Aoroa – A Peek Down Below

AOROA –  A Peek Down Below

The 40’ Aoroa was built in 1928 by Miller & Tunnage and is kauri carvel planked. She has a beam of 9’11” and draws 3’5”. These days she is powered by a 100 hp Ford diesel, which I would suspect works hard to push a boat of Aoroa size along. But I’m sure I’ll be told its all about gearbox / prop configuration.


Thankfully her tme listing included some old b/w photos (below) from when launched and of the alterations over the years – from these we can see the bones of a very smart woody, that hopefully one day someone will do a top-chop on 🙂

Can we expand more on her past?

Harold Kidd Input – Original owner was J.T. Paul; original engine a 100hp S4 6 cylinder Gray.. Did a trip to Akaroa in 1931. Owned by W.R. Carey of Lyttelton in 1953. VERY handsome vessel.

20-03-2021 Input from David Lackey – Wren Carey, the proprietor of the Kaiapoi Woollen Mills (then a substantial South Island manufacturer) was a friend and business associate of my father, Keith Lackey and, in the 1950s we would we occasionally call in to see him at his property in (I seem to remember) Blackwood Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound. The property was both immense and immaculate, boasting magnificent gardens and even a citrus orchard (which, for those familiar with QC sound, was a rarity if not a miracle. At one end of the beach was a large boatshed in which Mr Carey kept the immaculate Aoroa. Assisted by his caretaker, Mr Carey would launch the ship and take off for a day cruise in the sound, putting her away again in the evening just as nonchalantly as if she were a runabout or dinghy. She was like a piece of chippendale furniture, with glowing topsides and gleaming brightwork. I believe she still had the 6 cylinder Gray Engine which was a point of mutual interest because our Marinus was powered by twin 144hp Graymarine Luggers.
Wren Carey was the father of CR (Roger) Carey, the noted Picton builder of many fine commercial and private vessels.

4 thoughts on “Aoroa – A Peek Down Below

  1. Original owner was J.T. Paul; original engine a 100hp S4 6 cylinder Gray.. Did a trip to Akaroa in 1931. Owned by W.R. Carey of Lyttelton in 1953. VERY handsome vessel.

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  2. I think she used to undergo her annual refit at the same time my father did ours at Okahu Bay for a few years. Owner’s name was Alf from memory.

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  3. Fascinating. — Looks more like 6 or 8LW Gardner material to me, & also a little like the Col Wild LADY MARGARET as she is today, in the 1967 image — KEN R

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