TARANUI (Gaylene > Masquerade > Taranui)
Today’s woody story comes to us via the collective input of many people – Harold Kidd, Grant Faber, Barry and Christine Johnston, Grant Richards – under the guiding hand of Ken Ricketts and edited (a lot) by Alan H.
Some basic facts –
Taranui is 30’ in length with a beam of 9’ 7”.
She was built in 1948 as an internally ballasted 350 sq. ft. sail area Bermudan ketch (D28). There is speculation that Taranui was built either on the Hobsonville Air Force Base, or nearby, of kauri.
Her current owner is Grant Richards, who supplied all the above photos, and she is kept at Gulf Harbour marina.
Her provenance (with a few holes) goes like this –
She was built by G Neville in 1948, her first registered owner is D.H. McMillan of Ellerslie, Auckland – she was kept at St Heliers Bay.
Her second registered (15-09-1951) owner was W. (Bill?) Ridley of Pakuranga who kept her at Panmure.
She passed to D Wintle in 1961 & then Ron Faber on 13-10-67.
Grant Faber (son of Ron) has commented that when she was owned by Don Wintle, she was kept at Northcote Point, where she was moored when Faber Snr. bought her. Faber Snr. continued to keep off Northcote but later secured a mooring for her in Westhaven.
By the 1960’s one mast had been removed and later both masts & rigging were removed by the owner from whom Barry Johnston bought her off. That owner still had them & offered them to Johnston, but he declined, as it was his intention to retain her in launch mode. Barry Johnston made her present mast during her major 1996 -2000 refit.
Johnston bought her off a private advertisement in trademe in the 1990’s and cannot recall who from. He owned her for about 15 years and kept her at Westhaven.
When Johnston bought her, she was called Gaylene (changed by an unknown previous owner) and in a very sad state, with lots of rot in the coamings and decks, and other much deferred maintenance, which he spent the next 4 years getting her up to pristine condition.The work all being done, on a family member’s private slip, in the Whau River. In view of all the work he undertook, Johnson changed her name to Masquerade.
One day when Johnston was on a cruise, Grant Faber rowed over to Masquerade and asked Johnston if he could have a look aboard, as he believed his father Commander Ron Faber RNZVR OBE VRD, may have owned her in the period c.1964 -79. After an inspection, he confirmed it was indeed his father’s old boat. After being informed that her original name was Taranui, during her 4 year re-fit, Johnston changed her name back to her original name, which she still has today.
According to the APYMBA records (ex Harold Kidd) – her original engine was a 28 hp petrol engine, with a 17 x 10, 3 blade prop.
Grant Faber has commented that when his father bought her, she had a marine converted, 6 cyl. petrol Chev car engine, most probably her original engine, this engine gave a lot of trouble so Faber Snr. replaced it with a brand new, 6 cyl Holden petrol car engine.
By the time she arrived in the hands of Johnston, she had acquired an old 4 cyl. slanting Ford diesel c.60hp, which during his 4 year refurbish, he replaced with a Moon Engines converted Isuzu 4 cyl. diesel c.60hp – which she still has today.
Recently, Grant Faber sent Ken Ricketts the note below:
“Of nautical interest, the ensign staff shown in one of the photos, and the ensign, was passed to Dad, from my grandfather (Roy Drummond). It came from his launch Te Whara. He purchased it and fitted it to Te Whara in 1921 specifically for the visit of the Governor General visiting Whangarei in his ship Tutanikai. The launches of the day formed a guard of honour in the harbour. This ensign which is of real bunting made by Le Roy’s (the noted marine canvas makers) flew on Te Whara until Pa sold her, then on Taranui, then on my launch Te Whara 11). It is currently framed and hanging in my library showing remarkably little wear for an ensign coming up to 100 years old.” (edited)