Kotanui – Launch Day + Fathers Day Sorted

KOTANUI – Launch Day

In the photos above we see the launch – Kotanui being launched at the Salthouse yard in Greenhithe c.1963. 
In the 2nd photo we also see the yacht Rawhiti getting her new ‘doghouse’, probably owned by Don Brooke at the time.

Kotanui also featured on the Dec/Jan (1963-64) cover of Sea Spray magazine

More photos of Kotanui just after launching, in this 2013 WW story  https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/10/16/kotanui-3/

More photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/29/kotanui-2/

Read the full background on Kotanui in Nathan Herberts WW story  https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/15/kotanui/
(details & photos ex Nathan Herbert)

Worried About What You’ll Get For Fathers Day This Year In Lock-Down

Problem solved – click link https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/09/19/des-townson-a-sailing-legacy/

Kerikeri Wharf

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Todays photos come to us from Nathan Herbert and show a small flotilla of woodys that regularly cruised together – the boats being – Kudu, Lynmar, Kotanui, Haunui, and Valhalla. On this cruise Rakanoa was present also but had not made the trip up the river for provisions, she decided to ’stay out’ at anchor.

Nathan commented that Kotanui was always the ‘pilot’ boat for the Kerikeri river being as his grandfather – Jack Hobbs had been up so many times over the years in Pacific, now owned by Nathan.
Dulcie Dennes (Valhalla) told Nathan that on this particular trip, the men were sent up to Kerikeri township to get groceries, and forgot them altogether, instead spending the whole time at the pub. They had to hitch a ride on an orchard truck back down to the Stone Store basin, a few sheets to the wind…  I understand not all the men were guilty – Jack and Harry Julian had stayed at the boats to keep an eye on them.
Yesterdays Best Caption Competition
The comments section on WW only ever goes a maximum of 15 (the last 15) comments, so I have reproduced them below. Given Flora’s on / off relationship with the boys in blue – her winner is Matthew Drake.  
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Click to view / enlarge the below 🙂 Thanks for all the entries

Rakanoa, Altair & Kotanui

Rakanoa march 1968 (2)

Rakanoa March 1968

Rakanoa, Altair & Kotanui

Its not often that we see a photo of Rakanoa underway, the above 2 photos came to us via Nathan Herbert & are part of Gwenyth Herberts collection. Taken by Jack and Mill Hobbs in the the late 1960’s.

From the same collection, below we have the 43′ Altair at sea in March 1968, while owned by Stan Horner, Altair was built for Horner by Supreme Craft in 1961. More details & photos here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/05/altair/

Altair March

And another photo, from the same date, shows Kotanui berthed at Westhaven, anyone able to ID the other vessel’s?
More details & photos on Kotanui here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/10/16/kotanui-3/    https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/15/kotanui/ https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/29/kotanui-2/

And even an old movie – Enjoy https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/06/15/kotanui-old-movie-underway-1/

Kotanui Westhaven march 1968


Wakanui & Rakanoa

Wakanui  & Rakanoa – Two classics we don’t see a lot of

The older photos were taken by Gwenyth Herbert from aboard Kotanui. I understand that in the photos Wakanui was only a year old.

Can anyone supply more details on Wakanui?

Harold Kidd Input

According to Salthouses’ records WAKANUI was commissioned by S.G. “Nobby” Clark in 1967. According to Nobby she was finished and launched in early 1968.Bob Salthouse was responsible for her design.

10-01-2016 photo of Wakanui at Great Barrier Island ex Pam Cundy

Wakanui at GB Jan 2016



photos & details ex Nathan Herbert

The two black & white photos show Kotanui just after she slid down the railway slip at the Salthouse yard on launch day. The ‘urban’ wharf photo Nathan thinks is at Whangarei.  The other wharf is at Elizabeth Brooke’s aunts house in Kerikeri with the Julian’s launch Haunui alongside. And one underway, location unknown.

 TIP:   If you search Kotanui in the waitematawoodys search box you will find a lot more info & photos on this wonderful example of a Salthouse built vessel.

Photo of the bow set-up, hallelujah for auto-winches 🙂

Kotanui bow



While down at Milford CC over the weekend ‘supervising’ the painting prep on Rorqual, the launch Kotanui was being hauled out. A little bit of a tight fit 🙂

I have also posted a photo of her being hauled out at (a long time ago) on the beach at what I think is now ‘Gulf Harbour’. Nathan Herbert will correct me I’m sure, it is after all his photo.
Kotanui is a slightly scaled down version of Trinidad & differs in that she has twin engines/screws.

30-10-2016 Hauled out again – this time at Gulf Harbour (photo ex Ken Ricketts)

20-05-2020 Update ex Glenn Martin – photo below of Kotanui at Milford Marina

Kotanui May2020



Story & photos from Nathan Herbert

Named after the original owner’s farm and adjacent island, was designed by Bob Salthouse for J.N (Jack) Hobbs of Hobbs bay Whangaparaoa and built at the Salthouse Greenhithe yard in 1964. She is 44 feet in length and was powered by twin Lister 60hp diesels cruising at 10 knots and pushing her to around 12 knots with mechanical gearboxes, later replaced by twin Fords on hydraulic gearboxes but retaining the original gear levers. She is a motorsailer with main and headsail of almost equal dimensions.

Her design is modelled from Jack’s previous launch the Pacific, which his father had built by Joe Slattery. Layout is practical with galley in the aft dodger area, long settee berths in the saloon coming up to a flat- floored wheelhouse with engines beneath (a bonus of the bridgedeck layout) and master accommodation and head for’d.

Before the Gulf harbour marina was built she would be hauled up at the eastern end of Hobbs Bay on a purpose- built slipway, operated by a winch driven from a Fordson Major tractor. Pacific had the same setup alongside her. Kotanui was the first boat to enter and berth in the new Gulf Harbour marina, followed by the Pacific.

A fixture of the Auckland cruising fleet from her launch until Jack’s death in 1991 at age 84, Bob Salthouse notes that her presence “opened a few eyes” leading to further commissions of fine, large launches.

Kotanui is now berthed on the marina in Milford, with very few alterations (refer 2012 photo ex Alan Houghton)

Scroll down to view 2 home movies of Kotanui