“I am prompted to write a few lines about Reo Moana after seeing her coming through the Albert Channel and arriving in the Bay of Islands, she looks so different with the extra top hamper that has been added. Her current owners have recorded that she was built by Roger Carey, this is not correct, see below.
I worked at the Carey yard and in 1963 we commenced work on a Roger Carey design of a 51’x15’8”x 7’ fishing boat for John Buchanan of Cascade River. She was carvel planked in karri and launched in 1964 named “Compass Rose” The moulds of this Roger Carey design were then taken across to another Picton boat builder Bob Swanson. Bob’s yard was directly opposite the Carey yard at the southern end of the harbour, it was formerly the site of Ernie Lane’s boatyard.
Bob was commissioned to build a boat to this Roger Carey design by Bill and Sylvia Kenny of Red Funnel Launches and an associate. She was built multi skin and was powered by a 6LX Gardner. There was talk that the boat was to do a Pacific cruise that was to include Tahiti but the cruise did not come to fruition. She was put into service with the Red funnel fleet, it was also at this time that the pine plantations in the Sounds were starting to be harvested and with a substantial tow post Reo Moana was regularly used to tow rafts of logs to Picton. Her spacious after deck also proved ideal for work in and around the Marlborough Sounds.
In the above photo she can be seen in the Red Funnel colours, I was involved with salvaging the fishing vessel Ascot that had sunk in Cloudy Bay and we used Reo Moana as the salvage vessel to tow Ascot into Port Underwood to pump her out and then continue the tow to Picton.
Seeing her now, photos below, I suppose she is handy for charters in and around Auckland, but with the windage from the considerable extra top hamper that she now carries, I think she would be more that a handful going alongside wharves in the Sounds in some of the extreme wind conditions that can be experienced at times.”