Stewart Island Woodys

Stewart Island Woodys

Olaf Wilg has just returned from the deepest south and commented to me that the main bay in Oban was full of lovely looking brave little work boats. Olaf liked the look of Tequila and Rawhiti and the lovely Ranui is the ferry to Ulva Island. 

A woody that has relocated South and these days calls Stewart Island home is – Wairangi. She is one of Olaf’s favourite boats of all time. A loss to the Waitemata but certainly adding to the Southern woody fleet. You can see / read more on her at the WW links below – you will see she started life south of the border.

Would be nice if a southern woody could tell us more about these woodys 🙂

(Olaf, ever the perfectionist – apologises for the picture quality – all shot on an older mobile phone) 

5 thoughts on “Stewart Island Woodys

  1. Wow, what a nice trip down memory lane!
    Yes, Ranui 2 was Spray 3 of Blue Boats fame when Dad bought her. We still have an old Spray 3 life buoy as a memento in the boatshed.
    I’m not sure what she was powered with as Spray 3, but Dad had the Gardiner put in her. It was a 6LW that he’d found on the West Coast that was destined to run a pump unit at a mine, but had never really been used.
    My first memory of her was visiting the shipyard over by the Waitohi wharf (McManaways?) when she was being refitted and seeing her with the wheel house off just after the engine had gone in. I guess this was when those rails were going on Chris.
    She stayed with the Gem for a few years after we sold it and moved on in 89. One of the subsequent owners managed to partially sink her at her berth at the Gem, after leaving her fully loaded with building materials overnight. Unfortunately, maintenance had slipped somewhat and the seacocks for the aft cockpit were jammed open with debris. Sitting very low in the water she slowly went down stern first.
    No long after this (possibly 94/95) she was sold and disappeared off my radar for a while.
    In the late 90’s/early 2000s Dad came across her moored at Taieri Mouth, south of Dunedin, in a fairly similar configuration to how we had her, but with the aft cockpit filled in.
    In the late 2000s I came across a trade-a-boat online classified listing her for sale out of Riverton. At this stage she had a grey paint job and had accumulated various fishing paraphernalia (the open drum winch on the foredeck and various pot winches etc at the rear).
    Until tonight that was the last I’d seen of her. It’s great to see her tidy again in blue and back to being a ferry and doing scenic cruises just like she was designed to do!


  2. Nice to see Ranui still looking pristine.
    Ranui replaced the two earlier Errol Christian era “Gem” Boats, the Swanson built Manana, and the veteran Logan built Ponui.
    My recollection is that Ranui was formerly the smallest of the Auckland “Blue Boats” Spray? or
    Spray II ? She was bought by the then owner of the Gem, David McConnell and served her first season unaltered with the typical Blue Boat small wheel house before being extensively rebuilt in her current form and re engined with a 6 cylinder Perkins. The original engine was a Gardiner I think.
    It is great to see so many of those Queen Charlotte Sound service launches of the sixties and seventies, still in great condition scattered around the country.


  3. Ranui was Ranui II when she lived in Picton in the 70s and 80s and was the Gem Resort boat. Think she may have had another name before then? I remember my dad and brother putting those railings on her in about 1981.


  4. Surprised to see WAIRANGI there. — Wonder if they’re on a cruise, or if she has moved house from Matiatia? — KEN R

    You would save us all from random comments if you slowed down and read the story before commenting ” A woody that has relocated South and these days calls Stewart Island home is – Wairangi. “


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