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?


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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.



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?