Reo Moana



Talking with Bay of Islands woody – Dean Wright recently, he mentioned that John Gander had sent him a story on the work boat Reo Moana. I’ll let John tell the story –

“I am prompted to write a few lines about Reo Moana after seeing her coming through the Albert Channel and arriving in the Bay of Islands, she looks so different with the extra top hamper that has been added. Her current owners have recorded that she was built by Roger Carey, this is not correct, see below.

I worked at the Carey yard and in 1963 we commenced work on a Roger Carey design of a 51’x15’8”x 7’ fishing boat for John Buchanan of Cascade River. She was carvel planked in karri and launched in 1964 named “Compass Rose” The moulds of this Roger Carey design were then taken across to another Picton boat builder Bob Swanson. Bob’s yard was directly opposite the Carey yard at the southern end of the harbour, it was formerly the site of Ernie Lane’s boatyard.

Bob was commissioned to build a boat to this Roger Carey design by Bill and Sylvia Kenny of Red Funnel Launches and an associate. She was built multi skin and was powered by a 6LX Gardner. There was talk that the boat was to do a Pacific cruise that was to include Tahiti but the cruise did not come to fruition. She was put into service with the Red funnel fleet, it was also at this time that the pine plantations in the Sounds were starting to be harvested and with a substantial tow post Reo Moana was regularly used to tow rafts of logs to Picton. Her spacious after deck also proved ideal for work in and around the Marlborough Sounds.

In the above photo she can be seen in the Red Funnel colours, I was involved with salvaging the fishing vessel Ascot that had sunk in Cloudy Bay and we used Reo Moana as the salvage vessel to tow Ascot into Port Underwood to pump her out and then continue the tow to Picton.

Seeing her now, photos below, I suppose she is handy for charters in and around Auckland, but with the windage from the considerable extra top hamper that she now carries, I think she would be more that a handful going alongside wharves in the Sounds in some of the extreme wind conditions that can be experienced at times.”

While on the topic of Red Funnel boats- I was sent the photo below of Ramona by Liam Daly. Liam commented that Ramona along with Reo Moana, Rawene, Rongo and Rio Rita made up the fleet of  Red Funnel Launches operating out of Picton . The “Rio Rita” was the prominent mail boat in Queen Charlotte Sound for many years, later when sold, re-named – Resolution.
The photo of Ramoana shows her in Resolution Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound
Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH


Easter Cruise

Easter Cruise
We have just been gifted with one of the best Easter weekends in a long time & even the water temp was good.
We headed out on Raindance on Friday morning & headed for Rakino Island / northern end of Motutapu Island.
Spotted a few classics at anchor in Waikalabubu Bay

Compass Rose


While having a few sundowners on the 1946 Lidgard launch Monterey owned by Sue & Mark Edmonds, this sail & oar boat slipped past, dropped anchor & then up popped a wee boom tent. Come morning they were away to their next destination – seems wooden boats & young love go well together 😉

Snapped a few photos  – dusk at Waikalabubu Bay

Looking down at Woody Bay on Rakino Island

If I won Lotto, this would be mine – one of the best views of the outer gulf you will find.

An Oops
Now deep down I’m an honest bloke, so best I own up before someone drops me in (there are eyes everywhere).

On Saturday morning I decided to go for a nosey around Rakino Island, I was looking for Governor Grays first gulf residence, in Home Bay. I understand that its a smaller version of Mansion House, Kawau Island – his 2nd home. Rumour has it that Rakino was too close to Auckland for his ‘antics’ ???
Anyway back to me……….. I now have some new rules :
1. I’ll stop being nosey & stop gunk-holing in small bays
2. I’ll now always wear my glasses when reading charts
3. I’ll never trust the GPS 100%
4. I will trust Navionics on my iphone
5. I’ll remember that the depth sounder is only telling you what you have just passed over, not whats ahead.
6. I’ll always be nice to the owners of large alloy runabouts with big outboards

Yeap – I ran aground – big time e.g. bow out of the water. Story goes like this. Charts & GPS tells me there is a rock in the middle of Home Bay, yes I can see it. Now supposedly you can circle around it………… Well not these days………… Luckily only doing 3>3.5 knts but enough to drive Raindance up onto a bank/ramp that was a mix of sand, mud & loose rock + there was a falling tide……….. And no amount of shoving or reverse thrust would budge her . No cell coverage to call Monterey in the next bay………. Doing the – do I – do I not call Coast Guard (that would have been embarrassing) & then a kind, wonderful local bach owner appears on a kayak & he has a boat anchored near by……. 5 minutes later we pull her off. Went around to Woody Bay & slipped over the side – other than a 1/4 inch deep, foot long, scrape on the keel – all is good, so the only real damage is a severely bruised ego  🙂
Cant believe I didn’t take a photo but the truth is I was bricking myself 😦
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Google Earth doesn’t lie 😉

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