Paul Drake sent in the two brilliant Taupo photos above, the photo above of Maureen Anne were recently given to Paul’s brother Michael, by one Maureen West nee Somerville who would love to know where this boat Maureen Anne is now.
She was built in Taihape by F.W. Somerville, Joiners. Maureen’s father was Ben Somerville, part of the firm. She was launched at Taupo in about 1948 & appears to be about 23′.
The second photo also came into view only recently. It is of the Boat Harbour at Taupo, in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s. The photo shows Maureen Anne in the distance on her mooring, just ahead of Romance.
On her mooring mid river is Col Wild’s 1936 Lamorna. Tied up to the river bank is El Alamein (now Ranui) – McGeady, ( third from left) in one of her earlier configurations. Also Arcadia (Slattery – second from right) and various other unknown woodys. Oh, and first on left is Wyona, a large clinker who biodegraded many years ago.
Update from Alan Craig – below are 2 photos related to todays (above) Taupo story.
Tony Mitchell had the print of Wyona, and Alan also found the post card on trademe of the ferry, at the time named ‘Rotoiti’, that use to go through the channel to Rotorua. Not quite the same boat but some one might recognise it.
1945 – 32′ Classic Kauri Launch
Now this launch is for sale & if you had a peek inside you would be very impressed & at the asking price of $78k you might think its a great buy. Well it is a great buy, but I do not think there will be a queue of classic woody buyers lining up – why? because someone has stolen its mojo – the thing that makes a boat special. Her name is Ranui & in another life was called El Alamein, you can read about her here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/08/03/el-alamein-ranui/
The Readers Digest version of her history is that she was launched in January 1945, specifically for use on Lake Rotoiti to help convalescing returned servicemen from World War II, many in wheelchairs, ease back into civilian life.
Now I have another life outside of being a wooden boat blogger & that is in the world of consumer & B2B marketing – mostly via the digital channels these days – so I can hear you asking yourself whats the relevance of this to today’s story? Well Ranui is in charter & these days calls Lake Taupo home – So wearing my marketing hat, if I owned a boat with the provenance that Ranui / El Alamein has I would be doing two things:-
1. leveraging every inch / ounce of her life story to make a trip on her something special, hell I’d even by donating $xx dollars from every ticket to the local RSA etc etc.
2. The other thing I would be doing was making her look as classic as possible – that’s her X-factor – the tourist’s would be telling people “I went for a very laid back lake cruise on this amazing 1945 wooden boat that used to help with the rehabilitation a returning WWII solders etc etc.
So what has someone done? bought a few sheets of plywood & put a top hamper on her. Well it is their boat & they can do what they like (see Cameron P – I’m softening) – I’m sure the attraction of getting a few more paying passengers aboard won them over. But in my eyes they have knocked $25+k off her sale price & halved the visual / emotive appeal of the charter business.
If I was a few years older I’d buy her & borrow Mr Prew’s tungsten tipped chainsaw 😉 & go make a few bob on the Lake. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the heads up on the boat.
Have a look below at the photo of her back in the 1940’s, what she looked like in 2015 & as she appears today on treadme. As they say “different strokes for different blokes” – Its still a good buy for a 32′ motor launch – But not me.
Woodys In the North
Another collection of photos ex Dean Wright of classic woodys cruising the the Bay of Islands. Shown is Ranui the NZ built ‘Chris Craft’ at Days Point. Summer Wine off Takou Bay heading North & one of Waipawa – anchored on the south side of Moturoa Island. Meola is also pictured in Frenchmans Bay, Moturua Island but this is back in May 2015.
Can anyone ID the last photo above, she is shown here heading toward Waewatorea in the BOI.
Wash Day on Linda
Woody Robin Elliott snapped the photos below of Linda heading into Opunga Cove over the New Year period. Given the array of laundry flying, it looks like another one of those memorable Brooke family cruises 🙂
Update 10-04-2018 photo below of Meloa, taken by Angus Rogers, shows her at Crowles Bay, Te Puna Inlet.
Ranui was built in 1948 by Lidgard Bros. following a Chris Craft design. She measures 48′ & is made of kauri. The zoom zoom comes from twin 120hp Fords. She recently returned to Auckland & has just had some TLC at Gulf Harbour that included her coamings being re-varnished.
Check out the link below to a 29 page PDF file that show cases renovation a few years ago & also the history of Lidgards & the Chris Craft marque .
The photos below ex Ken Ricketts show the recent Gulf Harbour work.
24-02-2017 Update – Photos below ex Robin Elliott of Ranui berthed in Dove Cove Marina, early Jan 2017
The above photos of El Alamein (now named Ranui) show her c.1956 when she was in commercial charter on Lake Taupo. (photos ex Google ex Karen Moren via Ken Ricketts)
Some history below from the Ranui website
Formerly known as El Alamein, the ‘great dame’ of Taupo charter boats started her sailing career on Lake Rotorua after World War II.
Ranui was launched as El Alamein on 29 January 1945 for use by patients of the Rotorua Convalescent Hospital after the Second World War.
Named after that part of the Middle East where New Zealand servicemen distinguished themselves in action, the 32-foot kauri cabin launch was donated to the convalescent depot by the Patriotic Fund: Joint Council of the Red Cross and St John. Specially designed for use on Lake Rotorua and for passage through the Ohau Channel to Rotoiti, she was built by McGeady and was capable of seating up to 40 passengers.
For the first 4 years of her life Ranui was an open boat, with a small cabin and bunk room up forward captained by William J. Pollock. She was a familiar sight, often carrying up to 40 convalescing soldiers, many in wheelchairs, on Lake Rotorua excursions as part of their rehabilitation. She played a big part in easing the soldiers back into civilian life.
Ranui was sold in August 1949 as the numbers of ex-service patients dropped and maintenance costs rose. She was trucked to Lake Taupo on 24 August 1949 and purchased by Ron Martin – the money from the sale was returned to the Patriotic Fund Board.
Two years later one of Taupo’s old-time residents, Noel East, put on a full cabin and was first to have Ranui surveyed.
The next owner was from Hawke’s Bay and used her privately before selling her to one of Taupo’s most familiar commercial boat operators – Jim Storey. He had Ranui surveyed and used her commercially for many years, taking visitors out on Lake Taupo tours for fishing and sightseeing.
In 1980 Ranui was purchased by Graham Twiss and he continued taking visitors out on Lake Taupo tours and fishing for a further 34 years.
Ranui has recently been refurbished by her present owners, Sarah & Jamie Looner & again is operating as a charter boat on Lake Taupo. Click link below to view photos of her today.
photos & details ex Paul & Roger Drake
Saturdays post on the Kinloch Woodys prompted Paul & Roger to dig out at their collections of old Taupo postcards. The brothers uncovered some great photos of Victory from the 1940>1950 era. Also read below Paul’s comments on Victory.
The first photo above shows Victory on the beach at Waihaha with her skipper on foredeck – Ernie Taylor, son of builder Jack Taylor.
The second photo shows her hauled out at Nukuhau, where she was built. Probably in the 1940’s, when she was quite new. Now she has a larger wheelhouse, but is not much changed apart from that.
Boat in foreground is Ahuriri – an ex surf boat from Napier.
On the other side of Victory is Romance, then Lady Pat – well documented and discussed on WW.
The photo below is dated 1959 shows Victory on the other side of the Waikato river sporting her original wheelhouse. It was altered some time later.
Behind her with bow showing only is the Logan Ponui also owned by the Taylor’s at the time.
This side of the river at the breastwork is Rangatira (Otehei) on the left and El Alamein (Ranui) 4th from left.
Details on Victory ex Paul Drakes comments on last Saturdays ww post
“VICTORY is very much a lake boat. As Colin says, she was built at Taupo by local boat builder and charter boat skipper Jack Taylor. She was launched, I believe, in 1942 or 1943. It is said that no power tools were used during her construction. Kauri planks on jarrah ribs with totara floors. She was built to replace ROMANCE (Bailey and Lowe 1914), who was sold by Jack in 1943. VICTORY became a very busy and popular charter boat. The Taylors sold her in 1982. Although it is said that Jack often wished he had never started building such a large launch (40 feet), assisted by his wife, – his two sons were away at the war – he must have enjoyed her immensely once finished. She was a big step up from the 26 foot 6 inch ROMANCE. VICTORY was perfect for the four or five day charters which were very common in the day. VICTORY is a Jack Taylor design, built from a model which Jack towed behind ROMANCE as he refined the shape. She is of shallow draft – a useful attribute on Taupo (no tidal rise and fall) – as it allows access to beaches where the drill is to put the bow on the beach and disembark via a ladder (in VICTORY’s case a rather long ladder). She did spend a few years in Auckland (Pine Harbour) during the 1990’s, but for 90% of her 70 plus years she has been at Taupo. She is well looked after and nicely appointed internally.”
Victory June 2016 at Kinloch