Recently WW was contacted by Simon Truebridge the current custodian (Simon’s word) of the 48’ wooden ketch-rigged motor sailer – Huia. Huia was built / launched c.1951>1953 and was the first vessel built by the founders of Gough Engineering in Invercargill. Huia is planked with Australian tallow wood and apparently Joe Gough was friendly with the workers who had worked at the Prices’s Inlet Norwegian whale boat maintenance facility on Stewart Island, hence Huia’s strong Scandinavian influence. Powered by a Gardner 6lw that is rumoured to be perhaps 25 years older than the boat, the thinking is that it started life on standby genset duty in the basement of the British Admiralty Headquarters. The rumour goes on to say that two of these engines, along with transmissions, a hydraulic windlass that sounds remarkably similar to Huia’s, & various other equipment mysteriously arrived in Invercargill soon after the end of World War II, fortuitously just as Huia was taking shape….. 

Simon believes he is her 5th keeper, the Goughs having kept her in Bluff until 1972. The boat still raises great interest whenever she returns to Bluff.

Any woodys able to tell us more about Huia’s past?

Almost Had To Excommunicated My Daughter

Currently holidaying at Lake Como in Italy, they hired a runabout for the day, now you would think the woody DNA would kick in, but nope – they hire a plastic boat 😦 She saved herself by sporting a WW shirt 🙂

The white villa in the background is George Clooney’s – I’m told that sadly he wasn’t home 🙂

3 thoughts on “Huia

  1. Kia Ora,
    Ted Simms bought a batch in Beeches Bay, Queen Charlotte Sounds , he was going to spend his retirement exploring the Sounds in the Huia, he sadly past away either before or soon after his retirement and the Huia was sold to a Picton Paua diver Allan Montgomery.
    I did servicing work on the Huia, she was a beautiful craft, the old Gardner ticked over like a clock, if I remember rightly the engine room was right aft behind the wheelhouse, with a very short prop shaft, which made for a roomy front cabin. I often wondered what become of her.
    Monty also had an old English self righting life boat that he got me to recauk and paint for him, be interesting to know what become of that craft.


  2. Huia was owned during the 1980,s by Sims Engineering. Ted Sims replaced her original telephone box wheelhouse with the current one. I believe that during a business downturn he sold Huia and kept his men employed,


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