Stella Maris

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Subject to it passing a good survey this ex work (fishing) boat would have to great value for someone looking for a live aboard. Reviewing her trademe listing (thanks Ian McDonald), the conversion to pleasure use looks very well done.

Stella Maris was built in 1971 & measures 48’6”, with a 10’8’ beam. The power comes from a 320hp MAN diesel, that is governed to 185hp. Her carvel haul is spotted gum & Oregon pine.

She comes with an impressive list of fittings.

Anyone know who built her & who did the conversion?


I have had a request from a woody looking for an oar maker, there are lots of  ‘commercial’ ones out there e.g. Gull, but my man is looking for a more custom made oars.  Can anyone recommend a boatbuilder or good DIY’er that could produce a pair?

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Pacific Gets the X-foul-e-8 Treatment

As Pacific gets close to splashing, woody Nathan Herbert has treated her to a serious bottom clean 😉 Another stunning job, ready for another 100 years of woody boating.



13 thoughts on “Stella Maris

  1. Hello, if you do get feedback on good oar maker, I am after two aswell and would love to know who to use thanks

    Kind regards

    Jonathan Edwards


  2. RE; OAR MAKER. That’s a nice shot of a pair of bridesmaids 🙂 !
    No, but seriously, folks, I won’t recommend Gull oars; for one thing there’s no taper in the looms so they’re not well balanced, plus the wings of the blades are edge glued on, which isn’t a very strong joint. I’ve got a pair of 2.9 m (9’6″) Gull oars and have had to re-glue the blades and back that with fibreglass tape. They’re made of Ash though and are otherwise pretty durable.
    The method shown by John Welsford in “The Kiwi Backyard Boat Bulding” is a better way to IMO. Might be worth getting hold of him to see if he’ll make you a pair? Colin Brown? Herbert Krumm-Gartner? Brooke?


  3. Yes Geoff i was there with Bruce i was on STELLA from 1987 to 1998 she was a good ship to work on


  4. Neil,were you on her with Rex or Bruce, Easter 1996 replaced a section of the Kawau Is power cable after someone hooked it with their anchor. I drove the laying barge Port Kennedy, and Bruce Wiig was there with Stella assisting.A good operation.


  5. The Enterprise the lighthouse tender from sold so we did all the lights buoys and Beckons the Three Kings to Stewart Island. The 12v 71 had done an 102000 hrs and not one problem.


  6. I was engineer on Stella for 8 years she was lighthouse tender round the gulf she also maritme training for CLM RADAR and ENGINEERING tickets. She 60 feet and 12v 71 Detroit Diesel in her.


  7. Re lighthouse tender: She was named simply STELLA (2) built by Simms Engineering Dunedin 1973. Now pleasure craft out of Tauranga. And the old rail ferries when owned by the (old) NZR wore the NZ blue ensign. Dave, you’re right regarding naval officers in merchant ships, but only if they had a special warrant.


  8. Trouble is, there are lots of boats called “Stella Maris”, it’s a popular name for fishing boats. I too think there was a lighthouse tender (or similar) of that name but she was another “S M”. Used to park in the Marsden Wharf area.
    Re ensigns; a few decades ago it was actually illegal for we peasants to fly the National Flag, i.e. the blue ensign with the Union Jack in the fly and the red-and- white stars. Back then there was a fairly hefty fine for flying it in private or commercial craft (except on “high days and holidays”) but I don’t know if anyone was ever actually prosecuted. The law was changed later and it’s now legal – if improper – to fly it.
    Geoff is right, let’s stick with the hallowed old RED DUSTER, NZ version!


  9. Nice ship.In error with her ensign, though. The only vessels by custom permitted to fly (wear) the NZ blue ensign are government vessels and Navy ships (as a Jack at the bow when at anchor or alongside). Private or merchant vessels should wear the dear old RED DUSTER. Not a hanging offence, but a very old sea tradition maybe not widely known. So, Navy = White, Govt = Blue,
    Us= Red (unless maybe a member of a Royal club.) Yeah, right 🙂


  10. Was Stella Maris painted light green and white for a long time and used for servicing harbour beacons or something of that nature ? Seem to remember her with a forward wheelhouse and long aft cabin.


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