Manaia – Launch Day + Volvo Race Start






MANAIA – Launch Day

The above photos of Manaia were sent to me by Paul Drake – I’ll let Paul tell the story behind them.

“The first four I took on launching day. I was 15 and in the midst of School Certificate. No exam that day, so off I went on my bike from home in Balmoral, camera in my bag. 

In the second pic, Capt. Warwick Dunsford can be seen in charge on the foredeck (white boiler suit and black beret). 

In the third pic, Percy Vos himself is clearly recognizable just by the fore foot. 

The last two photos I have had since the 1960’s & most likely come from the camera of TW Collins. Great photos, especially the one from the port quarter, and show MANAIA at work.

MANAIA is certainly very original, but note that the stem now has an unattractive (to me) hook near the top. Much better straight in my view.  Also note unusual chine aft. Double ender but hard chine aft. That’s why she can do 15 knots if required!

MANAIA was about the last of the large wooden pilot vessels built for New Zealand ports. About the same time as AKARANA and 10 years after TIAKINA (Wellington – and also a Collings design). TIAKINA of course built in England and steamed out via Suez Canal.”

You can see photos of Manaia today, looking very smart & read extensive details on her past here


Volvo Round-the-World Yacht Race -Auckland Start








Photos Below In The Order They Passed North Head








And a couple of Woodys amongst the sea of plastic boats


Peter Boardman – Lady Margaret


Angus Rogers – Mahanui

7 thoughts on “Manaia – Launch Day + Volvo Race Start

  1. R-R engines could blow coal smoke with the best of them. I helped Trevor Peake, the engineer, change several cylinder heads and manifolds. In pilot service she was driven very hard. In another post note was made of the similarity in that hull to a half model made by Athol Burns. A partner and I wanted to build a 45ft towing/pass, boat and Athol offered that design to us.There was a 60 ft trawler built to Athols design, might be one of the Wattie boats out of Gisbourne


  2. There is a good photo of KAKA as built in Gavin McLean’s book “Otago Harbour Board—Currents of Controversy” published by OHB in 1985 at p290 which states she was built by OHB but with no mention of design by M&T.


  3. I am the owner of Kaka which is a Miller and Tunnage built by the Otago Harbour Board in 1950.
    I am not sure how long she worked for but she is very solidly built.
    I purchased her in Nelson in April 2017 and sailed her to Auckland where she now lives in the Whau River at Te Atatu.

    I hope some one can give me more information on her or even some early photos of her


  4. Could Wellington naval architect Athol Burns have had a hand in the design of Manaia’s hull? He was designing that same hull feature of a hard chine running aft to a canoe stern for large launch hulls in the 1950’s. I used to possess a beautifully-made wooden large-scale (46” approx) tank-test model made by Burns for tank-testing and experimenting that exact hull design. Alas I no longer have it, nor any pics of it.


  5. Surprised to see MANAIA’S 2 Rolls Royces pushing black smoke out the exhausts in her early days, as in the image above, KEDN R


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