Koputai was built in 1939 by Miller & Tunnage in Port Chalmers for use as a pilot vessel. Her specs are 56’ x 14’6” and she draws 6’5”.In the early 1990’s she returned to Miller & Tunnage to be converted to a pleasure boat. The WW link below takes you to her 2015 WW story for extensive details and photos, back then she was offered for sale.

Fast forward 5 years and I have been contacted by Keith Foster who purchased Koputai from Louey Sandiant (deceased). Keith sent in the above photos and like all of us is keen to uncover more on her past.


8 thoughts on “Koputai

  1. Pingback: Koputai – Workboat Wednesday | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. Pingback: Koputai – Work Boat Conversion | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  3. Hi all, I’m just coming across all this history! My grandfather, Russell Bramwell of Dunedin purchased Koputai as the retired pilot boat and turned it into a pleasure craft. I have some photos I’d love to get uploaded to this site if possible? I have just made contact with the new owner to pass them onto him as well. I do remember her coming to grief in the sounds and seeing it on the news, I believe some teenagers on an outward bound voyage received the destress call in the early hours of the morning and came to her aid, however I can’t find anything online. For myself as a kid going out with my nana and grandad on Koputai meant adventure and as a kid was more of a ship than boat. Sadly not too often did this happen as my grandad developed alzheimer’s not long after completing the restoration and sadly the boat was sold. I see many others have now had the pleasure of owning her and many adventure has continued.


  4. Kaka was built by Otago Harbour Board I believe, not as a pilot boat but as their very capable workboat for the next 50 years or so. I think that the hull was raised by a plank during the conversion to a pleasureboat. Cheers, keith


  5. We had her listed for sale in 2004, based at Mangonui, for $269,000, and I never got up to view her before withdrawn, so can’t comment on value. It was reported by the owner that she had a full 9 month refit in Picton, around 1998 after an accident/ sinking, including a hull repair, re-fastened hull, and an engine rebuild by Transmission and diesels with 1600 hrs, so had been well used in the 6 years. Reputed to be a $200k app refit. We also had her at 16ft beam?
    Looked to be a very substantial craft with accom for 8, 2 heads, and impressive specifications. Lovely classic.


  6. I am the very proud owner of the Kaka, Also a Millar and Tunnage boat.
    She was built by the Otago Harbour Board and was used as a pilot boat.

    She is now in Auckland where my wife and I have lived on her for the past two years.


  7. I lived at Long Bay in the 70s and used to marvel at the Pilot boat heading out into all kinds of weather and seas, tough as nails, solid as a rock. Just punching through monster waves at the heads. This was Koputai, I guess. Impressive vessel. Great to see her such fettle these days, loved and worked.


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