Wairau Estuary – Mystery Boats

Wairau Estuary – Mystery Boats

Ok, maybe I should have said ‘Milford Creek’ in the headline, but you know where I’m talking about. The above photo (c. 1930>39) comes to us ex Andrew Reid, via Maurice Sharp’s fb. The actual location would appear to be near the current ’The Slipway Milford’ railway haul out yard and the Milford Cruising Clubs hard stand area. And just be coincidence I will be sliding up that piece of water at 7am today.

Can we ID the craft? I have included close-up photos below to help.

Input from Graeme Sapwell – The Flush deck launch in bottom photo is Webster’s – Reta W. outside his property .
Input from Harold Kidd – RETA W was built by R Malcolm in the creek for T.G. Webster in November 1925. Linc Wood always thought it amusing that her name is “Water” spelt backwards.

Mystery Tamaki River Launch

Mystery Tamaki River Launch

Have had a wee bit of a technology mishap – so this story could look a wee bit different – will fix up tomorrow 🙂

Travelling up the Tamaki River this afternoon aboard Angus Rogers launch – Centaurus, another story for another day, I spotted the above launch. I would very much like to get its name, it looks very familiar to me. If we can ID her, I’ll bore you with the details.

Sorry, short & sweet today, all fixed tomorrow

Mystery Project Launch – Dorina


I understand that back in Feb 2021, the above 34′ launch sold on tme for approx $600, which was probably a fair price. I can’t make out her name, but its something like DORIMA ? and its rumoured to be built by Bailey & Lowe in 1927.There was no engine, being set up for twin outboards…….. At the time of sale, she was moored in the ‘Warkworth area’.

Can anyone let us know if she was bought with the intention of restoring?

Update – I was sent a copy of the front page of last weeks Hibiscus Matters’ by a WW reader named Viviene, a local newspaper the covers the area referred to locally as the Hibiscus Coast.Seems the boat is called Dorina and has attracted a lot of attention. As the paper states and confirmed by John Bullivant – The launch is/was apparently Dorina , and recently sank at Little Manly on April 10th. It was anchored off little Manly over Easter but apparently no-one returned for it. The owner was given till the 20th April to remove it, as the Harbourmaster had declared it a wreck. Don’t know how it was removed or what happened to it . It was on the front page of the Hibiscus Matters local paper on April 21.

The Back Story ex Ken Ricketts “She had recent new owners who a couple of weeks ago were taking her to her new home at Te Atatu. When they got to Whangaparaoa they realised they would not have enough fuel to get them to Te Atatu, so seeing Little Manly, in a nice calm state, at that time, decided to anchor there overnight, whilst they procured more fuel, and were to intending to continue to Te Atatu the following day. However during the night a southerly storm blew up and she took in water over the stern because the stern door was left open, sank. She was then beached at Little Manly, to be pumped out. 
A sad note is, that whilst there overnight people were seen removing her glass from her coamings windows, and I am told they also took fishing tackle and other equipment from inside her.I believe in a previous life, she had spent time at Thames, and at Whangarei as a live aboard. It appears she has not had inboard power for a good number of years but the prop shaft and rudder are still in place.” (photos below ex KR at Gulf Harbour in 2015)

photo at Little Manly ex Len Lawerance


This coming Tuesday night (4th May) is the Classic Yacht Association (NZ) annual boat owners meeting – where if you are lucky, between all the sailing talk, you might get the chance to discuss the past years and upcoming seasons launch related activities. Venue is the RNZYS, kicks off at 7pm. It’s always a hoot to listen to the debate on yacht race handicapping, course selection etc. See you there 🙂

Kaiteriteri Beach – Kotare


Can We ID This Launch KOTARE
Todays photo is dated 1959 and is of Kaiteriteri Beach, Motueka, Nelson – from the camera of J B Rowntree and comes to us via Maurice Sharp. Other than the addition of the commercial charter boats servicing the Abel Tasman National Park, the scene hasn’t changed much.

I have added below a close up image of the launch in the bay, are we able to put a name to her?

Input From Robbie Williams – the launch is Kotare owned by NEWTON NALDER and was the first of the boats offering trips into able Tasman national park she was twin screw powered by two 10 hp petter diesel she later burned and sank in Kaiteri under different ownership

Input From Brian Kitson – Kotare was built by Curnow and Wilton of Nelson and launched in November 1951 and burnt and sank at Kaiteriteri December 1966. 38ft long X 13ft beam X 2ft 6in draught. More than likely she was built of white pine. The ladder on the bow lowers to the beach for boarding and unloading passengers. Photo taken in Kaiteriteri

UPDATE ex John Burland – who sent in a link to a Dept of Conservation (Nelson/Marlborough) booklet on the Abel Tasman Area – screen grab below that confirms the ownership of Kotare by Newton Nalder and a photo of her in Bark Bay.

03-05-2021 Update: John Gander supplied the photo below of Kotare disembarking passengers at Kaiteriteri beach in 1959