Knoxie III > Miss Ida

Miss Ida 1 - Copy

Miss Ida 3

I was contacted yesterday by Greg Philpott, up until recently the owner of the Opua General Store in the Bay of Islands. Greg is on a missions – I’ll let him tell the story.
“By way of introduction, my partner Margaret and I have recently sold the Opua General Store business after owning it for just short of 6 years. During that time I became immersed in the history of the General Store and Opua itself  (along with it forerunner Te Wharau, which was the town that grew up in the 1870’s/80’s to service the Loading Ground – the site where Kawakawa coal was trans-loaded to ships at anchor. In 1884 the rail line was extended to Newport (now Opua), many buildings were shifted from Te Wharau to Opua and as such the township of Te Wharau has now totally disappeared.) The reason for relating that little snapshot is that all manner of launches, workboats, ferries and tourist craft have been a part of Opua (and by locational connection, the Bay of Islands) for its entire existence.
And so on to my current project – The Boats of the Bay. This is looking at the history of the commercial tourist Boats of the Bay of Islands. Their origins, their working life and their final situation
Here’s where I need help – Knoxie III was built for A E Fullers and Sons by Warne Bros at Matauwhi Bay in 1939. She was renamed Miss Ida in 1949. Whilst built originally to enhance the Fullers fleet for the Cream Trip it appears that much of her latter days were spent as a work boat and as the back-up launch for the Opua Okiato vehicular ferry, photos above. I am looking for pictures of her carrying the name Knoxie III And when did she depart the Fullers fleet and what was her history post Fullers?
Anyone able to help out?

14 thoughts on “Knoxie III > Miss Ida

  1. Greetings fellow boat enthusiasts, my name is Robin Garrett, current owner -with my husband of Miss Ida. Currently I am researching Miss Idas history for a record of her working life.
    Mike Garrett has driven this vessel for thirty years, now within the Tauranga Harbour.
    If any of you care to share any stories of her Woking life prior Tauranga, I would be most appreciative.
    Please email:


  2. Sometime in the late 1960’s maybe 70. “Detroit Diesel” covered all 2 stroke engines and all 4 strokes became “GM” this was the “Bedford-Oldsmobile” line of engines don’t recall “Gray Marine” converting any 53 which ran from 2 to 24 cylinders (military) or 51 series.which only came in 2 and 4 cyl.
    the 110 series-6 cylinder only but came as single-tandem or quad installations. They were very popular in “Euclid” earthmoving equipment, many bigger dumptrucks having “Tandem” engines
    After all that, if Miss Russell had a 62 hp GM engine then it was a “British Bedford” that should make Ken happy.


  3. I am getting more confused than you Harold, you have access to more records than I will go with your info. Nev. Fuller told me himself about the twin “Studebaker” engines, and I recall going on a very fast trip with Nev. on an express run to Cape Brett. it must have been when she was new. Quite frightening to an 8 year old


  4. As I understand it, KNOXIE 4 was built at Matauwhi Bay by Warne Bros in 1940 (with twin 8 cylinder Studebakers ?) for Fullers but renamed MISS RUSSELL in 1948, callsign ZLRC6. MISS HELEN was ZLRC3, MISS IDA was ZLRC4, MISS KNOXIE was ZLRC5, MISS BRETT ZLRC8 and MISS DORIS ZLRC24.
    Faulkner Bros of Tauranga bought MISS RUSSELL in 1978 with a 62hp GM diesel and licensed for 62 pax inside harbour limits and 50 outside.
    I confess to confusion over these KNOXIEs.


  5. And Knoxie 4 was built in Auckland and is a close sister to” Marie” (I think) and became “Miss Knoxie” in the big fleet re-name.That came about when they were equiped with ZC1 trans. sets to avoid confusion in call signs


  6. Miss Ida now days is doing a school run between Tauranga and Matakana Island.;


  7. I did get it back to front. I should know better than to step in where people like Ray are encyclopedic on these workboats.
    KNOXIE III was indeed built as KNOXIE III by Warnes in 1934 and renamed MISS IDA by (and probably in) 1948 when she was registered as a British Registered A E Fuller & Sons Ltd.


  8. Ray Morey will probably tell you that KNOXIE III was built as MISS IDA in 1934 by Warne Bros at Matauwhi Bay for Fullers She was renamed KNOXIE III later (1949?) or maybe I got him back to front? At least 1934 is right!


  9. Hi Greg, Give me a call. I have some research you are welcome to use.
    Baden 0274-444598


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