Rawhiti MV


Rawhiti was designed and built by the Strongman Brothers in Coromandel in 1962, originally as a fisheries inspector vessel. She at some stage moved to the Kaipara where she was used as mother ship for a mullet fisherman.
She is a very capable sea boat with a fine entry forward, generous hips amidships and a flat run aft. She has a nice flair and a tumble home transom. At 28′ x 8.5’. Powered by 49 hp 4108 Perkins she cruises comfortably at 8 knots.

Her present owners have had her for 12 years and taken many trips to the Great Barrier, Bay of Islands and fishing north of the Poor Nights.
Her owners are boat builders & had planned to remove the cabin and replace with something more flattering to her hull quality. However they preferred to invest the money on beer and bait 🙂 The cabin is functional with full height headroom forward to the galley and steering station. The above photos were taken recently when hauled out at Snells Beach.

I understand she was / is for sale. Any woodys able to expand on her past?


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photo from Russell Ward

Russell was recently mud plugging and gunk holing over on the West Coast – Kaipara, skippering the steam boat Romany when he came across the nice bridgdecker above, tied up  at Helensville. Russell noted that the styling of the windows was very ‘individual’.
Russell was told by a local that it was built in 1948 & was also told her (the launches) name, but forgot it 😦  .

An unusual boat in an equally unusual location – someone most be able to ID her ?

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉


18-10-2015 Update from Cherry Bishop

This boat was built by my father Francis Bishop and a boat builder friend who’s name may have been Gladden. It was built from one of the last kauri logs to have been milled in the North island and yes 1948 is the year it was built. He dearly loved the boat and named it after my Mother “Zoe”. During my childhood we often took her out on the Kaipara fishing and netting for flounder and stayed overnight,sometimes for up to several weeks at a time depending on the demands of home and work. We often attended the Kaipara cruising club regattas and other events.We also sometimes moored at the lagoon at the end of the South Head Peninsula and I have fond memories of falling asleep in the bow of the boat listening to ship to shore radio and the sound of lapping waves and peacocks meowing ashore.As children we all fished and swam “with the sharks”.
Since my Father was born in 1910 he was familiar with boats sailing the Kaipara harbour and I once found a series of drawings he had done as a child of “boats” which were very detailed. I think he was really a frustrated boat designer. He left school age twelve during the depression as labour was needed on the farm and he was a farmer all his life. Boats were his hobby and a great love.He died in 1999 aged 89.

Mystery Launch no more – Tawaki


Ok train spotters, questions of the day – 1. where 2. name 3. design / builder ?? We have a winner – Zach Matich – see below

“Pahi (Kaipara) -Dems Road to be exact, ‘Kawiti’ (think that’s how you spell it) owned by Tim Cant, pass on the builder, was told she was used as a ‘school bus’ somewhere on the east coast.Had a BMC engine.

09-04-2016 – Input from Pat Shanks (nee Simons)

My son wondered what had happened to Tawaki as he had spent holidays on her with his grandfather, and found her on waitematawoodys
Tawaki was originally named Penguin. She was owned by the Hansens of Purerua in the Bay of Islands. Mr Hansen used her as a charter for deep sea fishing. Mrs Hansen was a teacher. Penguin was used to ferry children to school in the Bay of Islands. I don’t know if she had a previous owner.
My father, Edgar (Nobby) Simons bought her in 1967 or 68 and rebuilt her as a launch. He and my mother, Bertie, had 25 years of sailing and fishing in her, based in the Whangarei Harbour.

09-10-2016 Updated photos ex Peter Mence


Margurita – 1955 building costs & launch photos


In todays world its rare to come across a set of records like this, the original 1955 invoices for the build & fit out of Zach Matich’s Kaipara based launch Margurita. I’m sure it was a lot of money back then but looking back now the prices, particularly the fittings, seem less than what you would pay in a model shop today. Fascinating reading, thanks Zach for sharing these & the launch day photos.