Aotea

C.1981 Far North
c.1981 Far North

AOTEA – Sailing Sunday 
The owner of the H28 Aotea, Peter Sporle, contacted WW recently seeking help uncovering information on her early history.What we know is that Aotea was built in 1954 in Mangonui Harbour, Northland, from kauri carvel planks. She has an iron keel and was originally ketch rigged.


In 1958 Aotea won the Balokovic Cup for her owner Brian O’Donaghue. Below is an article that BO’D wrote on H28’s and Aotea for the August 1962 issue of Sea Spray magazine.She was owned by Sir Keith Park. And a gentleman named Ian Miller owned for 7 years from approx. 1973>1980. Peter S bought her in Sept 1980 and still owns her – since 1990, she has been based at Tryphena, Great Barrier Island. Aotea was relaunched in October 2018 after a refit on the island.
Above also is a short video of Aotea afloat, post re-launching, looking very smart.

02-09-2020 Input From Robin Elliott –

Aotea has had the following Registered owners – as far as i know:
As D-11, ketch rigged.
B.C. Watson (Mangonui) 1953+?; B. O’Donohue (Whangarei) 1954?/61; Sir Keith Park 1961+?; T. O’Brien 1967+?
The date for B.C. Watson is the date he registered her, not necessarily the date she was launched.

In 1967 she appears to have been converted to single mast as she is re-registered in the E-Class as E-263.
T. O’Brien 1967/69+?; P.J. Cole (Matakana) 1970+? A. Wood 1971+? (Still Registered as Owner NZYF 1978); I.H. Miller 1976+?
You will note the overlap there. The registration lists are notorious for duff information and should always be viewed with caution; e.g. A. Wood appearing in 1971 and still shows as the registered owner in 1977/78 at the same time that Aotea is registered to I H. Miller with RAYC 1976/77 season where we know she did a lot of J.O.G. racing

In 1969 she took NZYF number 663

Trophies are:
RAYC: Balokovic Cup 1958
Onerahi YC: 100 miler 1960
Whangarei CC: Harbour Regatta Assn Auxilliary Cup 1960

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AOTEA – A Peek Down Below

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AOTEA – A Peek Down Below
 
Back in March 2014 Aotea appeared on WW when an ex owner, Paul Newell, was trying to track her down (WW link below)
Now thanks to trademe & Ian McDonald we get to have a peek-down-below.
 
Aotea was built in 1950, supposedly in the South Island to a ‘Alexander’ design, she is carvel planked & powered by a 120hp Ford 6cyl. diesel.
Her specs are 40’x 11’5”x 2’11”
Rumour has it that she was built for the N.Z. Government and taken to Lake Taupo for the Queens Coronation NZ tour 1953-54. Paul Drake has confirmed that she spent time on the lake in the 1950’s, as a Govt. vessel.
 
What more do we know about Aotea?

Aotea

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AOTEA
Aotea recently popped up on trademe (thx Ian McDonald) – she would be a big project for someone but as the architects say “she has got good bones”.
Her listing states that she has been gutted inside & the motor is seized. The 29ft ‘bridge decker’ cabin top is ply, so easily removable if one wanted to go back to her roots.
Her owner is unsure as to her past, but seems to remember something about it being built in the Hokianga, in Horeke back in the thirties or forties.
Aotea is parked on the hill where it was dropped off when purchased, so reasonably easy access to remove. Owner only selling as age / heath makes the project beyond them.
 
Woody Nathan Herbert has commented that she looks like a 1900’ish counter stern open launch such that he has seen in very old Kaeo /Whangaroa photos.

Aotea

AOTEA

photos & details from Paul Newell

Paul owned Aotea for approx. 5 years (2002-2007) & believes she was built in the South Island to an Alexander design. She was powered by a 300 Bedford Diesel.

The picture of her on the transporter was apparently her arriving in Auckland from Lake Taupo. Paul was told she was built for the N.Z. Government and taken to Taupo for the Queens Coronation NZ tour 1953-54 but he has never found anything to verify this. The other photos show her on Chris McMullen’s floating dock and on the marina at McMullen and Wings yard.

The last time Paul saw her she was on a mooring at Whitianga. Can anyone verify or add to her history?