Woody Dean Wright uncovered the above photo of Ruapani that appeared in a book on Lake Waikaremoana and that woodys is where the track stops. A quick google search tells us Ruapani was a chief of the Māori in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa in the 15th and 16th century. 

Given the life raft, maybe she is in charter on the lake.

Any southern woodys able to enlighten us on this rather fine looking launch?

Harold Kidd Input – Built by B.J.L.Jukes, Balaena Bay November 1929 for the Tourist Dept with a 40hp Thornycroft (Empire Preference) petrol engine.

12 thoughts on “Ruapani

  1. I lived at Waikaremoana from 1970, working at The Lake House, as the receptionist. Peter Ash, who also ran the camping ground, with his wife Elsie owned The Ruapani then. Was lucky enough to spend many an outing on it. Nice to see her in such wonderful condition.


  2. Further to my previous comment, after we had MV Ruapani transported from Lake Waikaremoana to Evans Bay in Wellington I engaged the services of Bruce Askew to design and commission the necessary changes needed to convert Ruapani from a lake boat to a sea (ie Cook Strait) going launch.
    Bruce Askew is well known in Waitematawoody circles.


  3. M V Ruapani was the tourist launch on Lake Waikaremoana for 50 years, from 1930.
    I have owned her for 38 years.
    She now has a Perkins Diesel engine, 84 hp.
    She is currently berthed in Picton Marina and she is a wonderful boat for cruising the Marlborough Sounds.
    Ruapani was maintained very well by the original Launchmaster Frank Smith and she remains in sound condition after 92 years.
    I have many photos of Ruapani dating back to 1930.


  4. Built by B.J.L.Jukes, Balaena Bay November 1929 for the Tourist Dept with a 40hp Thornycroft (Empire Preference) petrol engine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruapani was the government tourist boat based on Waikaremoana during the time a government tourist hotel operated at the lake. She was later bought by Ken Menzies, at the time a surgeon in Gisborne, who subsequently moved to Wellington and had Ruapani transported there. Glad to hear she is still in such good shape.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alan

    During the 1980s and 1990s I think that Ruapani was based in the Marlborough Sounds and would occasionally come across to Wellington. She looked much like your photo but the aft cockplt had a bimini arrangement with side clears. At that stage it was owned by a Wellington surgeon, Ken Menzies. I havent seen her in Wellington for 20 years or so.

    I enjoy reading your blog – keep up the good work.

    Richard Martin

    Richard Martin 4 Baring St, Oriental Bay Wellington…021 849980…04 3849510 Sent from my IPad


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Trinidad rafted up a couple of times with Ruapani on a mooring (as one does in the Sounds) during our first venture south back in 2005. A lovely boat, lovely owners.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Regarding my remarks below, Ruapani remains as she is in the above photo. I glanced at it in the twilight of the dawn and didn’t notice much more than the hull, duh.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ruapani is owned by Ken Menzies of Wellington. She’s moored on pier 8 in Picton and with a recent repaint is looking splendid. I’ll take a photo next time I’m passing as she has had some sympathetic alterations done since the above photo was taken.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s