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.”