Help Needed ID’ing Gunner + Woody Involved In Collision Sinks

A Bayswater marina boats dropped me a note asking what I knew about the ex workboat – Gunner that was berth near him at Bayswater. I answer was – nothing, so I popped down and took the above photos.Very distinctive looking small ship so one of the Work Boat chat group should be able to enlighten us.

Input & photo below from Cameron Pollard – she was built by Lane’s in Picton


 Boat builder Greg Lees sent in the sad photo above of the launch Kahu semi submerged after being T-boned by a fishing trawler. I’m a little hazy on the location, but I understand it was near  “Cooks Rock’ in/near the entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound at the tip of the South Island. I’m told everyone was taken off both vessels and the trawler taken under tow – BUT Kahu was left to fend for her self. In the above photo she had been ‘afloat’ for 2 days and was about to be taken under tow, with the hope of beaching her. The prognosis isn’t good so woodys, fingers crossed she can be saved. Link here to a WW story on Tahu

Update – Interesting spin on things – not sure what the actual situation is


She sank in Cook Strait on Saturday the 17th of April in the AM in a strong southerly north of the brothers. The Westpac rescue helicopter located the 3 crew and the yacht Chatham Whisper was able to recover the 3 from the water then transferred them to a coastguard boat out of picton near Cape Koamaru.
The boat was completely submerged but was able to be recovered but had been crashed into by a fishing boat while it was under the surface.

Photos below ex Ross Giblin at STUFF – see above link for stroy re the recovery. Alan H

Kahu – A Peek Down Below

KAHU – A Peek Down Below
Kahu made a brief WW appearance on WW back in 2016 and 2018 (link below), back then in the chat section, it was suggest she may have been built by either of these two possible yards – Strongman of Coromandel and Pearson of Golden Bay, Nelson.

Now thanks to a tme listing and Ian McDonald we get to have a peek down below. She is powered by a 120hp Ford diesel.
Anyone care to add there view of the builder?

Previous WW story

Input from Phil Vining –  The good ship Kahu brought back some
memories for me including an old photo that was taken around 50 years ago.
It shows a young Phil Vining in college uniform on the foredeck of Kahu when
my father Dick Vining travelled to see the boat in Mapua which is not far
from Nelson. Kahu was for sale at the time and dad was looking at buying
her. For whatever reason he did not go ahead but being a mad keen boatie
from an early age I have kept a selection of photos over the years. Probably
around 10 years later I started Vining Shipbrokers Ltd which kept me very
busy for the next 35 years … now retired but still messing around in boats
and helping people out where I can. During my time selling boats we had Kahu
listed twice. The middle photo shows her following a major refit which was
carried out during the early 1980’s when she was refastened, a new 120hp
Ford diesel motor installed, rewired plus new galley, squabs etc. The third
photo taken during 2009 shows her in a run down condition in Havelock – at
that time we sold her to to an Auckland buyer and she was trucked North. I
can see from the latest photos that she has been refitted again and looks in
good nick. Our detail sheets from that period show her as being design &
built by Golden Bay boatbuilder J Pearson. She was launched around 1958/1960
and the hull is planked white pine. Hope this is of interest to you and your
readers. Love your site and the great work you do keeping the history &
interest going around wooden boats. 

Woodys On Holiday @ Waiheke Island









Woodys On Holiday @ Waiheke Island

 Good morning Woodys – the 1st ‘live’ post in 2 weeks & I have to say I have enjoyed the break from the daily task of creating a WW story. Sometimes with everything else that happens in life its been a challenge, I’ll keep on with the daily stories but just a heads up, the frequency may change……… but business as usual for now.

I was amazed at the viewing audience over the Xmas / NY period, there were some huge days – the “Gunk-Holing Up The Weti River’ story had over 6,000 views in 24hrs, not bad for a ‘re-run’.

Despite the weather forecast & a broken freezer we got away on Raindance for 8 Days, came back a little early due to the weather bomb, & so glad that we did. 

For the 8 days we just mooched around Waiheke Island & had stunning launch weather + the water temp was amazing, warmest I can recall in a long time. 

I spotted quite a few woodys around the bays, if I missed getting a photo of you, either the light was all wrong or I was doing something else – so sorry in advance.

Last ones of Raindance were taken by Richard Darke from aboard his launch ’Seafarer’, many thanks Richard, I do not get many of Raindance, normally she is the camera platform.

A word of warning, last weeks storm has deposited some very ugly logs around the inner harbour, so keep a look out. It amazes we no-one (Akl Council etc) gathers them up, they will find there way back into the water & be an even bigger hazard. The one below was on Cheltenham Beach, Devonport.

If you have any photos from the holidays – email them in to


While ashore at Oneroa I picked up a flyer for The Island Grocer store, very clever piece of creative 😉

Island Grocer





KAHU - 5 c2000s

KAHU - 1


Over the last 10 years every time I have motored past Kahu, when she was moored in the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour, just past the Greenhite upper harbour crossing, probably 50>60 times & each time was pleasantly surprised she was still a float. The old girl has had a very checkered past & unfortunately during numerous periods of ownership, all with big plans for her – nothing really came to fruition & she appeared destined for the knackers yard.

I can report that she is now in Whangarei undergoing a major refit. Fingers crossed that this time she returns to her former glory. Ken Ricketts sent me the above old trademe photos that record some of her WWII period, post WWII Navy service (c.1950s), her almost conversion to a passenger ferry (c.early 2000’s), a neglected moored hull.

If there are any woodys that can tell us more about her past & if there was a Northland woody out there that can give a use an update on the project, please do 🙂

01-06-2017 Update ex Geoff Brebner

Photo below of Kahu on her way to Whangarei c.2012


Interested in reading more on all things Motor Launch, be they serving in the Navy or in civvy hands. (over 250 photo’s and 50+ stories and tech data / links to other ML pages) Check out the link below