Back in 2014 Toroa made an apperanace on WW (link below) and generated a lot interest in the comments section. What we learned was that she was built by Chas Bailey & Sons c.1950’s, is 28’ in length (including the hanging off bits at both ends) with a 9’ beam of and a draft of 2’6”. Constructed of kauri, in 1966 she was bought by Coastguard and used until 1968 as a patrol boat and training vessel. The price was 4000 pounds paid for with the assistance of the ASB Bank and the Golden Kiwi lottery. What became of her after 1968 is a tad cloudy but owners may have been, John Cheswass / Water Keen / Michael McMahon. https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/10/07/toroa/
In approx. May 2014 Brian & Judy Simpson purchased the launch and transported her to Lake Taupo, where she remained for the last 6 1/2 years, before being hauled out for some TLC that included a repaint and anti-foul. Brian advised that Toroa was recently slipped back into the lake after the refurbishment which was done by Judy and Brian, under the watchful eye of Larry Palmer, boat painter extraordinaire at Taupo Marina. Larry also trailer-ed Toroa out of and back into the lake.
Toroa is powered by a 4 cylinder, 4L Ford diesel engine, fitted in the 1980’s. She uses around 4 litres an hour at 1700 revs achieving a comfortable cruising speed of 6-7 knots. In the top set of photos above she is looking very grand. In the 2nd set we see her being hauling out.
Back in June 2016 we ran a story on the 1939, 40’ bridge decker – Victory (link below) now thanks Ian McDonald and tme we get to have look below decks. In the WW link there is some great history on the launch from Paul Drake.
We know that she was designed and built by Jack Taylor in Nukuhau, Taupo. Victory is powered by a 80hp Ford Diesel engine that gives her a cruising speed of 8 knots. As per a lot of lake boats, Victory has a 12hp Yanmar auxiliary engine for trolling .
From 1939 to c.1973, Victory was used as a commercial charter boat by Jack and his two sons. She remained within the family until 1982 when she was sold another Taupo resident.
El ALAMEIN > RANUI – On Lake Taupo The 32’ launch El Alamein, later renamed Ranui, that was built and launched by Supreme Craft in 1945 and has made several appearances on WW (links below to those stories).
Recently I was contacted by Paul London, in regard to Noel East, a previous owner of the launch. Paul has many fond memories of times on the launch at Lake Taupo. Paul was motivated to contact WW to re-connect with a Terry Arnold, a ‘distant’ cousin of his and grandson of Noel East. Terry Arnold made contact with WW and shared the photos above El Alamein during Noel and Grace East ownership period. In the first photo the lad with the red cap holding a trout is Terry, as Terry commented the trout in those days were both plentiful and stout.
In the photo below we see the Lake Taupo marina, where El Alamein / Ranui was berthed when owned by Noel & Grace East. There are some grey area’s as to when the name changed from El Alamein to Ranui but the boats know places of residence are summarised below:
• 1945 – Lake Rotoiti • 1949 – Lake Taupo. Possibly when the name change occurred
• 2020 – Hokianga Harbour. Presently a inner-harbour charter boat.
The clinker dinghy photo sees the grandchildren Terry, Clfiton and Raewyn Arnold out on Lake Taupo in the launches tender.
KATOA + VACUNA – In The 1950’s Following on from the recent WW update story on the launch – Katoa, I was contacted during the week by Richard Daley, whose grandfather – Reg Bull owned Katoa during the 1950’s. She was kept on Lake Taupo and Richard’s mother – Judy, spent much of her holidays aboard her during this time. Richard commented that the family found her a vast improvement on Reg’s previous boat, the Nomad, which rarely managed to get around Rangitira Point on the way to the Western Bays.
On selling Katoa, Reg had Owen Woolley build him a replacement – Vacuna, which was launched in 1959. Vacuna featured in WW a few years ago in a less salubrious story regarding her sinking & subsequent sale – RIP Tom the Torch 😉 .
The photos above show both from that period, Richard says the one of Katoa is proof that she did make it to the Western Bays on many occasions. WW Katoa links