Wairau Estuary – Mystery Boats

Wairau Estuary – Mystery Boats


Ok, maybe I should have said ‘Milford Creek’ in the headline, but you know where I’m talking about. The above photo (c. 1930>39) comes to us ex Andrew Reid, via Maurice Sharp’s fb. The actual location would appear to be near the current ’The Slipway Milford’ railway haul out yard and the Milford Cruising Clubs hard stand area. And just be coincidence I will be sliding up that piece of water at 7am today.


Can we ID the craft? I have included close-up photos below to help.

Input from Graeme Sapwell – The Flush deck launch in bottom photo is Webster’s – Reta W. outside his property .
Input from Harold Kidd – RETA W was built by R Malcolm in the creek for T.G. Webster in November 1925. Linc Wood always thought it amusing that her name is “Water” spelt backwards.

Taranui

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TARANUI

Taranui was built in 1963, so just slips into the classic category, helped by the Strongman design & built with a pitched pine carvel by Sam Ford in Lyttleton.

She measures 32’ 9”, with 11’ beam & 3’6” draft. Power comes from a 80hp Toyota B4 light truck diesel, converted to marine.

Taranui is for sale on trade (thanks Ian McDonald) & currently called Havelock Marina home.

Do we know any more about where Taranui has been for the rest of her life?

Woody Has Lucky Escape in Milford Marina

Woody Murray Deeble, keeps his lovely ‘spirit of tradition’ woody – Waikiore (pictured below at Riverhead Pub) , berth at Milford Marina on Auckland’s North Shore. I have been ribbing Murray that Waikiore is long over-due some TLC (5 years between haul-outs) so out of the blue he hauls her out at the Milford Cruising Club slip. Next day a ‘new New Zealander’ has a wee parking oops & ends up in the water in Waikiore’s berth.

Some would say Murray was very lucky – others would say bad luck i.e. would have been a nice insurance claim 😉

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Tide In

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Tide Out

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Tarati Mei

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TARATI MEI

I was recently contacted by Andy Winter who is on the lookout for information on an Allen Williams boat, built around 1964/5 for Dick Read grandfather of Andy’s wive – who unfortunately passed away in 1980. Andy has come across a picture of Allen Williams actually building the boat, which he believes to be a similar design as ‘Banshee’ except this boat is 34’6” long and 9’ft beam. The boat was called ‘Tarati Mei’ when she was launched, named after his wife Dorothy May.

Andy is trying to find out what happened to her, whether she has been renamed or is around no more? Andy asked Milford boat builder, Geoff Bagnell about the boat but he doesn’t remember her. Andy thinks she would have been kept at Milford until the early 1970’s. Any help or direction from the woodys would be most appreciated.
In the photos above the first two show Tarati Mei  just before launching from Allen’s yard. Dick Read is the guy on the transom. In the second photo we see Dick’s wife (Dorothy May) launching her.
The third photo is of Allen Williams building ‘Tarati Mei’.  The last photo is what appears to be an ‘enhanced’ photo of her at Kawau – probably late 1960’s. Andy feels this may actually be a painted copy of a photo, either way it does show what she looked like in this era.
Andy commented that he saw a similar looking launch in Gulf Harbour being lifted out recently called ‘Murphy’, but didn’t get chance to talk to the owner. Any one else seen this vessel?

Harold Kidd Input

The name is actually TARATI MEI, not TARITI MEI (oops fixed. AH). She was built in 1965 and had dimensions of 29’6″ x 25′ x 9′ x 2’6″ and was powered by a 100hp Fordson diesel. Her APYMBA number was 311.
Bill Jobey bought her from Dick Read and renamed her PATTY J.
Bill Jobey was a core member of the Milford Cruising Club and always had a snapper or two if you pulled up alongside him off the Barrier. Lovely man who died a few years ago. However any old-time MCC member should know what has happened to her.