MV Rotoiti




Both of the above photos of MV Rotoiti come to us via Lew Redwood’s post on the ‘NZ Cars, Boats, Motors etc etc.’ facebook page.

As the caption states, in the 1st photo we see her leaving Okere Falls on Lake Rotoiti. In the 2nd photo (very distant) she is on the Mokau River in 1930.

The question/s of the day are – what do we know about her & what became of her – can anyone beat Paul Drake’s reply?

14 thoughts on “MV Rotoiti

  1. the mv ngaroto i think was built in holland,i recall jud davey telling me that he sailed her across the english channel to england, she had fd6 foden diesel engine, as a young engineer for the engine agents i worked on her many times,


  2. I last seen the Rotoiti approx 2 years ago at the Butters landing Tauranga Harbour wasting away,i understand her owner intended to use as a pleasure boat…Nick Lewis ex blue boat skipper.


  3. A quote below from the memoirs of Bob Edwards a very experienced, well known & colourful Kawau skipper from the 1930s to 1960s — refer earlier WW post.
    “Horsfall bought the Rotoiti from Rotorua and renamed it the Island Princess .
    Charley Wiese took over the Kawau Isle and I went onto the Island Princess
    She was powered with a 6LW Gardiner, and quite a comfortable boat to ride In” — KEN R


  4. The 1903 Rotoiti was in Tauranga for a number of years and was owned by Alan Brimblecombe prior to his owning Settler. Despite appearing to be deep draft, she was as Harold has said, a tunnel hulled counter stern vessel with a near flat bottom. Alan sold it on to Percy Ginders, and she was later destroyed. Like many of the vessels that were ‘saved’ in the era when they were just old boats (Rotoiti, Clifton, Settler etc), she would have made a very useful and usable museum vessel in the modern age.


  5. In the late nineties she was owned by Jim Insley who also had Rio Moana under the name of Abalone Cruises He kept both boats at McMullen and Wings Marina, Tamaki River…


  6. The Rotoiti in the first photo as I recall was on the lake from the early 60s. She was kept in immaculate condition while on the lake and lived adjacent to the owner’s stunning property at Okere. At least in the summer she did daily excursions when she picked up passengers at Okere wharf who, for the most part had been brought out from Rotorua on a New Zealand Road Services bus. The trip would go down to Coles Bay/ Moose Lodge before going across the lake to Honeymoon Bay and down the other side to Hinehopu where passengers disembarked for afternoon tea in the tearooms, where upon another group of passengers who had been brought out again by bus and who had had afternoon tea embarked for the return trip . I was sadened to see her some years ago still called Rotoiti but very run down. I hope she has not rusted away into oblivion. Incidentily there was a near sister Ngaroto on Rotorua until only a few years ago.


  7. The ex Mokau boat was railed to Mt Maunganui and placed on council land opposite the aerodrome but on the foreshore not far from Stuart Hume’s old “Omokoroa” . She had a J4 Kelvin diesel which had not been run for years. I was working on that for the young owner when the council gave him notice to remove and desist. He could not meet their demands and so council destroyed it where she stood then charged him dump fees. Stuart burned the ” Omokoroa” shortly after.(but she was beyond repair). I always thought the “Rotoiti” was a smaller model of “Eva”, so similar in every way. Rex Brown had a very similar boat to the steel “Rotoiti” which he ran out of The Sandspit-Kawau, name like “Aquanita” (may have been built by Darcy Gilberd, Whangarei) in 1963, I replaced Rex when he left Fullers,at Russell.


  8. The 50ft steel ROTOITI was launched in December 1959 for Rodney Davy according to the Rotorua DC publication “The New Century in Rotorua” which could easily be inaccurate on an issue like this. The same source says that Davy Judd had a 40ft ROTOITI in 1951replacing the 1927 Chas. Robinson HIKUWAI.


  9. Two different boats. The ROTOITI on the Mokau River was built by Bailey & Lowe in July 1903 for the Hot Lakes Steam Navigation Company. She was a 40′ x 10′ tunnel hull steamer with a Simpson Strickland triple expansion 26hp engine and was sold to Mokau in 1929 by when she had a Kelvin petrol engine. Percy Ginders told me she was later railed to Tauranga from New Plymouth and ended her days there..


  10. Recall is that she was bought by Allan Horsefall & relocated to Kawau when he owned the Mansion House Resort at Kawau Island & renamed ISLAND PRINCESS later c1950s/60s — KEN R


  11. if you are referring to the steel MVRotoiti (looks the same) she was also a ferry/party boat for ” Blue Boats” in Auck for a while in the 1980″s untill when fullers took over the company. and zoom zoom was a 671GM. I was a Marine engineer for BB for several years.


  12. Rottoiti was designed by Gerry Breekveldt and built by Scholten & Brijs for Les Hutchins. I think she was launched in 1962


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