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.

INA + Woody Classics Weekend – Stillwater Picnic Cruise Update





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INA + Lots of vintage motorcycles joining in on the Woody Classics Weekend

Must be the week for Miller & Tunnage  woodys, Baden Pascoe will be wetting himself.
Ina is a 32’ kauri fishing boat, still in service targeting Blue Cod.
All I know is the forward motion comes from a Ford diesel.
Ina was for sale early this year for not a lot of money – as the architects say ‘ good bones’, could be a good mule for a pleasure boat conversation.
FREE to a good home – anyone looking for a winch – drop me an email and I’ll point you in the direction of the donor :-).  waitematawoodys@gmail.com
RSVP TODAY   sueedmonds@xtra.co.nz


Aria + WIN a copy of the Des Townson book

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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.

A ground breaking book that chronicles the life and design work of one of New Zealand’s most successful boating legends. Over 400 photographs.
Answer, correctly, the question below and you will go into the draw for a copy of the brilliant 334 page book. Entry is via email only -send your answer to the link below waitematawoodys@gmail.com
Q: How many words are used in the book?
Hint – you will find the answer here  https://destownson.co.nz
Entry closes at 8pm on 09-10-2019. Winner advised on WW.
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RSVP– you and your boats name + approx. numbers to sueedwards@xtra.co.nz


Taieri Lass

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Taieri Lass’s name came from her first role as a 1947 Miller & Tunnage 40’ work boat – built to carry freight up the Tier River.
She is powered by a Ford 4 cylinder diesel engine.
Currently moored in Purau Bay, Lyttelton Harbour, her owner for the last 15 years. During her owners period, the wheelhouse was extended to accomodate a kitchenette, fridge and bench setting.
Her trade listing is a little light on details but from the photos she appears to have good bones and crying out for  someone to complete the conversation to leisure use.
Remember to check in Monday for a photo essay from todays Woody Classics Weekend cruise to the Riverhead Hotel.
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Mystery Napier Boat – Tautane > Centaurus

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Mystery Napier Boat – Tautane > Centaurus
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 🙂
19-08-2019 Input from Michael O’Dwyer
“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.”
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WCW Riverhead2019

Meola – A Peek Down Below



Meloa – A Peek Down Below

I was sent a link to the amazing collection of photos above of the 1961 Miller & Tunnage  ex work boat Meola by woody Peter Mence. Owner Iain Forsythe  has had Meola for 4+ years and in this time he has used his eye & hand skills to turn her into one of the saltiest boats in our woody fleet. Check out the link below for more photos and detail


Input for Harold Kidd – Her first skipper was Charlie Miillett who served his time as a boatbuider with Chas Bailey & Sons, went to Tauranga boatbuilding and became a top skipper in the game-fishing fleet there.



And if you were off the radar yesterday – scroll down to view yesterdays story on how classic launch owners can enjoy their pride and joy more or be lazy & just click this link below 🙂


Soul Survivor (Fairley)

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Soul Survivor sold recently on trademe for $100 to someone from Thames. The listing stated she is 23’6”, double ended kauri carvel planked ex commercial fishing boat (named Fairley) and was built in 1927, by Miller & Tunnage (Port Chalmers, Sth Island) and She is pushed along by a ‘vintage’ Yanmar MX 8hp diesel.
She has spent the last 12 years on Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua, but the last 5 years on the hard. She made the journey from Dunedin by truck in 2006.
Anyone know who bought her and / or more on her past?

Corsair – Bridge Decker

Janet & Bruce Pullan, owners of the woody – Ann Michelle, came across an old bridge decker launch ‘resting’ in a paddock in the Waikato.
The boats name is Corsair, she is 34’ and the only information supplied by the owner was that she was built by a boatbuilder on the North Shore, started before WW2 and finished after the War. He believed the name was original.
I know its a big ask – but does anyone recall a launch that matches these specs?


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Today’s woody is Helene, a 33’8”, 1918 Miller & Tunnage ex workboat. Helene has a 9’10” beam & draws 3’3” & is built from solid kauri.

In her trademe listing (thanks Ian McDonald) there is no mention of an engine, I assume there is one………..?

In her past life as a commercial fishing boat she worked out of Akaroa. At some stage someone has done a smart conversation for pleasure use.

Can anyone fill in the gaps as to past & what engine she has?

Harold Kidd Input – The last time she was on Trade Me was in 2010 in Picton. She then had a 80hp Toyota diesel. No comment. 1918 is wrong as she was built in December 1913 for George Currie as a private launch (in fact as an “auxiliary yacht”). I’m not sure Miller & Tunnage were the builders but it’s possible. Miller Bros launched the big Sundstrum launch NORANA the same month (probably the same tide) so it wasn’t them. She was later in Lyttelton around the late 1920s.

Waitematawoodys T-shirts – Now On Sale

LR2016 ww shirts CM

In case you missed yesterdays story, scroll down to read how to ensure you will not be mistaken for a plastic boat person 😊


Te Anau



I was recently contacted by Mike O’Dwyer in regard to boat that is currently visiting Napier, Mike’s home town.

It is called Te Anau, currently owned by Mike and Julie Trewern from Port Chalmers.

Designed by Henry Miller (Miller and Tunnage) originally as a trawler, Te Anau has been converted to a  now a very comfortable live-aboard measuring just over 50’ with a 13’ beam and a 6’ 6” draft.

Te Anau was launched in 1956 after being built at Scotts boatyard in Invercargill from Tallowood, an Australian native timber belonging to the Ucalypt species. It is a naturally oily timber with a high tannin content.

Scotts boatyard mainly used Tallowwood for their boat construction.

The vessel is powered by a 170hp DAF 6 cylinder diesel motor. Originally powered by a GM this engine was replaced by a DAF which after 55,000 hours was replaced by the current engine.

Forty-eight of theses motors were imported in the sixties to power the Chatham Island crayfish boats.

Mike and Julie are currently on a prolonged cruise and after leaving NZ in Sept 2016 have visited Queensland, New Caladonia, Vanuatu and Fiji returning to NZ in November last year.

They plan to cruise for another 18 months which may include another offshore stint.








I have been approached by Ted Bosch asking about the vessel Crescent, that twenty years ago he restored for a client. She is a Miller & Tunnage double ender. Ted renewed nearly everything from the hull upwards and a new reconditioned 6 cylinder Gardner was installed, new bulkheads, engine beds, deck and wheelhouse, rig. From the photo above taken at her re-launching in 1988, she appears to be lovely little boat.

Ted understands she was even used as the mother radio ship for the 1990 Noumea race, but soon afterwards the owner sold her to some people in Tauranga and Ted has never seen her again.

Ted commented that Crescent was always very dear to him and wonders what came of her and would like to know her whereabouts.


MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach


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MV CLEMATIS – An ideal floating bach

WW readers will be familiar with my views on how compared to the price of waterfront property these days, you can buy a classic wooden vessel for a fraction of the cost, that offers the same benefits + more.

Clematis at 45’ is one such vessel, launched in 1939 & built of kauri by Miller and Tonnage Ship Builders in Port Chalmers for J. Falconer & Sons of Timaru.

Her past has seen her serve with the New Zealand Maritime Department, initially in the NZ Navy during WWII & with the various other ad hoc parties until 1995. She was the only vessel still attached to the navy, serving from WWII until c.1995. She was seconded to the US Navy during WWII & during this period she was refitted on three occasions and even given a copper bottom by the Americans for her use in the Pacific Islands. She was later a training boat for the Maritime Department and Ministry of Fisheries.

She was eventually sold to Christchurch businessman, Bryan Mullaly, in 1995, who based her in Picton. Later use saw her working for a time in Lyttleton as a whale watch boat. Back then (c.1995) she was powered by an Isuzu truck / bus engine, converted to marine use, this replaced a Gardner diesel.

Mullaly sold her to her present owner, Pam Holt in 2003 & Pam brought her up to Coromandel & Gt. Barrier, where Clematis became her floating home. Her large saloon, galley, 2 cabins and spacious covered deck made her ideal for enjoying the spectacular scenery and sea life.

With lots of blue ocean miles under her belt, Clematis is a proven seaworthy boat. Having been in MSA survey (expired) for 18 passengers, 10 to Great Barrier Island.

Pam’s days afloat are over & she is looking for a new custodian for Clematis, whether as a floating bach or a fabulous event venue or for sightseeing cruises.

You will see in the photos that she has recently had a lot of TCL applied & is now offered for sale. Interested parties can contact Pam direct at pamclem@hotmail.com

B/W photos below from launch day.

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Input from Russell Ward

Below are two photos, the colour one is a shot of her on Otago Harbour set to Russell by Ian Mclean –she spent a lot of time in Dunedin –Sea Cadets boat.

The b/w photo shows Clematis on the right in working rig. To her starboard is Aorangi’s bow, Shenendoah and over astern a smattering of the pride of the Auckland fleet. Centre stage, wearing her original funnel in pride is Melodeon.

This pic would be in the ’50s or early ‘60s. A view of the viaduct before it became a eating and watering and posh boat hole 🙂



Input from Peter Marshall

Actually, Brian Mullaly sold CLEMATIS to me around ’95 and I took her to Lyttelton. She was put into survey as a commercial boat in 2001 but was almost immediately involved in the destruction of the marina at Magazine Bay and was out for the 2001-2002 summer season.
Expertly and comprehensively repaired by Stark Bros., CLEMATIS then operated as Godley Head Dolphin Company watch out of Dampier Bay and around the Banks Peninsula until ’95 when I gave up the cause of making Lyttelton a reasonable environment for chartering and she was bought by a young woodworker from Auckland.
As an added note, she was lent to the Yanks during WW II, who took her up into the Pacific and clad her hull in copper to protect her from worm and used her as shallow water picket duty. The Navy League had her on Otago Harbour for around 30 years, and scads of harbour-dwellers knew the sound of her old Gardner.

Tautane (>Centaurus)


TAUTANE (>Centaurus)

The above photo of Tautane was sent to me by her owner Clare Robinson, Clare is hoping that we can uncover more on her past.

What we know is that she is a Miller & Tunnage, completed in 1945 or 1946, operated as fishing vessel for a time and then was purchased by the Napier Harbour Board as their pilot boat and renamed Tautane. Sometime during her tenure there, a Detroit 6-71 manufactured in 1963 was fitted to replace a lower power Gardner.

She was purchased by Colin Davenport in about 1993 and was used to ferry guests out to Endeavour Inlet in Queen Charlotte Sound and for day fishing and diving charters. Colin added the canopy.

Clare bought her in June 2017 and is in the process of converting her to a live-a-board.

The photo shows Tautane as she is currently, sitting at Picton wharf next to the ferry terminal in May 2017. Clare has advised the boat is now named – Serenity.

Do we have any more information on? Russell W you must be able to help?

Input from Russell Ward – below are two photos of the ship one as originally launched – Centaurus and the other being used as she should be. More details in the ww Comments Section.

Update 15-05-2020 Line drawings below sent in by Murray Wikinson. Brian Engliss ex Miller & Tunnage foreman sent them to Brian years ago. Andrew Miller of St Leonards designed the hull for Miller & Tunnage. Murray owns a near sistership “Golden Light”.

Serenity (ex Tautane)




Otoroa is a Miller & Tunnage double-ender built in 1967 as a MSA Pilot boat, later converted to pleasure use. She measures 55’9″ L, with a beam of 15’5″ & has a draft of 6’6″. Powered via a Cummins diesel. Detail via Ian McDonald via trademe.

Any of the work boat woodys able to enlighten us more about Otoroa?

Update & Photos ex Russell Wardedited by AH
Otoroa’s wheelhouse enabled the skipper to look and see the sky or the ship towering above. They had to be real seaworthy ships in those days. You will notice that except for the Arahina and Tautane who was a recycled Miler and Tunnage fishing boat named Centaurus, all the NZ pilot boats of the day were double enders.
That says a lot for the hull form: The following sea tends to part round the boat rather than heaving t skyward and broaching it. You still can broach in a double ender, but they are good in a following sea.
Hopefully an potential buyer will retain her appearance. She has survived thus far though, so here’s hoping. I am refreshing your memory by also attaching a pic of Wairangi when she was in her prime and working and you can judge.
Also below is a photo looking down on the modest wharf that the Port’s workboats nestled each night to share stories. The RNZN shed was alongside and their HDML were kept there.


05-03-2018 Update ex Stuart Jameson – The Otoroa has been berthed at the Chaffers Marina for the past four years.  The blue non-slip surface was applied last year.  Current owner appears to be very attentive to its maintenance.  Further detail on its current owner etc should be available from the Marina Manager.


Fisher Lassie



Fisher Lassie
Built in 1938 by Miller & Tunnage, Fisher Lassie is a 39’3″ converted fishing boat that is powered by a 1952, 3LW Gardner with a 2UC gearbox & a keel cooled dry stack. The Gardner has done 3380hrs in the last 17 years with no grief using about 3 litres per hour.
She cruises at 6 kts, her ex work holds provide lots of storage & combined with her extensive fit out, has the basics to be a nice live-a-board.

Given the amount of interest / chat on trademe, a northern woody might have trouble getting her North 😉 those southerners do not like losing boat north 😉 Current bidding is in the low $3k’s so a good buy. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the vessel.

Any of the work boat woodys know anything more about her?

Signature (Beluga)




When Ian McDonald found the above boat  for sale at Westhaven she was named “Beluga” as someone thought she looked like a little white whale.

Her history Ian was told is roughly this:  Strip plank built in 1990 as a spec, to be a work or fishing boat, over 2 or 3 years when the Miller & Tunnage yard was quiet in Port Chalmers, then sailed to Nelson in the hope of an easier sale. She was sold from Nelson to become a long-liner out of Leigh. How she got to Leigh, Ian doesn’t know, maybe sailed up, maybe trucked.

In Ian’s words a trendy city fella bought her, post fishing, named her Beluga, and then sold her after a brief ownership. Ian bought her in 1998 having done a lot of sketches of what he would like to do to her, Ian commented that if one imagines her without the wheelhouse door, and no extension to the coach-roof aft, she wasn’t a pretty boat at all.  Miller & Tunnage didn’t seem to go for topsides looks, but their hulls are beautiful.

Ian visited the Miller & Tunnage yard looking for a genuine bronze M & T name plate and was helped by the manager who sent the plate mould into Dunedin and had some cast, one of which should still be in the boat today. During the visit, the manager took Ian up to the mezzanine floor and showed him the frames still there, off which she was lofted. They had previously built the “Deborah” of the same frames, for the older, about to retire partner, which was moored just up the harbour at Deborah Bay. Ian showed them a photo of what he was doing and they said  “that’s Signature”  and, when Ian enquired as to how she was thus named, they told him that when any new build was about to begin, it required paperwork, description, who it was for etc, and, a signature, so that’s what she was called.

The extension to the cabin top, aft from the door to the stern was designed by Ian in conjunction with Mike German & Graeme Lyons ( German & Lyons Boat-builders), in 1998 and fitted by Mike & Graeme in the shed at Half Moon Bay hardstand, as was the wheel-house door which didn’t exist when Ian bought her. The teak cladding around the windows was also Ian’s idea.  She was then powered by a 4cyl Isuzu and had a fuel capacity of 1,000 litres

Ian kept her until 2003 & she went on Jacob’s boat-haulage to Mana Marina & was sailed to Waikawa where she remained for a few years before once again being trucked north to appear again on the Waitemata. Then she was sold and appeared in Nelson, which is where Ian took the marina photo above in 2015. The second photo (of someone who resembles Ian, doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression), was taken just entering Port Abercrombie a few summers ago now.
In January this year Ian was at Mana Marina and spotted her being prepared for another trucking north and, Ian believes she now resides in Kerikeri.
This boat has done a lot of road miles 🙂 Anyone able to confirm her current whereabouts?

Photos below ex Dean Wright of Signature at Doves Bay Marina. Looking a tad different 🙂





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Strathallan was the name given to this Miller & Tunnage, kauri carvel built, double ender, ex pilot boat by the Timaru Harbour Board. She measures 46’6”” LOA & draws 6’5”. The traditional Scottish boat builder, Doug Robb built Strathallan in 1955 at his Timaru yard.

As you would expect from an ex work-boat the engine room is impressive & dominated by the 190hp, 8L3B Gardner. With a displacement of approx. 20 tons and being driven by the classic Gardner with a 3.1 transmission gives her a cruising speed of 8.5 knots at 810 rpm and max speed of approx. 10 knots at 990 rpm. Her size, design & power unit make her a powerful strong seaworthy vessel.

After being decommissioned as a work-boat in the 1990s she was converted to a cruising vessel. The main saloon, galley & engine room have full headroom & her walk-around decks are perfect for fishing. One of the hangovers from her commercial days is the exterior head with the door facing the stern; I can personally vouch for the view J

Strathallan is currently for sale & would be an ideal vessel for the boat owner who wants a classic, traditional boat that is a part of New Zealand’s maritime history. The asking price I understand is <$80k & at that price would be a good buy & still have the potential for a new owner to add their own touch to the boat in terms of decor.

Photo below was taken at Mahurangi Regatta (2012?) by Chris Miller – slightly different paint ‘job’ back then.



Wairangi – heads north




WAIRANGI – Heads North
photos ex Owen Foster via Ken Ricketts

As previous noted on ww Wairangi has been sold & is relocating to Auckland, Waiheke  Island I believe. Owen supplied this collection of photos from the passage from Picton to Auckland. Wairangi was designed by Wren Carey & built by Andy Miller of Miller & Tunnage fame. For a 1934 vessel of her design she is unusual in that she was launched as a pleasure vessel, which goes against her looks that scream ‘work boat’ converted to pleasure use. Wairangi was the opposite as she became a Lyttelton pilot boat c1948.

To view / read more details of her past click here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/05/28/wairangi/

05-03-2016 Arrives safely at Waiheke Island

07-04-2016 – Wairangi getting a little love at Pier 21. Photo ex Rod Marler

Wairangi at Pier 21

11-04-2016 Update & photos below from CYA member Neil Williamson (owner of MV Safari & the mullet boat Arawa)

Currently doing some work on Wairangi at the moment and thought I would share some pics now the hull has been stripped back showing the planks in fantastic condition
She’s so well made and still in great nick. Great to work on ones like this.

26-10-2016 – photo below of Wairangi in Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island 28/03/2016. ex owner via Ken Ricketts.


An Evill Boat

An Evill Boat

I posted a few weeks ago about a 14′ clinker motorboat, built in 1914 by Miller & Tunnage that was heading north, in fact to Waiheke Island, Auckland.
You can read all about the history behind the boat here  https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/23/classic-clinker-motorboat/

Today post documents its journey to Waiheke Island.

It all started when Tim Evill called me & told me he had bought the clinker off trademe & he was having the boat & her trailer trucked up to Auckland. A few days later Tim & I have borrowed my wife’s ute, she’s a landscape gardener 😉  & Tim & I are driving around Penrose looking for a freight depot. We hook her up & head off to Bayswater to launch her, the plan being to put her on a berth at the marina for a week to take up (been out of the water for 2>3 yrs). You know what they say about plans – ‘if it can go wrong, it will’ – we backed her down the ramp & straight away the water starts p_ssing in – big time, a bucket & a big manual bilge pump could not keep up. So before she sank we started the single banger motor & did a few circles in her & popped back on the trailer.

Time for a team talk, I suggest to Tim if she was mine I would be taking her up to Pam & George at the Whangateau Traditional Boat yard & letting her sit in the back tidal estuary for a few weeks. So Tim heads back to Waiheke & the boats parked on my front lawn.

Next we borrow the ute again & head off on a road trip to Whangateau. We safely deposited her into Pam & George’s experienced hands, then I had a mission dragging Tim away from the shed & Laughing Lady (the boat not Pam). Over the next few weeks Pam sent us photos & trip reports (laps of the bay).
Tim collected her this week on a totally foul day & caught the car ferry to Waiheke Island. Home is now Sandy Bay so keep an eye out her.

Now I’m sick of calling her ‘the boat’, ‘she’ etc – so how about we suggest a few names for her – with Tim’s surname (Evill) it could be amusing – the best one wins a ww t-shirt.
And b4 you say anything Jason P, I have yours on board Raindance & will give it to you at Patio Bay. Just finalizing the logo & will be printing more – details soon.

Bayswater Launching

Back In Devonport

Dropping Off At Whangateau

On Holiday at WTB

Collection Day

At Home At Last




Meola is one of those boats that no matter what angle you view her, she just looks right. Built in 1961 by Miller and Tunnage at Port Chalmers for the Ministry of Works. Her job was the servicing of Marine Dept. & Navy installations around Waitemata Harbour & the Hauraki Gulf. She is 42’6″ LOA with a 12’7″ beam. Her engine is a 4L3 Gardner that sees her comfortably cruise at 7.5>8 knots, using 1L of fuel per mile.

In 1976 she changed hands & was taken over by the NZ Navy.
When decommissioned by the Navy she was converted to a pleasure boat & is now a very salty launch capable of coastal cruising. Her current owner has recently rebuilt the wheelhouse, rewired her, installed new ‘plastic’ water tanks (700L). She carries 600L of fuel (s/s tanks).
Her galley & engine room have also been revamped. As you would expect she sports all the electronic & safety gear needed for coastal passages. Also installed are solar panels & 12v refrigeration to support the engine driven compressor frig / freezer.
Sleeping is a very comfortable 4 berths, being 2 forward bunks, a skippers Queen size bunk & a very cosy ‘winter’ bunk alongside the Gardner.

If you wonder why I’m being a little OTT with details, thats because her owner has decided that sail is really his thing & wants to see Meola move onto a good owner.
You would struggle to find a vessel better suited to either mooching around the gulf or coastal cruising to the Bay of Islands or Marlborough Sounds. Most of you have heard me rabbit on about the concept of the ‘floating bach’ – well Meola is a boat that fits that role perfectly & you could own her for less than a 1/4 the price of a bare coastal section. AND – she is a serious looker 🙂

If any woodys out there are looking for the perfect floating bach or know someone that is – contact Bram Cone at     coneco@xtra.co.nz

01-10-2015 Additional Photos ex Owner

Classic Clinker Motorboat

Classic Clinker Motorboat

Now this little classic appeared briefly on trademe ($5,000) & then the listing was pulled, so hopefully the owner changed their mind or a buyer was found off-line.

This clinker built tender / lifeboat was built by Miller & Tunnage of Port Chalmers, Dunedin.

She started life as one of two lifeboat / tenders on the back of the tug ’Dunedin’ which was launched on Jan 6th 1914.

Built by Miller & Tunnage of Port Chalmers she is 14’ with a 6’ beam & powered by single cylinder diesel motor. The current Yanmar diesel was installed by Miller & Tunnage in 1961 & propels the craft at 6 knots. She has had only 2 owners in the last 40 years & as the photos show has amazing attention to detail & has been well loved.

If anyone was interested in her, a call to the seller agent might be a good idea – Shauna Brady 06 356 1084.

24-06-2015 Input from Russell Ward

Aha! Rivet counters of the NZ coast unite!
Below is a deck plan of the good tug Dunedin as built 1914 showing a transom-sterned motor dinghy mounted to starboard on the boat deck. Measuring off the scale on the plan, she might be 15’ -similar to our little darling under discussion.
A conventional dublenda BOT lifeboat is seen to port.

Now, sorry fellers, but the natural response of a sorta kinda apprentice historian to claims made in adverts for boats as well as cars is “No it ain’t!” because more often than not, vendors embellish the provenance a tad from time to time to stimulate the market. So be it with our little incumbent.

Lets face the facts, Dunedin would have been supplied ex builders (Stevenson and Cook Port Chalmers) with ships boats and equipment as per specifications a part of which I have scanned. This plan shows a smaller motorboat to stb and it was likely built along with the other in the Port by Millers or Tunnages. M & T used to bead the edges of the stringers –Iona is the same. However, the photographs I have attached show some real heavy boats on board.

I hate to rain on the party, but that boat doesn’t look all that robust and a workboat doing pulleyhauly stuff on a tug in Dunedin would be a very strong heavy boat and would have a plum stem so that the inevitable collisions would be better dealt with. The raked stem as our little darling has wouldn’t take a collision so well. Also a motorboat of that era would have a big thumpy single banger engine or maybe a two stroke made in the US that would shake a light boat to pieces right quick. The two strokes didn’t usually have a reverse box so might be a handful in tight corners.

Maybe it is a later addition –the Dunedin may have had a progression of boats on board as the old ones were dropped, smashed or squashed in their duties. William the Conqueror’s axe and all that.

She’s a lovely boat, however,  and I am tickled by the nicely polished rotary bllge pump which she doubtless needs. BTW I have a nice little Stuart Turner P5 single with reduction gear that would fit in real nicely…… Fitted with the usual Critical Need factor –if you need it urgently, it ain’t gonna start so there. Any other time starts easily with a flick of the flywheel One titled owner, only used on weekends.

Koputai – Sailing Sunday

KOPUTAI  Sailing Sunday

Todays post is one of the ones I love, lots of details & lots of both old & current photos.

Koputai is a heavily built pilot stye hull weighing almost 40ton. She was built by Miller and Tunnage of Port Chalmers and launched in 1939. She served as a pilot vessel until the early 1990s when she returned to Miller and Tunnage to be converted to a pleasure boat.  Since she has circumnavigated NZ twice including  Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island, Stuart Island and the Three Kings.

In 2013 her owner, Louey Sandlant, circumnavigated the South Island after fitting rigging and sails to the boat. They spent April-June in Fiordland with friends coming and going. The boat was perfectly suited to this life with spacious living quarters, a warm wheel house, plenty of food storage and fridge freezer space that easily accommodated 7-9 people long term.
On this trip she averaged 1L/NM at 6-7kts and didn’t get to make much use of the full set of sails. On passages Koputai will motor at 6.5-7kts with some sail for steadying. If there is a good blow she will sail 6-9kts with the engine backed off to idle or just over, this brings the fuel consumption right down & can halve the fuel consumption, making long passages very affordable cruising.

Despite the GM Detroits reputation for noise and thirst, Louey reports they have found it to be a very pleasant piece of machinery to live with. It has been very well set up with a 4.5:1 Allison box turning the large propeller and a sound insulated dry muffler set up with a wet exit making it quiet and smooth. Like most Detroits she runs like a clock.

In the sailing department Koputai has a traditional Bermudan style cutter ketch rig. Louey generally always has the mizzen hoisted for stability and with the stay-sail forward this configuration is balanced and happy up to around 35+kts., in lighter airs the full main and code zero style jenoa as well goes nicely up to around 24kts, she will get along at 8 kts off the wind with engine just ticking over. She feels solid pushing into heavy weather and will safely hold her own against most NZ coastal conditions and her owner wouldn’t hesitate to take her offshore. Koputai has been in survey.

Koputai has had a lot of time & money sent on her – in 2012 and 2013 she under went extensive restoration work, including:

-Complete deck re-corking and refinishing
-Complete new Kauri covering board
-Cabins stripped and refinished and windows refitted
-New stainless steel staunch-ens
-All repairs have been done with top quality treated kauri
-In 2013 she has also had a new sailing rig fitted with Canadian Oregon masts, standing rigging and all new sails made by classics sail maker Bud Nalder.

Everything that has been done to her by the current owners has been done with the highest quality products available for traditional boat building and completed by an experience boat builder to a high standard of durability. A useable finish is achieved while maintaining her traditional style.
The rig was designed to suit the era and fit with the original lines to make a well rounded, practical motor sailor for extensive cruising and expedition.

Recent work June 2014 includes; Full repaint above and below the water, new shaft bearing, new zincs, exhaust through hull fitting removed and inspected and refitted, prop removed checked and cleaned, shaft bearing replaced, shaft inspected and cleaned

Now the sad / good news – Loueys sad news is that Koputai is now for sale – the good news is the some lucky boaty is going to get to own one of the best restored, set up motor-saliers around. I don’t normally put prices on ww but I believe this to be such great value – this time I have – NZD$195,000.

If you wanted to a have a South Island experience for a while, there is a mooring in Nelson that is available to rent or purchase by negotiation and she will be delivered anywhere in New Zealand. I have to say that she would also make a great live aboard.

Her owners are currently cruising north over the next month via Great Barrier so if any ww followers are interested – contact Louey on 0274948028

Some Specs:

Leingth 17.1m  –  Draft 1.95m  –  Beam 4.7m

-Engine;  GM Detroit 671 New 2008 4090hrs  – Dry muffler wet exit. 180-200hp

-Running gear; Allison gearbox, 3 1/2″ bronze shaft, 53″ bronze propeller, solid bronze rudder and shaft with hydrolic steering (new main shaft bearing 2014)

-Genset; Newly reconditioned 2.5kva Mase (single cylinder yanmar)
-Fuel;     1700L  –  Water;   2000L

-Power; New batteries all round feb 2013  –  2x290ah AGM deep cycles. 2xNS220 start batteries

-Anchoring;  Nilson maxwell 3500 winch (new 1000w motor 2012.),  13mm galv short link chain (New chain 2012.), 80lb  manson plow

-Refrigeration; Large 200l freezer/chiller with engine driven compressor(new compressor and switches 2013) Dometic 3way automatic fridge freezer (new 2011)

-Sails; Main, Mizzen, Staysail and Genoa (new 2013)

-3m inflatable dingy with yamaha 8hp  –  Or a 4.1m inflatable thundercat with a 50hp yamaha with cradle

-lifting gear with elect capstain for loading tenders up 450kg also very handy for lifting anchors and gear on board.



photo & details from Barbara Cooke

Barbara & David Cooke spotted Meola in Whangamumu on the way home from there Christmas cruise. The owner rowed across for a chat saying that he spends a lot of time fishing and diving around Whangaruru and Whangamumu. She sports a Gardner motor and her early years were spent as a general work horse ie towing, shunting and hauling on the Auckland Harbour. Great to see her so well kept.

More details please, I’m sure the ‘work boat’ boys can supply info on her past.

Update from Russell Ward
Press cuttings above showing Meola –well just the tops of her masts in Drunken Bay (Islington Bay, Rangitoto Island) .
She was under the command of a navy officer (who else could show such skill). Rumour was that he was going inside the rocks off the point.
Once again, Arataki and the crew with a barge were on the spot pdq to salvage.
Amazing how many times Arataki managed to salvage the navy’s coastal foulups before the papers got the story.
No such luck this time.

Russell Ward Update #2

Russell remember that when she was new, she had her fwd mast hard up against the wheelhouse and the engine exhaust coming up through a funnel just behind. The pic below from Bob McDougall shows it well. Nowadays, her mast is set a little more forward or it was when I took the below (colour) pic in 2007.
I seem to remember that she was all engine space and storage forward of the aft end of the wheelhouse  –never saw down aft.

Russell wonders if she had a Kort nozzle that the Navy put on her perhaps to improve maneuverability?  Maybe the twirly wheel reverse on Meola is being confused with the Kitchen rudder that the old navy utilities boats (particularly the so called Cattle Barge) A wheel was used to move a set of cups that went around the propeller to ahead or behind the prop. This gave astounding mobility for the coxwain to avert maneuvering cockups.
The navy derivative had a beautiful casting for the tiller with a handle for steering curving above a wheel for reversing,  diagram below of the Navy Kitchen rudder showing the twirly wheel.

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MV Meola (model) 04/03/2015

photos & details from Grant Morrell

Below is a selection of photos taken during the building of Grants 1/24th scale model of Meola.  Construction was an on and off affair  over a 7 year period. The model is radio controlled and has sound and lights. The 3 photos on the water were taken on 03/03/2015 just after Grant completed the after boom rigging. Still to come are guard & weather rails.
A brilliant project & the attention to detail is spot on. Click photos to enlarge.

1934 Miller & Tunnage

1934 Miller  & Tunnage

This 1934 work-boat conversion appeals to me. She is a big old girl 55’8” x 13’5” x 5’ 10” – built in heart kauri & powered by a Gardner 6L3 115hp diesel.

For sale on trademe she recently had an extensive refit. The owner is reluctantly retiring from the sea. would make a nice live aboard.

Anyone able to ID her? Currently in Picton so maybe one of the southern woodys?

More details here https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/05/28/wairangi/

Info ex Paul Drake
Below is the ad for WAIRANGI when she was put up for tender by the Lyttelton Port Company (in the 1980’s?).

Photos ex Frank Stoks of Wairangi taken today (01/10/2014)



photos ex Keith Munro

Ex Auck Police launch. 52ft x 15ft, Millar & Tunnage, 1960, kauri, twin 210hp Cat dsl s (9 – 16 knts). The older photos show her being restored in 1996 by John Wright & Dave Brown.  The ‘older’ photo of her post re-launch in the water has the launch Alwyn alongside.

Deodar has recently had an extensive refit is back to her former glory & now for sale & quote the trademe listing ‘owners will trade & priced reduced to sell.

There have been books written on Deodar’s life in the ‘force’

18/06/2104 A selection of ‘random’ photos added from ex Deodar crew member – John Elingham’s collection. Posted to ensure they are recorded / stored for the future.

click images to enlarge

Also below – a few from John of the ill-fated Wellington police boat – Lady Elizabeth


story & photos ex Russell Ward
One of my favorite workboats- was built in 1961 by Miller and Tunnage at Port Chalmers. She was built for the Ministry of Works for servicing of Marine Dept and navy installations around Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. Barney Soljak told me that she was modeled on Clematis but with a transom instead of a ducks ass. He felt that she was a little archaic and that they needed a more modern boat.She is 42’6″ LOA x 12’7″ Beam powered by a 4L3 Gardner. She was taken over by the Navy in 1976. She performed some impact hydrography cutting the corner inside Emu Rock and sank in Islington Bay 8 November 1978. RNZFA Arataki and a barge had her salvaged the next day –The tug Arataki had an interesting life in those days, frequently sorting out the Navy coastal cockups (usually before the media got there).
Meola is now in private ownership and much loved. She comes to all the classic workboat events.