Mystery Miller & Tunnage – Tuatea

TUATEA – Miller & Tunnage

If we believe her tme listing todays woody ws built in 1936 by Miller and Tunnage.

36’ in length she has a 60hp BMC diesel that gets her along at a top speed of 11.5 knots.

Home is Whangarei in the north and that woodys is all me know about her – can we put a name to her and expand on her past.

Heads up on Saturdays Woody Boat Boot Sale at The Slipway Milford yard – we have some serious collectors of marine ‘stuff’ dusting off their lockers so should be some treasure up for sale – remember CASH ONLY.

INPUT ex Paul Drake – The boat is TUATEA. Photos below of her on the Paremata Harbour in the 1980’s. I was told that she was Miller and Tunnage, about 1925. She was a Lyttelton boat, and went to Picton after I photographed her. Subsequently, while on her Ivy Bay (Paremata) mooring, she was struck by lightning and required extensive rebuilding. Whoever rebuilt her did a magnificent job. She re appeared at Seaview Marina, Wellington. Interesting that she is now in Whangarei.  She appeals to me because she is a straight stemmer (nearly), has a full length sweeping belting, is low wooded, has port holes, and has a mast! What more could you want. Note that she is clearly not a double ender.

25-11-2022 INPUT ex Harold Kidd – TUATEA was designed and built by Jas. McPhersoin of Dunedin for Jack Hudson of Cadbury, Fry, Hudson chocolate manufacturers in late 1930.Hudson moved to Christchurch and took TUATEA with him, basing TUATEA at Lyttelton. There were various statements that she was built by Miller & Tunnage and even by J. Miller Ltd of Lyttelton, but not so. Original engine a 30hp Thornycroft. In NAPS as Z124 1942-4 skipper Magnus Smith.

MV Tauranga

MV TAURANGA

Recently I was contacted by Darren and Toni Anger, the owners of the ex workboat – MV Tauranga – below is Darren’s note to WW

“We have owned Tauranga for a couple of years now and we would love to hear any stories out there about her. The above photos of her show the different cabin configurations from her original to now.

Tauranga was built 1957 by Miller and Tunnage, Timaru for the Tauranga Harbour Boards pilot vessel.  During her time in April 1982 she was stolen and run aground at Matakana Island, Tauranga Harbour Board completed a major refit and refastening of the hull, she continued her pilot duties until around 1990.

When sold to private ownership she was sailed to Havelock Marlborough Sounds for her pleasure vessel refit which was completed approximately 2004, this is when we first saw her in Havelock Marina at the start of our own world circumnavigation.  

2020 we returned to Havelock to settle and saw Tauranga for sale, she now spends her days cruising the Sounds or on her mooring in Kaiuma Bay.

Tauranga is still powered by her original 8 cylinder Gardner.”

So woodys, can we help out with any tales from the workboat days and then the period starting 2004 > 2020 when Darren and Toni bought her.

INPUT EX NIGEL DRAKE

“When I joined the Bay of Plenty Harbour Board as harbour pilot in 1982, Tauranga was in the middle of her major refit at the port slipway at Sulphur Point. She was outside but under a temporary cover while the 8 cylinder Gardiner was in one corner of the adjacent shed and the wheelhouse in the other corner. The relief pilot boat in use was the chartered Whitianga based fishing boat Defender. When Defender had to be returned to her owner after Tauranga’s refurbishment was prolonged the Mount Maunganui based fishing boat Sea Bee was chartered and used until Tauranga was ready for service again.

When built in 1959 by Doug Robb in Timaru Tauranga was fitted with a towing hook just aft of the forward mounted wheelhouse. The port did not own a tug at that time so some towing and ship assist duties would have been necessary in her early days. The arrival of the ports first tug Mount Maunganui in 1960 would have alleviated this requirement somewhat.

The refurbishment in 1982 followed the theft from her berth and subsequent beaching on the sea side of Matakana Island in 1979, I don’t think they had turned on the fuel. This second refurbishment following the incident gave the opportunity to move the wheelhouse from forward to aft now that towing requirements had long gone. This was a great success resulting in a large clear area of deck for the pilot and deck hand to operate in when alongside a ship always under the watchful eye of the launch master. The decision was also made to paint the hull and wheelhouse top rescue orange to aid in the easier identification of the boat by ships masters. This was a little controversial and non traditional but proved very successful and it is now normal for pilot boats world wide to have strong colour recognition.

The growing port saw the 9 knot displacement speed of Tauranga to be somewhat of a disadvantage and in 1985 the 18 knot Tauranga 11 arrived. An alloy Striker design built by the then Wanganui Engineering, now QWest, she relogated Tauranga to standby pilot boat. She enjoyed a somewhat sedate life in this role until being replaced in 1999 by a newly built 12m Naiad hydrographic survey launch which was also set up for piloting duties.
Tauranga was put up for sale and departed under new ownership for Doves Bay in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands.

This ended 40 years of very successful service at the port in Tauranga.”

Caravel

CARAVEL

Back in May 2020 we ran a story on the spirit of tradition classic launch – Caravel (link below), at the time the story would have broken the WW record for the number of people emailing me about a boat. Seems she ticked all the boxes for people considering doing laps of NZ in their retirement 🙂 Stunning photos ex Dean Wright at the link + the photo today is Deans also. https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/11/30/caravel/

We subsequently learnt that Caravel was built c.2004 in Picton, strip planked but using an unusual boat building timber – poplar. Fast forward 10 years and she was hauled out at Tauranga being re-skinned with double diagonal kauri and glassed, boat builder Alan Craig commented that she was now built like a brick-out-house.

Some details – designed by Bob Salthouse, 42’ in length, beam of 14’6” and draws 5’. Built by Miller and Tunnage, Picton.

Forward motion is from a John Deere 135hp diesel that gives her a comfortable cruising speed of 8 knots.

Heather

HEATHER

The 40’ carvel planked – Heather was built in 1965 by Doug Robb and spent her first 35 years as a commercial fishing boat. In 2000 Miller & Tunnage converted Heather to pleasure boat and installed the 1996 Gardner 6LXB, which was brand new at the time. Like all good Gardners she is very efficient e.g. at 5.5 knots, running at 800rpm, she sips 1L pnm. Normal cruise speed is 7.5 knots, but can be taken up to 9.5 knots max.

To use the old car dealer term – Heather comes with all the fruit, incredibly spec’ed and all set for some serious cruising.

Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up

04-10-2022 INPUT FROM Philip Trow

“Hi, Philip here….the present owner of Heather (2022). It is great to see a correct and largely accurate report on Heather. A couple of things to add: MV Heather was originally built by the Heberley family of the Marlborough sounds. She is named Heather after Heather Heberley (NZ author of some note). 

Heather has been a particularly reliable and forgiving vessel for myself and previous owners. I have taken her around most of the South Is and I know previous owners have also used her for some great trips around the North is. She is very economical to run (1l/nm @ 800rpm/5.8kts exactly and circa  9l/hour at 1050rpm/ 7kts average.) Large 1200l+ tanks give her a very usable range. She also has a 6kw gen set and 800watt+ solar panels to handle long periods at mooring or unattended. As of writing she has less than 3600 hours from new on the Gardner 6lxb. That is very few hours on a Gardner.

Heather was rebuilt around 2000 and a great deal of heavy duty good quality equipment was installed. All of the fittings and equipment are much more robust than you would typically find on a pleasure vessel.

MV Heather has benefited from myself and previous owners who have maintained her to a good standard and also spent significant amounts keeping her up to date with features like AIS, drip free shaft seal and Blackwater.

I have retired from aviation, and now have a larger “Bluewater boat”, hence Heather is somewhat regrettably on the market.”

Albatross V – sold for $7,100

ALBATROSS V – sold for $7,100

Early this week the 64’ Miller & Tunnage built ex tug / workboat – Albatross V was sold on tme – sure it was ‘as-is-where-is’ and had suffered some water ingress, but seriously $7000 !

Built with 2.5” kauri – the timber alone would give you a return on your spend – check out the specs:

•Length: 19.64m • Beam: 5.7m •Hull: Timber (Kauri) 2.5” • Decks: Timber •Main Engine: Lister blackstone 600hp @ 800 rpm • Gearbox: MWD, 5:1 reduction • Auxiliary engine: Perkins 4 cylinder, 25 KVA Genset • Speed: Cruise 8-9 Knots, Max 10 knots • Accommodation: 12 berths

Can someone let us know if she went to a good home and what the intentions are?

100 Year Old Classic Clinker 

100 Year Old Classic Clinker 
Back in late 2015 I rail-roaded a good friend into buying a beautiful classic clinker day boat – he lives on Waiheke Island and it was a perfect match for him. WW link to the 2015 story here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/11/21/an-evill-boat/
Well as always seems to happen, life gets in the way of hobbies and the old girl just isn’t being used – so the decisions been made to pass her on to her next caretaker.

As her owner is a far better wordsmith than I am, I have reproduced the trademe listing story below:

“I am reluctantly selling my beautiful 108 year old boat. This clinker built tender/lifeboat is purported to have been built in 1914 likely by one of the Miller Bros (precursor to Miller & Tunnage est 1922) It is claimed to be one of two launched on the back of the tug “Dunedin” on Jan 6th 1914 ( see photo) 14′ length. 6′ beam. The craftsmen in Port Chalmers, where some of the finest boat-builders in NZ and their clinker built craft are amongst the most sought after collectibles around.

Powered by a single cylinder 7HP Yanmar Diesel, installed by Miller & Tunnage in 1961. It propels the craft at 6 knots and is extremely economical. Running for hours straight on a cup of diesel. The engine was last serviced in 2019 and has not run since, so it will need some TLC but should be simple to get going again as it’s fool proof. (I have a 1970 BMW D7 marine engine, semi complete with many new parts, i was going to replace the Yanmar with, that I would consider selling separately.)

It was used as a salmon boat in Port Chalmers for 30 years and then spent ten years on Lake Taupo until I bought her 7 years ago.

I used her a fair amount until 2019. The last owner told me he spent $40,000 restoring her and I can believe it. She has teak decks and posts. Huge bronze hinges and a magnificent bronze bilge pump and prop. Brass whistle and controller and anti- aircraft gun cartridge cases as rod holders! The woodwork is good for her age and the bespoke trailer is really solid. She’s a joy on the water and capable of handling any seas in safety. Extremely stable with 4 on board. Like most of its kind she lets in a little water on first entering the sea but takes up rapidly within 24-48 hrs. This is a superb piece of New Zealand seafaring history. I am looking at offers over $7,500 but it is more important to me that she goes to a good home so if you love classic boats and want to own a piece of our boat building heritage then get in touch.”

To view more photos – click here https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/boats-marine/motorboats/listing/3526252981

Manurere – Work Boat Wednesday + WW Crew Gear 4sale

MANURERE – Work Boat Wednesday

The 43’ Manurere was built by Miller and Tunnage in Port Chalmers and launched in 1937. She spent her working life cray and cod potting, exclusively in the Dunedin and Stewart Island areas. She is constructed in 1 and ½ inch kauri strip planking with spotted gum frames. Manurere has a 11’ 6″ beam and 5′ draft.

Based in Lyttleton, for the last 18 years, she has been extensively restored during that time. Powered by a 120hp Iveco Fiat. (thanks to Marcus Petraska for the tme listing heads up)


IF YOU ARE WANTING WW CREW GEAR B4 XMAS – ORDER NOW – LIMITED STOCK –  LINK TO ORDER https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/11/11/58095/

Koputai – Workboat Wednesday

KOPUTAI – Workboat Wednesday

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.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/03/08/53293/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/09/06/koputai


LABOUR WEEKEND – MATAKANA RIVER RAID – POSTPONED 

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 🙂

Aoroa – A Peek Down Below

AOROA –  A Peek Down Below

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.

Koputai – Work Boat Conversion

KOPUTAI – WORK BOAT CONVERSION


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


2015    https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/05/03/koputai-sailing-sunday/
2020    https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/09/06/koputai/