Todays’ story on Manunui comes to us from the ‘desk’ of Paul Drake – as always, well written so I’ll pass over to Paul.
“Arriving at Taupo for our annual holiday one January in the late 1950’s, my brothers and I were intrigued to see a very unusual looking new commercial boat on the scene. Before we knew her name, we kids called her ‘The Ugly Boat’. She turned out to have a proper name – MANUNUI – after the saw milling town just out of Taumarunui. It was there that she was built by the manager of said sawmill, Basil Maude.
Basil’s hobby was building boats, but he rarely got more than about three-quarters of the way through before losing interest. MANUNUI was the exception. He wished to see how big a boat he could build out of plywood. He had the plywood made at his mill from selected timber. Her bottom had two sheets of ply each twenty feet long , six feet wide, and one and a quarter inches thick. She measured 36 feet by 12 feet.
She had to be chunky and strong because Basil had two Allison Kittyhawk 12-cylinder aeroplane engines which he wanted to fit. He designed and built the double gearbox himself. It measured eight feet by three feet by two feet deep. At the last minute the plan changed and the two gallons per minute Allisons were wisely ditched in favour of Ford V8s. But the gear box remained – larger than the two engines. This most fascinating gearbox was mounted forward of the engines with the propeller shafts running back under the engines. Chains were involved, and each propeller was operated independently of the other in the normal way. MANUNUI was the first diesel powered launch on the lake (so it is said) and also the first commercial plywood boat to operate on the lake.
In the good old days when fishermen would club together and charter a launch for five day expeditions to Taupo’s Western Bay, MANUNUI was a very successful and busy charter launch under her very capable skipper Ron Houghton.
The original canvas arrangement over the aft end was eventually replaced with the rather functional effort shown in the second photo. In about 1970 a whole new cabin appeared. Shortly afterwards MANUNUI was sold to New Plymouth. I wonder if she survives? Somehow I doubt it.
Much of this information is contained in ’Boats of Taupo’ by Charles Cox.
Karakia was designed by Roy Parris in 1968 but I suspect somewhere along the line she has been ‘altered’ a tad 😉
OCEAN QUEEN – A Peek Down Below
The photos above of Ocean Queen were sent to me by Nathan Herbert and show her berthed on Lake Taupo.
Lake Taupo Wooden Boats
Right now Colin Pawson should have been in the USA & taking photos for me at a wooden boat festival, but a speed bump slowed him down a bit & instead he was mooching round the lake front moorings at Lake Taupo.
Most of the above have appeared on WW before but its always nice to get an update & who has been applying the TLC & who hasn’t 🙂
Input ex Paul Drake – below is a 1932 pic of the same two boats. It is regatta day at Taupo. ROMANCE has only recently arrived at the lake ex Napier and is still a flush decker. EAST WIND has already been on the lake for some years. Both boats came into Drake family ownership 46 years ago in 1972.
Now would be a good moment to seek opinions regarding EAST WIND’s origins. She was clearly built as an open boat with motor. She still has the original foredeck and coaming under the newer raised deck. Two clues – she has an external stern gland and has an X etched into her starboard forard sheer strake (see pic). No sign of lifting hooks though.
We would be really interested to discover when she was built and by whom. Her history prior to the mid 1920’s is a mystery. What do the Brains Trust think?
Also below is Paul’s favorite pic of EAST WIND, at Rotoiti, taken by me (Alan H).
Rainbow was built in 1930 by Chas Robinson at Ohiniamutu for the Smiths who owned Rainbow Point on Lake Taupo – hence the name Rainbow.
She is 22.96’ in length & powered by a 15hp diesel.
She looks a very smart classic kauri launch & with a trademe asking price of $20k ono, could be a great buy. While still a lake boat, it would not cost a lot to truck her to the Waitemata 😉
Do any of the lake woodys know more about the boat ?
(thanks to Ian McDonald for the listing heads up)
Input From Paul Drake
RAINBOW was a Taupo boat for more than 70 years, before moving to a nearby hydro lake where I suspect she still is. Someone has done a superb job on her cabin since she left. When built, she had an extensive canvas canopy instead of a cabin, supported by heavy tubular nickeled rods. She was fitted with copper buoyancy tanks, making her unsinkable. She also fitted with a magnificent 6 cylinder twin ignition Gray. Two spark plugs to each cylinder. To change from battery to magneto requires the flick of a switch. Fresh water is very kind to engines and this engine, in very good condition, now resides in brother Michael’s shed, complete with owner’s manual and original instruments. RAINBOW lived in a substantial boatshed at Rainbow Point, and was launched via a similarly substantial slip. She is a most unusual boat, in a good way, being very shapely and very shallow draft (half a metre) with exaggerated flare forard and very flat underwater sections aft. A fabulous looker and the perfect lake boat. In the photos below – the last photo shows how she looked when she left Taupo. The first three are from the 1930’s.
THREE TAUPO BOATS
Post a visit by Paul Drake & his brothers to the 2017 Classic Yacht & Launch Exhibition & a side trip to the Auckland Maritime Museum, Paul sent me the above photos & the story below – which I have re-produced unedited as its perfect as is. Read & enjoy J
In the mid 1920’s, two gents and their families fell in love with Taupo. Both of them commissioned boats from Auckland builders. Hawke Bay’s Guy Rochfort had TUI (16 feet and clinker) built by Percy Vos. TUI was on display at the recent Classic Clinker Exhibition at the Viaduct in Auckland. Auckland’s Robert Laidlaw had the 17 foot speedboat SEAHORSE built by an unspecified builder. After a weather related fright on the lake in 1929, Robert approached Collings and Bell, and the 28 foot PIRI PONO (faithful friend) was the result. Honduras mahogany and bright finished, no expense was spared. PIRI PONO is on display at the Maritime Museum in Auckland. With her 150 HP straight eight Niagara, she weighed just over a ton and could do about 30 knots. Housed in her boatshed at Two Mile Bay, alongside Laidlaw’s house ‘Monte Vista’, access to the water was via a slipway. A private jetty and offshore mooring completed the picture.
PIRI PONO was the fastest boat on the lake. But by 1935, she had a rival in the form of local man Stan Gillies’s LUYVON, locally designed and built by Jack Taylor and measuring 22 feet. She was light (about half the weight of PIRI PONO) and powered with a Dodge, driving through an outboard drive. Informal drag races indicated that the boats were very similar in speed. A more formal test was required. Regatta Day 1936 (probably) was the day. PIRI PONO had her bottom waxed, new spark plugs fitted, all surplus gear removed, and half her fuel pumped out. The day dawned fine and calm, to PIRI PONO’s disadvantage. LUYVON and PIRI PONO lined up for the 20 lap race. LUYVON had the edge because she cornered faster – PIRI PONO would catch her on the straights. Robert Laidlaw ordered his crew (son Lincoln) to the aft cockpit to get the bow up a bit. Stan Gillies was still ahead. Back came Lincoln, returning aft with the anchor. This was enough. PIRI PONO won and Robert retained his title as fastest man on the lake.
PIRI PONO was commandeered by the Air Force during WW2 and was the Commodore’s launch at Hobsonville. They replaced the Niagara with a Chrysler (Crown?) and built a cabin over the forward cockpits. Having won the war, the Air Force returned PIRI PONO to Taupo. She was re-engined with twin Gray’s which are in her to this day. There are conflicting stories as to how this came about. One source has it that she was returned by the Air Force without an engine. Another has it that Laidlaw was disappointed with the speed produced by the Chrysler. Yet another has it that the Air Force wrote off the Chrysler while trying to reverse PIRI PONO off her transporter and into the lake (overheating due to lack of cooling water).
Laidlaw was an enthusiast. He was the founder of Farmers Trading Company. He was a very active Christian, and his name lives on in Laidlaw College, formerly the Bible College of New Zealand, which trains people for Christian ministry. He also has a rock named after him, informally at least. During an early evening spin in PIRI PONO, with 23 POB (so it is said), PIRI PONO struck, at speed, the large flat rock in Mine Bay between the islets and the shore at the eastern end of the bay. The damage must have been enormous and she quickly sank in a few metres of water. Passengers, some of them not-so-young ladies in fur coats, were rescued by nearby launches. Jack Taylor’s PONUI and VICTORY salvaged PIRI PONO the next day and she was repaired in time for the following summer.
Meanwhile, TUI led an uneventful life, and lived afloat in a Taupo Boat Harbour boatshed. LUYVON lived in a boatshed nearby, but was kept dry (and light) by being lifted clear of the water on a cradle once in the shed. LUYVON also survives, still owned by the Gillies family, and has been awaiting restoration for some 30 years now.
The book by Ian Hunter, ‘Robert Laidlaw – Man for our Time’ makes a very interesting read.
UPDATE 01-11-2017 Photo below showing TAMATI in the Lake Taupo Boat Harbour, with the fishing lodge (ex TONGARIRO) in the background, and the Collings and Bell PIRI PONO in the fore ground.
The above before & after photos of the Kinloch, Lake Taupo, launch Old Timer were sent to me by Larry Grigg. I’m not sure if its Larry’s boat, maybe if he reads this story he can let us know & a few more details on the restoration.
I understand was built at Taupo by local boat builder and charter boat skipper Jack Taylor.
I’m sure the Drake brothers will be able to help us out 🙂
03-07-2017 Input from Paul Drake
OLD TIMER is one of four sisters built at Taupo by Godfrey Taylor, son of Jack Taylor, in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. They measure 18 feet, are round bilged and built of totara. OLD TIMER (not her name in those days) was bought by the boatyard when Don Norton owned it, and re configured as the yard work boat. They re-named her DULCIE TAYLOR. Her engine at that time was a Universal Utility Four (now in our SIR FRANCIS, where it has been for many years). One of the sisters, TAURUS, lives in Wellington (photos below). Another was named LADY GRACE (photo below). One was twin screw and quite fast. As kids, we knew these four sisters as “The Godfrey Taylor Boats”.
Pre – repaint below
ELSIE MAY II
Back in early January Paul Drake sent in the above photos of Elsie May II. She had ‘appeared’ at a berth near Paul’s ROMANCE a few months before, having been on a mooring on the Lake Taupo for several years.
She is very original, and Paul commented that whoever owns her did a great paint job on her in December.
Paul believes she came from Napier, but knows nothing else. Possibly a 1950’s Chris Craft design NZ built ? & 28>30′ in length
Can any woody supply any details on Elsie May II?
Harold Kidd Input – ELSE MAY (I) was owned by L.G. & W.E. Mair of Connells Bay in 1973 (my pennyworth).
1945 – 32′ Classic Kauri Launch
Now this launch is for sale & if you had a peek inside you would be very impressed & at the asking price of $78k you might think its a great buy. Well it is a great buy, but I do not think there will be a queue of classic woody buyers lining up – why? because someone has stolen its mojo – the thing that makes a boat special. Her name is Ranui & in another life was called El Alamein, you can read about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/08/03/el-alamein-ranui/
The Readers Digest version of her history is that she was launched in January 1945, specifically for use on Lake Rotoiti to help convalescing returned servicemen from World War II, many in wheelchairs, ease back into civilian life.
Now I have another life outside of being a wooden boat blogger & that is in the world of consumer & B2B marketing – mostly via the digital channels these days – so I can hear you asking yourself whats the relevance of this to today’s story? Well Ranui is in charter & these days calls Lake Taupo home – So wearing my marketing hat, if I owned a boat with the provenance that Ranui / El Alamein has I would be doing two things:-
1. leveraging every inch / ounce of her life story to make a trip on her something special, hell I’d even by donating $xx dollars from every ticket to the local RSA etc etc.
2. The other thing I would be doing was making her look as classic as possible – that’s her X-factor – the tourist’s would be telling people “I went for a very laid back lake cruise on this amazing 1945 wooden boat that used to help with the rehabilitation a returning WWII solders etc etc.
So what has someone done? bought a few sheets of plywood & put a top hamper on her. Well it is their boat & they can do what they like (see Cameron P – I’m softening) – I’m sure the attraction of getting a few more paying passengers aboard won them over. But in my eyes they have knocked $25+k off her sale price & halved the visual / emotive appeal of the charter business.
If I was a few years older I’d buy her & borrow Mr Prew’s tungsten tipped chainsaw 😉 & go make a few bob on the Lake. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the boat.
Have a look below at the photo of her back in the 1940’s, what she looked like in 2015 & as she appears today on treadme. As they say “different strokes for different blokes” – Its still a good buy for a 32′ motor launch – But not me.
The above photos of El Alamein (now named Ranui) show her c.1956 when she was in commercial charter on Lake Taupo. (photos ex Google ex Karen Moren via Ken Ricketts)
Some history below from the Ranui website
Formerly known as El Alamein, the ‘great dame’ of Taupo charter boats started her sailing career on Lake Rotorua after World War II.
Ranui was launched as El Alamein on 29 January 1945 for use by patients of the Rotorua Convalescent Hospital after the Second World War.
Named after that part of the Middle East where New Zealand servicemen distinguished themselves in action, the 32-foot kauri cabin launch was donated to the convalescent depot by the Patriotic Fund: Joint Council of the Red Cross and St John. Specially designed for use on Lake Rotorua and for passage through the Ohau Channel to Rotoiti, she was built by McGeady and was capable of seating up to 40 passengers.
For the first 4 years of her life Ranui was an open boat, with a small cabin and bunk room up forward captained by William J. Pollock. She was a familiar sight, often carrying up to 40 convalescing soldiers, many in wheelchairs, on Lake Rotorua excursions as part of their rehabilitation. She played a big part in easing the soldiers back into civilian life.
Ranui was sold in August 1949 as the numbers of ex-service patients dropped and maintenance costs rose. She was trucked to Lake Taupo on 24 August 1949 and purchased by Ron Martin – the money from the sale was returned to the Patriotic Fund Board.
Two years later one of Taupo’s old-time residents, Noel East, put on a full cabin and was first to have Ranui surveyed.
The next owner was from Hawke’s Bay and used her privately before selling her to one of Taupo’s most familiar commercial boat operators – Jim Storey. He had Ranui surveyed and used her commercially for many years, taking visitors out on Lake Taupo tours for fishing and sightseeing.
In 1980 Ranui was purchased by Graham Twiss and he continued taking visitors out on Lake Taupo tours and fishing for a further 34 years.
Ranui has recently been refurbished by her present owners, Sarah & Jamie Looner & again is operating as a charter boat on Lake Taupo. Click link below to view photos of her today.
photos & details ex Paul & Roger Drake
Saturdays post on the Kinloch Woodys prompted Paul & Roger to dig out at their collections of old Taupo postcards. The brothers uncovered some great photos of Victory from the 1940>1950 era. Also read below Paul’s comments on Victory.
The first photo above shows Victory on the beach at Waihaha with her skipper on foredeck – Ernie Taylor, son of builder Jack Taylor.
The second photo shows her hauled out at Nukuhau, where she was built. Probably in the 1940’s, when she was quite new. Now she has a larger wheelhouse, but is not much changed apart from that.
Boat in foreground is Ahuriri – an ex surf boat from Napier.
On the other side of Victory is Romance, then Lady Pat – well documented and discussed on WW.
The photo below is dated 1959 shows Victory on the other side of the Waikato river sporting her original wheelhouse. It was altered some time later.
Behind her with bow showing only is the Logan Ponui also owned by the Taylor’s at the time.
This side of the river at the breastwork is Rangatira (Otehei) on the left and El Alamein (Ranui) 4th from left.
Details on Victory ex Paul Drakes comments on last Saturdays ww post
“VICTORY is very much a lake boat. As Colin says, she was built at Taupo by local boat builder and charter boat skipper Jack Taylor. She was launched, I believe, in 1942 or 1943. It is said that no power tools were used during her construction. Kauri planks on jarrah ribs with totara floors. She was built to replace ROMANCE (Bailey and Lowe 1914), who was sold by Jack in 1943. VICTORY became a very busy and popular charter boat. The Taylors sold her in 1982. Although it is said that Jack often wished he had never started building such a large launch (40 feet), assisted by his wife, – his two sons were away at the war – he must have enjoyed her immensely once finished. She was a big step up from the 26 foot 6 inch ROMANCE. VICTORY was perfect for the four or five day charters which were very common in the day. VICTORY is a Jack Taylor design, built from a model which Jack towed behind ROMANCE as he refined the shape. She is of shallow draft – a useful attribute on Taupo (no tidal rise and fall) – as it allows access to beaches where the drill is to put the bow on the beach and disembark via a ladder (in VICTORY’s case a rather long ladder). She did spend a few years in Auckland (Pine Harbour) during the 1990’s, but for 90% of her 70 plus years she has been at Taupo. She is well looked after and nicely appointed internally.”
Victory June 2016 at Kinloch
photos ex Scott Taylor
Scott was down at Kinloch, Lake Taupo, over Oueen’s Birthday weekend and snapped a few woodys. And another glass Logan 33 replica, seems there are as many of these launches on lakes as on the sea.
One looks like a Shipbuilders but we are unsure about the rest. Victory the big bridge-decker looks very salty for a lake boat so there must be some history out there on her previous life.
Photo below of the marina – it doesn’t get much better than that 😉
11-06-2016 Input on Victory ex Paul Drake
VICTORY is very much a lake boat. She was built at Taupo by local boat builder and charter boat skipper Jack Taylor. She was launched, I believe, in 1942 or 1943. It is said that no power tools were used during her construction. Kauri planks on jarrah ribs with totara floors. She was built to replace ROMANCE (Bailey and Lowe 1914), who was sold by Jack in 1943. VICTORY became a very busy and popular charter boat. The Taylors sold her in 1982. Although it is said that Jack often wished he had never started building such a large launch (40 feet), assisted by his wife, – his two sons were away at the war – he must have enjoyed her immensely once finished. She was a big step up from the 26 foot 6 inch ROMANCE. VICTORY was perfect for the four or five day charters which were very common in the day. VICTORY is a Jack Taylor design, built from a model which Jack towed behind ROMANCE as he refined the shape. She is of shallow draft – a useful attribute on Taupo (no tidal rise and fall) – as it allows access to beaches where the drill is to put the bow on the beach and disembark via a ladder (in VICTORY’s case a rather long ladder). She did spend a few years in Auckland (Pine Harbour) during the 1990’s, but for 90% of her 70 plus years she has been at Taupo. She is well looked after and nicely appointed internally.
photos & details ex Paul Drake
Paul has advised that the above launch has arrived at Lake Taupo within the last few weeks. Now if we believe the name plate she is a 1927 Colin Wild boat. Paul commented that its a nice touch having the build year and builder’s name being advertised, but it would be nice with they spelt the name correctly (Wild not Wilde) 😦
Paul believes that if her provenance stacks up, she is probably the only Col Wild on the lake.
The name plate states her home anchorage was Mahurangi, so what more do we know about Princess & how did she end up on the lake ?
Lake Taupo Launches
photo ex Paul Drake
Today’s photo was sent in by Paul ex his brother Roger. Roger collects old Taupo postcards & this one is part of the collection. The post card was tagged ‘Launch Haven, Waikato River, Taupo’.
The recently posted launch ‘Katoa’ can be seen center right, can we ID any of the others?
10-12-2015 Input from Paul Drake
In the stream from the left – KAHURANGI (said to be home built in Hastings – last seen at Mana Marina some years ago being set up as a live-aboard). NGARO (Lidgard?). ARCADIA (said to be a Slattery and still at Taupo but with a different cabin). KATOA.
Moored to the river bank – at far left is KOTAHI (now at Auckland Zoo as previously discussed on ww.) At far right alongside each other are MARY (last seen on the Whanganui River) and HAPPY DAYS.
On the far side of the river above KATOA is NOMAD (previously owned by the Bull family who replaced her with KATOA). NOMAD last heard of at Rotorua.
All ww knows about today’s boat Bonita is that Ken Ricketts took the photo in Feb 2013 at Lake Taupo. So woodys can we shed some light on her?
Harold Kidd Input
According to the “HIstory Site for Boats of Taupo” she was built c1959 by Rogers Jones for himself to a design by Ted Herd for use on the Manukau. She’s 33′ x 11′ and has an 85hp diesel. There’s a full history of her there, but the Drakes probably know far more.
26-11-2015 Input from Paul Drake
From the publication “Boats of Taupo”.
She arrived at Taupo in the mid 1960’s. Roger and Joyce Jones ran her commercially. Built by Roger’s father (a professional boat builder) in the late 1950s. He purchased two large kauri logs and had them milled (those were the days).
There have been three sisters built to the same Ted Herd design.
Used as a patrol boat for the Manukau Yacht Club. Also used for fishing trips up and down the West Coast, outside the Manukau bar.
I believe she is still in survey, but seems to be little used. She is, however, well maintained.
Update from Paul Walsh 05-06-2018
The Bonita is currently owned by my father-in-law, John Hunter (former head vet at the Taupo vet clinic), and is used regularly for fishing trips by him and the rest of our family. (I have also just painted a Chorus cabinet on Acacia Bay Road that features the Bonita moored in front of the Karangahake Cliffs)
waitematawoody t-shirts – remember to get your order in – limited print run, full details here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/11/22/waitematawoodys-t-shirts/
photo & details ex Paul Drake
Today’s launch is Privateer a recent arrival at Lake Taupo. Can anyone comment on where she came from and what her history is? Paul mentioned that she seems quite heavily ribbed. Not an Auckland boat perhaps?
The photo is taken (Aug 12) at the marina at Motuoapa (at the southern end of the lake) & the reason its so empty is it has been closed and emptied of boats, in preparation for its re development.
Soon the weathered wooden jetties and the wetland/island in the middle will be gone. The new marina will lack any character whatsoever and be all plastic, as is the custom these days. A little sad if you like weathered wooden jetties! Anyway, its great that the last boat out will be a woody.
ANITA BAY / TE REPO REPO / MAHARATIA
photo & details ex Paul Drake
The above photo of a woody on a truck is the launch Te Repo Repo that was at Taupo in the 1960’s, run by the Tourist Hotel Corporation. Paul is pretty confident that her skipper was the Internal Affairs Harbour Master. Whilst at Taupo she was called Te Repo Repo but previously she came from the South Island, where she was called Anita Bay. Paul thinks that this was probably her “as built” name.
Copy of flyer below, promoting her services ex Harold Kidd
Photo below ex Ken Ricketts & B Worthington
I have to say given how beautiful she was, the more recent photo of her below is a little sad, sure someone now as a boat that they probably enjoy, but we have lost a classic along the way 😦
MAJOR UPDATE 07-08-2015
details ex Paul Drake, Ken Ricketts, Harold Kidd, Russell Ward, Jimmy Thomson, Caitlyn Beazley, Troy Searle. Extensively edited by Alan H
This story grew from a single photo sent in by Paul Drake & with the help of the above people has morphed into a comprehensive record of the the vessells past. In the interests of the recorded facts & woodys reading pleasure I have attempted to pull it all together as one. If I get something wrong – let me know 🙂 Alan H
Maharatia was launched in 1947 from the Auckland yard of Roy Lidgard, her hull was entirely built to deck level on a concrete slab at their property in Smeltering House Bay, Kawau Island. They bought, dismantled & shipped a shed from the mainland, to put over her, this shed is still there today (photos below). This became the shed where the Lidgard’s built & maintained many boats after Maharatia.
The hull was towed to Auckland where she was put in their Auckland shed, to be completed (photos below of shed, Maharatia is top left in the 1st photo).
She was built for the Birch family of the Tauranga region in the Bay of Plenty who were farmers & the boat was named after their farm, named Maharatia, which means “memories” in Maori.
According to Jimmy Thomson (close family friend of the Lidgards) she only remained in Tauranga for a fairly short time & actually spent most of her life during the Birches stewardship in Smelter House Bay at Kawau. They were however keen fisher people & she was used in Tauranga fairly extensively for game & other fishing in her early days apparently, note the number on her bow in some of the older photos.
In the 1960’s she was sold to the Government & went to Taupo. It would almost certainly have been the Govt., as owners who first changed her name from Maharatia to Te Repo Repo. Her skipper whilst at Taupo was the Internal Affairs Harbour Master, Lt.Cmdr. Pete Petersen, RNZNVR, who was Harbour Master from 1955 until 1978. Back in those days, he was it – just him and his Imperial typewriter.
After her time at Taupo, the Govt. then trucked her to Tauranga & sailed her to Milford Sound, to the Milford Tourist Hotel Corporation hotel & while there her name changed again, to Anita Bay.
She was damaged whilst there & taken to Bluff for repairs & sold to a Keith Wright, who took her to Whangarei, where he had a tow boat business & he used her in association with this & also for local tourist trips. She was quite badly damaged on a trip to an exploratory oil platform he was associated with, during his ownership.
Wright later sold her to Bruce Davies, also of Whangarei, who replaced the original Buda diesels with the 2 LX Gardners which she still has today. He later sold her Lawrence McCleod, who owned her for approx. 25 years. It was McCleod who changed her name to Anita Bay IV, for reasons of liquor licensing for tourism use. He took her the Kaipara initially, where he used her for that purpose, as this is where he was living. When he later moved to Snells Beach he took her to the Sandspit, which was in the mid 1980s. He sold her to Dave Searle of Warkworth in 2013. She had not been used for a number of years when bought by Dave Searle.
She is presently in Steve Grice’s shed at Omaha & being given an extensive restoration by the classic artisan boatbuilder, Colin Brown. The restoration will be to her original concept more or less & she is going to go back to her original name of Maharatia. She will have completely refurbished engines (photos below). Ken reports that the ‘upstairs wheelhouse’ put on by the Government when they owned her has gone along with her funnel – we like that 🙂 Restoration photos below ex Ken Ricketts
Her present owners have promised to keep ww updated on the work so fingers crossed we will be able to follow the project.
Update -8-08-2015 Seeing Double ?
OK folks heres a curly one – I received an email last night from David Balderston & he puts forward a very good case that there were/are two Anita Bay’s – read on
Fascinating post of Anita Bay. I note the para where it is stated that she went to Milford. However, I think that Anita Bay at Milford is a different ship and your Anita Bay went to the Kaipara.
In the 1980s, I became aware of an Anita Bay running for the old THC at Milford. She was used to bring the survivors who had made it over the Milford Track across to the hotel at Milford. I actually adjusted her compass in the early 1990s. Here are two photos of her at Milford, March 1992 and 7/7/92. Note she has no port holes and I reckon her bow is straighter, in any case she looks far different to the one in your post.
I visited the Kaipara in February 1998 and took these two snaps of Anita Bay at Helensville , could not get closer, rather a large dog. Note in the second snap the signpost advertising her tours, how faint it has become, which would perhaps indicate she had been operating there a while.
The final item is from my scrap book, with two adverts of the Kaipara Anita Bay, dated 1988 and 31/1/90.
Therefore I submit that there were (are) two Anita Bays.
08-08-2015 Input from Denis O’Callahan, owner of the Colin Wild launch Tasman. Ian reports he walked the track in April 2014 and Anita Bay was still on the run to Sandfly Point picking up trampers.
You can recognize her comparing Denis’s photo with David Balderston’s.
04-12-2015 Input from Ray Morey
‘Anita Bay’ was hauled out at Tauranga at Ray’s father in law’s , Sulpher Point yard on the ‘Eva’s’ cradle. This was right next to the roadway. She was lifted onto the house removers rig by a mobile crane from the Ministry of Works which was working on the Mt Maunganui Port extensions. She was not at Taupo for very long, maybe 2 years at the most and came back the same way. Ray’s recollections are that Keith Wright delivered her to Steve Petty who had taken over the “Kingfish Point” lodge at Whangaroa,(there may have been a T.H.C. connection there.)
She was the general service launch there for quite a few years. There was no road access in those days. Keith Wright did have her later after he had sold out of the coastal tug and barge business. Ray is not too sure but thinks the aft wheelhouse was built and fitted in Auckland prior to going to Taupo but removed for the road trips.
07-03-2016 Update ex Ken R from Colin Brown’s shed
The 2 x 6LX Gardners are back in place, looking just like new. Her T & G cabin top has been removed & new T & G roofing will be used to correct the ‘holes’ left after the removal of her dry stack exhaust & the block of flats.
30-06-2016 Update from Ken R ex Colin Brown’s yard on her restoration + some old photos the late 1940’s – early 1950’s showing the hull leaving Smelting House Bay, Kawau Island & another of her being towed to Auckland for finishing off.
EL ALAMEIN (now RANUI)
Photos ex owner Sarah Looner & details ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H
Ranui (originally named El Alamein) is 32’ with a 10’ 6” beam & was built in Auckland by Mac McGeady (Supreme Craft) & launched on the 29th January 1945, for the use of returned servicemen from World War II, who were convalescing at Rotorua Convalescent Hospital. She was built for & by donated the Patriotic Fund, of the Joint Council of the Red Cross & St John, with a shallow draft for her day & designed specifically for use on Lake Rotoiti & was capable of seating up to 40 people. The handing over ceremony was apparently a very formal occasion, according to newspaper writings of the day, with dignitaries of the era, of the ilk of the late Sir Earnest Davis, in attendance.
She was originally built as an open boat, with a smallish cabin, as per the photo & with a bunk room forward.
For the first 4 years of her life Ranui was captained by a William Pollock, & was apparently a familiar sight on the lake, carrying up to 40 convalescing soldiers, many in wheelchairs, on lake excursions, as part of their rehabilitation, to help ease them back in to civilian life.
As the numbers of ex service patients had dropped off by 1949, Ranui was sold in August 1949, to a Ron Martin & the proceeds of the sale, were returned to the Patriotic Fund. He had her trucked to Lake Taupo on the 24th August 1949. Ken feels that it was probably Ron Martin who changed her name from El Alamein to RANUI. He also had a full cabin top fitted to her, 2 years after purchase, by a long time local resident Noel East & was also the first person to have her surveyed.
The next owner, was from Hawkes bay, who used her privately, before on selling her to one of Taupo’s most well known commercial boat operators, Jim Storey. He had her surveyed again & used her for many years commercially, taking fisher people & tour parties sightseeing or fishing on Lake Taupo.
In 1980 Graham Twiss purchased her & he continued what Jim Storey had started for another 34 years.
These days she is maritime surveyed for 23 passengers & has recently been refurbished & revived by the present owners Jamie & Sarah Looner & is looking rather smart.
NOTE: She is recorded as having a 15 hp engine when built, & Ken would like to make a deviation to the story to explain what he believes is the situation & details of the “15hp” engine. Up to the mid/later 1940s, many British made engines, had their horsepower rated on the English, “RAC” rating basis, which is quite different from the now almost universal, “SAE” rating basis of today, worldwide. For example we had the 1937 Austin 7’s & 1946 Morris Eight cars rated on the RAC system, & by the late 1940s we had the Austin A40’s being 40 hp on the SAE rating, (about 12 to 14 hp on the RAC rating). Ken believes the El Alamein/Ranui originally had a British made engine, RAC rated, as she would have hardly moved with an SAE rated “15hp engine.” The 15hp RAC engine, would have been around 40 to 60 hp on the present day rating system. A Ford diesel presently powers her.
Now a totally random question 🙂 Pam at the Whangatea Traditional Boat yard picked the below up on trademe – unusual font, anyone able to say which Ranui this was off, if a boat – could have been from the west Auckland Ranui area.
Photo below taken by Ken Ricketts in Feb. 2013 @ Lake Taupo
Mystery Boat 20-06-2015
photos & details ex Jason Prew
Now the remains of the small double-skinned boat pictured above will test the Lake woodys – to quote Jason’s uncle, Kevin O’Hara, “she was pulled up from Lake Taupo last year & is now sitting at Will Shirer`s place at Kuratau”, near Turangi. Photos from Will’s camera.
Now if we get a proven ID on her – I’ll give the winner a ww t-shirt, as below. Note: the raspberry pavlova is not include 😦
The Taupo owner (Paul Stewart) of Ocean Queen would like to find out more about the boat he has owned since a 2003.
She is a carvel sedan approx 30′, built he believes in 1937 in Onehunga. Paul knows no more of her lineage than that. She is currently powered by 4 cylinder Fordson through a Paragon box. Paul believes she probably started life as a Flush Decker and has since had the coach-roof raised to accommodate the windows and headroom.
She was bought off a Pukekohe owner who moored her on the Tamaki river, she now trundles happily around Lake Taupo laughing at the worst of what the lake can throw at her.
Above are some photos of her when first in Taupo, around 2004 and a couple in the current state.
Paul would love to know more of Ocean Queen’s history whilst he enjoys her for this part of her life.
Update – Lots of info / chat on Ocean Queen in the comments section. Check out this story ex Harold Kidd ex PapersPast from the Auckland Star 22 July 1935. She must have been well built 🙂
Lake Taupo Boating – A Look Back In Time
Now this is a really interesting website (very basic) that records the history around boats tjat have been based at Lake Taupo. There is also some great stories on the boats & the history of the Lake. The site is very basic in terms of its layout but have a poke around & you will be pleasantly surprized. We have no idea who is behind the site, Nathan discovered it in a random boat search.
photos & details ex Alan Craig. edited by Alan H.
Alan owns this Sea Craft 19′ in Rotorua named ‘Queen Mary’. The Queen Mary is a very lucky boat because Alan is a boat builder at Tony Mitchell’s yard in Otaramarae at Lake Rotoiti.
When Alan caught the ‘wooden boat bug’ he started looking for a project and found the Queen Mary on trademe in Rotorua.
Rumour has it that it was built as one of three to take the Queen Mother trout fishing on Lake Taupo for her visit in 1966. Alan has been told her visit was proposed in 1964 as she fell ill. She came in 1966 but there was no time for fishing apparently.
The build date of the boat is unknown but the below Sea Spray article from April 1964 talks about the 17 footer and smaller ones built, but no mention of the 19′. It may have been the ‘privately owned’ boat mentioned? Alan guessed that there would have been a certain amount of secrecy around them. Alan has dated the engines (1500 Ford Cortina) at 1963 via the serial numbers.
The Queen Mary was a deviation by Sea Craft from the production boats at the time and was right up there with style also. Her hull is beautifully built double skin kauri, being diagonal inside and longitudinal outside (varnished)
It was owned by Internal Affairs and it was only put up for sale in the 1980’s. To who, we don’t know?
Alan is slowly bringing her back to life after having been left outside to rot away for the last few (10?) years. The photos are as found and progress through the rebuilding of side decks to recently painted deck and a bit of varnish inside. The side and aft deck were worst affected and parts of the cabin sides, but the hull remains in very good nick. She sits on the original trailer.
Alan’s not sure about ‘Queen Mary’ being her original name and is very interested to know about the yellow registration sticker for the Port of Tauranga that is in the window?
Someone else must have seen her around somewhere, perhaps Taupo? Of particular interest would be clarification of the royal link.
Included below are photos of two boats, Arohanui (x2 being launched) which was once owned by Nathen Herbet’s father and the one with the three blokes that was sent to Alan by Lionel Sands from when they had one at Waihaha Lake Taupo in the early 1960’s. None of these can be Alan’s as they both have painted hulls.
More photos of Arohanui (ex Nathan Herbert)
MYSTERY BOATS AT LAKE TAUPO
photo ex Ken Ricketts
Ok, one for the train spotters today – Ken sent me the photo above but has know idea the location or date. His guess on the date is late 1930>1940. He also believes that Lady Ava is 3rd from the right on the hard stand.
What say the rest of you on where & which boats?
Update from Paul (& Nigel) Drake
In consultation with brother Nigel, here are some more details. Starting from the left, we have ROTHESAY – previously discussed on WW. This is Don McLeod’s “new” ROTHESAY. Behind her is MOANA (Sam Ford). Don’t know the next one. Then we have DESTINY (Coulthard) – then MOANA ROA, locally built of totara and now in Whangarei. On the slip is ARCADIA, still at Taupo. Then WAIHAHA now AVALON, now at Rotoiti as previously discussed.
Across the river we have VICTORY, built locally by Jack Taylor during WW2 without power tools, and still at Taupo (Kinloch Marina). Astern of her the 1907 Logan double ender PONUI, On the hard behind Jack Taylor’s house is EL ALEMAIN, now RANUI, built at Rotorua for a rehab hospital for returned servicemen and still at Taupo. Astern of her is ROMANCE (Bailey and Lowe 1914). In the water, second from the right, is NOMAD, now thought to be at Rotorua. Further upstream, above ARCADIA, is CHAMPION, ex IONA,, now in Brown’s Bay, Paremata, Wellington, under another name.
A remarkable photo – thank you Ken!
Lake Taupo c.1950’s.
photo ex Paul Drake
This photo appeared on a postcard & shows two boats that have recently featured on ww – Lady Pat & Moana.
Also in the picture, on moorings, in line astern are – Kotare (steel), Arcadia and Kahurangi.
Arcadia is still on Lake Taupo – with new cabin. Kahurangi was last seen at Mana, Paremata, also with new cabin. KOTARE is still at Lake Taupo.
The vessel poking out of the boat shed is Water Nymph now restored and at Lake Rotioti.
waitematawodys has been contacted by Graeme Johnson, the grandson of Harold White, a previous owner of Whizzbang, who is seeking more information on her past & current whereabouts.
Graeme was able to supply the sepia photo above of Whizzbang from his grandfathers photo collection, the only image he has of the boat.
Harold Kidd believes that Whizzbang is now ‘Ruahine’ & like Graeme is keen to shed more light on the old girl.
I have also included below some photos of Whizzbang on Lake Taupo.
Harold Kidd Update
A few thoughts, probably wrong.
1. Because of the name, I guess Harold White was a returned soldier with experience of the German shells popularly called whizzbangs in the trenches in France.
2. There was a 25ft x 6ft 6in launch hull plus 17-25hp Sterling engine for sale by auction at Collings & Bell in June 1922 at the instructions of the “Taupo Steamship Co. Ltd”. Could this be WHIZZBANG?
3. If so, who built her, Collings & Bell or Bailey & Lowe who would have at least supplied the Sterling? Either builder is a possibility from the look of her, although I would pick Collings & Bell.
Update from Paul Drake (11/12/2013)
WHIZZBANG is going strong at Taupo, as RUAHINE, and is in the marina at the north end of the lake. She is in very good order. She is almost unrecognizable, having had a bow lift and new cabin some years ago – about 1960 – and was sold to Taupo man Ray Perry in the early 70’s as an abandoned vessel by the local boatyard to defray storage costs. Presently owned by local man Rod Campbell. My father used to tell me that the name WHIZZBANG related to her single.cylinder engine and the way it sounded.
Currently (15/03/2014) for sale on trademe
Trout Fishing, Lake Taupo
Percy Vos 16′ lake fishing boat with the launch Whizzbang (middle)
Romance is the older and smaller sister of Romance II. She was built August 1914 by Bailey & Lowe for W.C. Mils of Devonport who replaced her with Romance II in 1919. Romance was 26ft oa and fitted with an ohv 4 cyl petrol engine. W.E. Utting owned her for many years after Mills.
She then went to Napier and was bought by Sydney Hole and was the Holes family boat for many years on Lake Taupo. Pictured is Ken Hole(Sydney’s son) and Belle Hole standing beside Romance)
In 2006 she was in charter on the lake.
photo ex Alan Good, words Harold Kidd & Alan Good.