Hirawanu – A Peek Down Below

HIRAWANU – A Peek Down Below

The 1946 38’ Lidgard built launch – Hirawanu has appeared several times on WW and generated chat around the hot-house ‘up top’. I have included below a photo of her as launched to show her on a good day 🙂

Forward motion is via a Ford 120hp diesel, giving her a stated cruising speed of 8>10 knots. 

Now thanks to tme & Ian McDonald we get to have a look down below.

Check out the previous WW story here https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/11/27/hirawanu/



The name Cachalot has graced the stern of several whale chasers, this one if you believe the 4sale advertisement (back in 2021) was built c.1950’s by Jack Morgan. Sometime in the 1980’s her hull was refurbished (not my words) and then in 1998 the current cabin top was popped on. Being based down south, I suppose the design is best described as ‘fit for purpose’

Sadly several of these ex whale chasers with very efficient, speedy hulls, were ‘modified’ using the following items – a few sheets of plywood and a skill-saw.  Certainly no marine/naval designer was engaged. Then on the other hand we have wonderful examples like – Primadonna.

Cachalot is powered by a 210hp 8 cyl. Caterpillar 3160 engine that gives her a top speed of 12 knots. Probably quite down on her working days.

Input from Cameron Pollard – Just shows how looks can deceive you all.
This is Cachelot 2. Built by Morgan’s as a whale chaser.
Originally had a V12 gas gobbler.
1 of 3 Cachelots.
1 was destroyed.
She was cut down the middle by the Wells brother’s. A huge undertaking but they made her over 3ft wider and raised the bow for commercial use.
Nothing fazed the Wells.
Rex Sellers fished her commercially for some time with a set of gallows on bak deck.
Had a gm and then worked thru a couple of cats.
After commercial use she was pleasurised into her current form. Photos below



The crew behind the Australian Wooden Boat Festival (Hobart) are very clever with their promotional support to promote the bi-annual festival. One of the tools / channels they use is a very cool video series (tagged Boat Folk) that showcases the festival and the people and boats connected to the area. I have posted some of their previous ones on WW.

Todays video showcases a beautiful local built vessel named – Ubique. Very few boats have the pedigree of Ubique both historically and which has spawned a thousand blue water cruising dreams. Famed yacht designer, Lyle C Hess, originally based the design for Ubique (pronounced U-bee-qway) on the legendary Bristol Pilot Cutter – the epitome of yacht design in the mid 1800s to early 1900s. 

Ubique is a sister ship to Taleisin, being commissioned by Brad Hampton via the Shipwrights Point School of Wooden Boat Building at Franklin, in Tasmania. Now, owned by David and Michelle Shering, the boat hosts many quiet family sailing voyages in the Channel. Click play and enjoy – I did 🙂

The dreaded covid was the kiss of death to the last festival so next years event – 10>13th February 2023 will be huge. Hope to be there myself.

Check out the 2019 festival below

Manuia – Back On The Waitemata


Very happy to be able to confirm that – Manuia, the 32’, Joe Slattery designed and 1928 built launch has made the shift from the Bay of Islands and is now back in Auckland. 

Her new owners have classic woody blue blood in their veins so no-doubt over time she will be tickled up to the standard a Slattery launch deserves. Her last owner, sadly had declining health, so there is some deferred maintenance to address. 

A few years ago Manuia had a heart transplant and now sports a 100hp Yanmar 4JH3-HT6 that I’m sure pushes her along at a good clip.


CLICK TO READ > VIEW MORE https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/10/17/buying-or-selling-a-classic-boat/