Rata Revisted


Last month (Oct 16th) we dd a story on the launch – Rata based around a Lew Redwood fb photo, then Ray Morey came on and embellished the story with lots more details  – link below to that story.

Next up Mark McLaughlin drops a note advising he had found the above photos in his late father’s collection, which Marks thinks would be from the 1950’s. He wondered if it could be the same boat? and commented that whether or not the boat is Rata, he was 99% certain it will be one of the Johnson’s mail boat fleet of which Rata also belonged to, operating from Havelock. Mark had heard his Dad mention Rata many times. I’ll let Mark tell the rest of the story – 

The forward bulwark and twin masts are obviously missing here but the hull is a good match and the end of the aft lower belting lines up with the aft cabin porthole in the same location. The forward cabin appears shorter though in the Rata photos in the original post. 

Regardless, the photo underway is a great look back in time at how the commercial boys used to roll. The safety police would be having heart attacks if they saw that now. As per most of the Johnson’s mail boats of the time though, she looks like she has a good turn of speed (and nobody fell off).

Most of the clinker dinghies in Havelock at the time (like the one in the photo) where built there by Tom Hutchison out of Kahikatea. They were large and heavy but could take a good beating in day to day use.”

Mark also did a google search and uncovered the photo below of Rata from the ‘Johnson’s Barge Service’ website, showing her well laden with logs. This is an earlier photo of Rata but appears to support her being the same boat in Marks photos. The photo is tagged ‘1930’s – Rata was built by Eric and his brother Frank in Havelock. White pine for the construction was cut in the Nydia Bay by the Wells family’ 

LINK to Johnson Barge Service websitehttps://www.johnsonsbargeservice.co.nz/about-us/

So the question today that would be nice to confirm – is boat above the same boat that appeared in the Oct. 16th WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2022/10/16/rata-3/