoke to my nice engine, and she has taken exception to being called a “screaming meemei oil spreader” but for the moment she is giving you the benefit of the doubt and asssuming that you were talking about some bit of machinery that has been removed 😀

    You probably won’t see many external changes; she is too pretty to spoil with a big deck house. Old fashioned Davies for the seabird dinghy (I know they are fibreglass but they at least look clinker) and a modern anchor winch and anchor are the only planned changes.


  10. Baden is the man for this one! He had the hots for Tautane. Fine ship apart from the screaming meemie oil spreader down below.
    M & T built a few to the same moulds -all fine ships. There is a noticeable trend for boats to be sold as liveaboards now that houses are becoming so expensive. My spies tell me that my favourite Athol Burns tug Albatross V (J R Harland) also built by M & T has moved north from Port Chalmers to become someone’s home.
    They tend to deteriorate rather when repurposed like this. Hope Clare keeps up the periodic dousing with salt water and routine maintenance.


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