TUARANGI > SILVER FIN – Update
I was recently sent the above photo of Silver Fin (Tuarangi) by Brian Wagstaff & Bryan was able to supply some background on her below – from past WW stories we know that Tuarangi was built by Lidgard Bros for a H.S White & launched in 1950. White sold her in 1951 to Bruce Winstone. She was 42’x40’x12’x4’3″ and originally had twin 90hp 6-cylinder Redwing petrol engines. During Whites ownership, she blew up while refueling at Whitianga. You can read the story in detail here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/13/wairangi-2/
Eric details the post incident recovery, sale & rebuild below. By 1959 she was renamed Silver Fin. I’ll let Eric tell the story.
“My father Eric Wagstaff purchased the boat from the Bruce Winstone. I would assume some insurance company might have been involved . The boat was collected from Whitianga and towed to Tauranga by a boat called “Rainbow” which was old bridge decker owned by Eric. The Rainbow had a marinised Rolls Royce engine and was built for the Mills Bros who I believe were Bay of Plenty farmers. The roof section from Silver Fin was basically upside down and pretty much in place on collection. The boat was beached at Beach Road, Otumoetai.
The boat was lifted onto a transport trailer by Bert Godfrey, the founder of the NZ Lumber Company and moved to Eric’s joinery factory in Judea. We enjoyed many a trip on the Silver Fin. She was chartered for game fishing for a while in the days of Bob Gray etc. The top was replaced with what you see and Eric consulted with Willy Oliver, who was a friend, on the design of the new cabin. Eric was born in Wellington to a well-known yachting and boat building family and had it not been for the 2nd World War (he was a fighter pilot) and returned to Maunganui at the end of the war were he meet my mother (now 96 and still alive) in Tauranga where he stayed and established a joinery business. The motors were replaced with 60hp Fordson diesels converted by Lees marine, I believe. The boat was sold to Dr. Kennedy the family doctor (who delivered me in 1949). He for some reason painted the boat green which I remember clearly. The rest of it you pretty much have on record. I will try to find some old photos of the rebuild.”