Miller & Tunnage – Double Ender If you spend as much time as I do stalking wooden boats on-line you will have noticed the growing trend for work boat conversions, you either love them or not – me I’m in the love them camp. We do not know a lot about todays woody, thanks Ian McDonald, other than she was built by Miller and Tunnage in 1922, out of kauri, is 40’ in length, has a 9’ 10” beam and draws 3’7”. A Gardner 3LW 150hp diesel pushes her along at a comfortable cruising speed of 7 knots. Appears to be very well fitted out.
Can anyone put a name to this woody ?
18-11-2020 Input from Mark Erskine – I was interested to read about the above Miller & Tunnage Double Ender. I agree it’s a real nice boat and was interested to read about her Gardner 3LW engine.
Depending on the fuel and governor / rpm settings, the 3LW engines produce between 36 to 53.5HP from their 4.184 litre capacity.
The “Gardner 150” badge on the Miller & Tunnage control panel is for a 6-cylinder 6LXB Gardner (127 to 150HP) or possibly the 8-cylinder 8LXB (150 to 200)
Gardners are great engines and although the whole range are all low on HP for their considerable size, capacity and weight, they all produce a lot of torque at low rpm and are very reliable.
Although 36 to 54 HP seems a bit low for the size of the boat, I’m guessing the 3LW is a good match for a double ender hull because torque turns the prop rather than HP and the 3LW should also be very economical to operate at 7 knots.
Koputai was built in 1939 by Miller & Tunnage in Port Chalmers for use as a pilot vessel. Her specs are 56’ x 14’6” and she draws 6’5”.In the early 1990’s she returned to Miller & Tunnage to be converted to a pleasure boat. The WW link below takes you to her 2015 WW story for extensive details and photos, back then she was offered for sale.
Quest II was built by Miller and Tunnage in 1924, currently configured as a pleasure boat, her tme listing doesn’t tell us anything about her past life, so woodys today can we uncover what happened to her from 1924 until her conversion?
Home port is Whangarei.
What we know is that she is 40’ in length and powered by a 6 cyl. FD6T Nissan diesel.
A very salty looking woody.
Photos below sent in by Dean Wright that he took of Quest II back in 2012 when she lived in Opito Bay for a bit.
Iain Forsyth, owner of the 1961, 42’6″’, Miller & Tunnage built ex work boat – Meola, has recently returned from a trip to the other island. Ian commented that he stopped off at Carey’s Bay and saw Pakeha (recently featured on WW) on the slips after a large refit by Carey’s Marine and ready to launch.
Iain snapped the above gallery of workboats. It was opportune timing as the Bluff fleet were in port and getting ready for the season. Now I’m sure they aren’t all woodys but as per the NZ Classic Yacht Association rules (see below) metal is all good 🙂
Woody Iain Forsyth, owner of the 1961, 42’6″’, Miller & Tunnage built ex work boat – Meola is one of the most passionate wooden boating buffs you will meet, so when Iain got the opportunity to travel South to the birth place of Meola, there was no stopping him. Back in 1986 there was a major fire at the Miller & Tunnage yard and sadly their historical records / files of past builds was lost in the blaze.
The highlight of Iain’s trip was tracking down Mary Inglis, wife of Brian Inglis, who built many of the boats at Miller & Tunnage.
The black and white photos above are from Mary’s collection and show the construction of Meola and as launched. WW links below for more details
Below is a stunning photo of another Miller & Tunnage vessel, that Iain uncovered – this ones the 1960 built Deodar, which given the immaculate condition must have been at launching, prior to being commissioned as a Police launch. These days, a pleasure craft – WW links below.
Over the Xmas / NY (2020) period Barbara and David Cooke were cruising aboard their launch – Trinidad and anchored near the ex work boat Kotare and as you do, introduced themselves to her owner, Laurence Ryan.
The photo gallery is a mix of photos from Barbara Cooke and her owners.
The story below was sent to Barbara by Laurence and is reproduced unedited.
“Kotare was designed and built by John Miller who was a boat builder who worked for Miller and Tunnage in Dunedin. However, I am told he is not one of the Millers, as such. She was built in 1940. Solid oregon plank construction, hull and decks. 15 m OA, 13.8 m on the waterline, 2 m draft, 31 tonnes fully laden. Beam 3.66 m. She was built as a trawler and fished out of Dunedin and possibly Lyttleton. She fished at the Chathams and features in the book “Shipwrecks of New Zealand”. She was in a convoy of some six fishing boats making the trip to the Chathams in extremely bad weather. Two of the vessels were lost with all hands – Kotare made it!
She was first converted into a pleasure boat in 1987 by the owner, John Liddell, from whom I bought her. The conversion was undertaken by Careys in Picton. A further variation was completed in 2000 where the final configuration occured. John Liddell had her in SSM and she spent most of her new life in the Marlborough Sounds doing some fishing charters. John took her to the Chathams, Stewart Island, Fiordland and she circumnavigated NZ twice.
She is powered by a Detroit GM 6/71 2 stroke diesel, 225 hp de-rated to 195 hp, Alison 3:1 gearbox. The whole engine was rebuilt in 2006.
I purchased her in September 2016 and we sailed her up the east coast from Mana that Labour weekend, 72 hours non-stop!”
Below is a photo of Kotare, before the alterations – trolling off the Otago coast.
Todays vessel is the 47.5’ ex-work boat Aria, built in 1938 by Miller & Tunnage to tow barges of native timber, retired from duty in 1963, then used as a fishing trawler and pleasure use until 1981.She then received a total refit including all new topsides for extended blue-water Pacific cruising, the refit included a rebuilt 1963 Gardner 6LXB, (now 150hp).
Reviewing her trademe listing (thanks Ian McDonald), Aria is very well fitted out for cruising or live aboard. Won’t win a beauty competition but a very salty looking woody.
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Hylton Edmonds sent me the above photo of the unnamed Napier pilot taken by his late uncle TDE Edmonds who lived in the Hawkes Bay. Hylton recalls that it was taken sometime in the late 1950’s > early 1960’s and shows the pilot boat giving the ship ‘a bit of assistance’, which was common practice at the time.
Hylton was hoping one of the Napier / Hawke’s Bay WW followers could fill in some of the gaps re the photo e.g a more accurate photo date, name, builder, launch date, and was she actually built as a pilot boat or later commissioned as one etc as she definitely has an ex Fishing Boat – Miller and Tunnage look about her, and of course, what became of her?
UPDATE : Thanks to Michael O’Dwyers shape eyes we now know its Tautane – WW link below for details + photo of her today as Centaurus 🙂
“Had a wee chat with an ex skipper of Tautane today.His name is Morry Trow,now 86 years old. Morry drove the pilot boats in Napier from 1967 through to 1983.He recalls Tautane being a good sea boat especially when driven with the 6/71 but the pilot house could get a little cramped with four people packed in.He regaled me with one account of having to remove an entire crew off a freighter all at once,the problem being one of the crew members had murdered a fellow seaman and the body had to come back too.Morry had taken out a number of policemen of course, so not having enough room and not that keen to have a tense situation on deck they ended up towing one of the lifeboats back with the perpetrator aboard duly escorted by the police.Tautane was replaced with the 120 tonne Athol Burns designed tug J.R. Harland in 1968 now Albatross V working adventure tourism in the Bay of Islands.”