Whangarei Town Basin – Mystery Launch

Whangarei Town Basin – Mystery Launch

Keith and Heather Nicholson sent in the above photo of an old post card of the Whangarei Town Basin. The photo first appeared on a Mitchell Hutchings fb post. 

In the photo, lower right, we can see a launch hauled out – so todays question is – can we put a name to the boat?

Heather mentioned that their beloved woody – Paea (photo below) was for sale on tme. An amazing classic, the 72’, 1942 ex Harbour Defence Motor Launch (P3552) offers so many boating opportunities.

HDML Tarapunga Sinks

HDML Tarapunga Sinks

details & photos ex Heather Reeve

I have some sad news in regard to a piece of NZ’s Maritime history – ‘Tarapunga’, one of the 16 Harbour Defence Motor Launch’s (HDML) that the Navy purchased in 1943 & were later used for Survey work charting the NZ coastline (painted white) & also undertook Fisheries Protection work (painted black) caught fire & sunk off Nelson early this week.

The photo of her berthed at the wharf was taken by Keith Ingram (Skipper magazine) in Picton only a few months ago.

One of Tarapunga’s sister ships ‘Paea’, owned by Keith Nicholson & Heather Reeve (photo below) is in the CYA fleet.







Paea – the only Harbour Defence Motor Launch in original condition, and in good working order out of the 16 the Navy bought in 1943. Yes she is wood 🙂

Interested in reading more on all things Motor Launch, be they serving in the Navy or in civvy hands. (over 250 photo’s and 50+ stories and tech data / links to other ML pages) Check out the link below