Woody Dean Wright uncovered the above photo of Ruapani that appeared in a book on Lake Waikaremoana and that woodys is where the track stops. A quick google search tells us Ruapani was a chief of the Māori in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa in the 15th and 16th century. 

Given the life raft, maybe she is in charter on the lake.

Any southern woodys able to enlighten us on this rather fine looking launch?

Harold Kidd Input – Built by B.J.L.Jukes, Balaena Bay November 1929 for the Tourist Dept with a 40hp Thornycroft (Empire Preference) petrol engine.

Rawene – A Peek Down Below



RAWENE – A Peek Down Below

Woody John Wicks sent in the above photos of the launch Rawene. They came from a friend of John’s, who got them from his brother on Tauranga, so the details were a little light e.g.  only the name & the date 1926.

This Rawene (there have been a few) has appeared on WW before when she lived on Lake Waikaremoana, looks like she is being hauled after receiving some TLC, as mentioned below in the owner’s comments. Great to see below decks.

Link here to when she first appeared on WW, I in fact had suggested that she had to be a finalist for the 2016 Floating Bach Awards 😉

Below I have reproduced Hendrik Metz’s WW comments on the vessel.

Keen to hear more about what happened to with her while she was out & if she did make it back to the Lake?

Rawene – as told by owner, Hendrik Metz

Built in 1928 by L.C. Coulthard, Boatbuilder of Onehunga, on a commission for a Mr Alexander Alexander of Napier, Rawene operated as a fishing boat out of Ahuriri.

After the Napier Earthquake in 1931, Rawene was left high and dry on the newly formed mudflats, caused by the earthquake.  Mr Thomas Holden of Gisborne, on a visit to Napier thought she would make a good lake boat and purchased her and brought her to Waikaremoana, in 1931.

The Holden and Heggarty families spent many happy holidays at Waikaremoana on board Rawene.  In 1960 following the death of Mr Holden the boat was sold to the Chapman Brothers of Frasertown, who owned her for the next eight years.  Phillip de Lautour, who was then farming at Ohuka, purchased Rawene from the Chapmans about 1968 and eventually sold her to Walmsley Canning of Porangahau, April 1970.  On 11th September 1976 she was purchased by a partnership of Jock Ross and Evert Metz.  The Metz/Ross families still own her today.

She is currently in Tauranga undergoing a refit but will be back at Waikaremoana early in 2017.

Mr Coulthard’s son, who helped with her construction says they built an identical boat at the same time but he cannot remember her name – if anyone knows of a similar shaped hull we would be keen to hear more.  Originally Rawene didn’t have the raised roof at the stern or the poop deck these were added in about 1978.






2016 Floating Bach Award Finalist


Would this be a Finalist for the 2016 Floating Bach Award?

Regular ww readers will have heard me talk about the growing interest in the ownership of classic wooden launches & how I have tagged it the Floating Bach trend. Well yesterday Scott Taylor having just returned from a holiday at Lake Waikaremoana* sent me some boating photos. One of which (Rawene, above) would have to be the epitome of that tag, complete with poop deck 🙂

Interested to learn more on the other woodys below (Safari, Camaron, Rawene) & get some details on their past & how they ended up at the lake + there are a couple of plastic Logans that I’d be keen to name.



Note: for the overseas ww followers – Lake Waikaremoana is situated in the Te Urewera National Park, in the North Island of NZ. Some spectacular walks & just wow scenery. A few photos below.

29-12-2016 Update – Photos below of Rawene – sent in by Toni Metz – read more about the boats history in the comments section below. These photos were taken in the 1930’s at Waikaremoana. In the second photo, Rawene is the last boat in the line below the shed.



08-06-2020 Input from Jason Clough – owner of the launch Cameron in one of the above photos. Turns out its not a woody, but comments added for the record.

“I aquired Camaron just over a year ago. It is a Vindex 32 , launched 1972 , was built by Jim Young. Possibly #9 (purely guessing by thats what I found when sides were being sanded down) I have pretty much all of its history. Camaron is one of the first ever sandwich construction GRP hulls , with a Balsa Core.The topsides, trim are teak , Cedar , and a laminated ply roof. There is also a bit of other timbers in the trim . It was on Lake Taupo from 72 till about 86 as a fishing charter boat. (I even found an original business card under the nooks and crannies)The rear canopy was shorter , It had a upper deck ( if thats what u call it) It ran 2 x 200 hp stern legs. From there it went down south and was owned by the Otago Harbour board. Under the paint , I found in giant lettering “SURVEY” written down the sides. and , clearly hull repairs made where large Transducers had been fitted. It would be reasonable to assume is was bottom surveying / sounding for shipping channels. From launch right thru here , it was in survey , i have pages of its tickets.
Somewhere around 1994 /5 It must have come out of the water , and had its engines removed , rooftop taken away (made to a “saloon”) , and the rear roof line extended another 1200 mm or so , and sold on
It was purchased by previous owner around 1996 , from a broker in Marlborough with 2 x Honda outboards on pods fitted and converted to its present state.
From There , it was Transported to Waikaremoana , where it has been since.
About a year ago , It Was in pretty bad shape, and looked like it needed rescuing before it was too late. I have put a lot of hours into it , and it is looking great again. It has a new laminated roof , foredeck , glass laminating , completely gutted out and every square cm has been touched. The hull structure and integrity was in surprisingly good shape – kudos to the original builder and their skills, expansive use of epoxy sealing and quality work , materials.
I have kept Camaron as original as I can , with just a bit of modern in the comfort dept and where necessary. Even the big old polished brass compass is staying put !
Coincidentally today , We just popped up to Waikaremoana to have a look at the mooring to get and idea whats needed to sort that out, which led me to this site trying to figure out I am looking at the right one!
Camaron is now pretty much ready to be relaunched again in the next few weeks- just waiting on a bit of trim n upholstery , and is looking great.”