I was recently contacted by Campbell MacLean after he ‘discovered’ the WW stories (links below) on the boat – Koputai. She 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”.
Campbell sent in the above photos he has of Koputai, his grandfather, John Maclean was chief pilot and Harbour Master in Dunedin, and had a bit to do with commissioning of the Koputai in the late 1930’s. The top photo is a painting by C R Carey in 1940. This was on the wall at the MacLean crib (Pilot House #1) at the Spit, Aramoana, and probably gifted to John before he died in 1940.
The 2nd photo is of Koputai in the harbour near Taiaroa Head, opposite the spit. Do link on the above below links – so much material and photos from the past and her conversation to pleasure craft.
The folks at the Kawau Boating Club have advised that due to the uncertainty of the ability to gather due to CV-19 restrictions, the decision has been been made to postpone the event – fingers crossed for a new date this year 🙂
The 40’ Aoroa was built in 1928 by Miller & Tunnage and is kauri carvel planked. She has a beam of 9’11” and draws 3’5”. These days she is powered by a 100 hp Ford diesel, which I would suspect works hard to push a boat of Aoroa size along. But I’m sure I’ll be told its all about gearbox / prop configuration.
Thankfully her tme listing included some old b/w photos (below) from when launched and of the alterations over the years – from these we can see the bones of a very smart woody, that hopefully one day someone will do a top-chop on 🙂
Can we expand more on her past?
Harold Kidd Input – Original owner was J.T. Paul; original engine a 100hp S4 6 cylinder Gray.. Did a trip to Akaroa in 1931. Owned by W.R. Carey of Lyttelton in 1953. VERY handsome vessel.
20-03-2021 Input from David Lackey – Wren Carey, the proprietor of the Kaiapoi Woollen Mills (then a substantial South Island manufacturer) was a friend and business associate of my father, Keith Lackey and, in the 1950s we would we occasionally call in to see him at his property in (I seem to remember) Blackwood Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound. The property was both immense and immaculate, boasting magnificent gardens and even a citrus orchard (which, for those familiar with QC sound, was a rarity if not a miracle. At one end of the beach was a large boatshed in which Mr Carey kept the immaculate Aoroa. Assisted by his caretaker, Mr Carey would launch the ship and take off for a day cruise in the sound, putting her away again in the evening just as nonchalantly as if she were a runabout or dinghy. She was like a piece of chippendale furniture, with glowing topsides and gleaming brightwork. I believe she still had the 6 cylinder Gray Engine which was a point of mutual interest because our Marinus was powered by twin 144hp Graymarine Luggers. Wren Carey was the father of CR (Roger) Carey, the noted Picton builder of many fine commercial and private vessels.
Requests for info on boat on WW can be a lot like paying the pokie machines – you ‘feed’ the machine and pull the handle – sometimes it spins and nothing comes up, most of the time we get a small payout, just enough to keep us motivated to keep playing – then sometimes you hit the jackpot.
Today’s story is a jackpot pay out – starts like this – over the last 5>6 years the 1939, 56′, Miller & Tunnage built – Koputai has popped up on WW and we have been trying uncover more of her history. Back in May 2015 she was for sale and the then owner, the late, Louey Sandiant told us everything you would want to know about the photo + photos. Then in Sept 2020 Keith Foster, who purchased Koputai off Louey contacted WW and supplied some updated photos and a request for any further intel on the boat.
It took a few months but Matt Siddells made contact and advised that his grandfather – Russell Bramwell purchased Koputai as a retired pilot boat and did the conversion to pleasure boat. Matt has very kindly shared the gallery above of photos from the family album. You can see and read more about Koputai at the WW links below
KOTARE – The Most Affordable Waterfront Apartment In Auckland
Over the last few years we have seen a surge in the number of workboat > pleasure boat conversions. Bang for bucks you can end up with a lot of boat.Todays woody Kotare has appeared on WW before, link below.
At 50’ Kotare would be one of the best conversions I have seen and is now offered for sale – owned by a fastidious passionate woody, everything is presented in as perfect condition and is ready to motor off into the sunset or just stay at the marina and enjoy waterfront living.