The launch Rata recently made an appearance on Lew Redwoods fb, a WW search comes up with several craft of the same name but not this woody. The location looks ’southern’ to my eyes.

Can we expand of her past and current location?

19-10-2022 Input ex Ray Morey – After Whangarei Towboats folded up, (Jack Fisher, Kay Fisher and Ivan Rolfe) Ivan bought Rata from a ship broker in Auckland where she was lying. We brought her up to Whangarei where we put a heavy panting beam across behind the engine and mounted a towpost bridge behind the wheelhouse, after the style of the Alert, where the load was transfered to the deck, not the cabins.She had a 4-71 with 2:1 red box so swung a decent prop.I spent a lot of time towing one of the W.H.B. bottom dump suction dredge barges, mostly “Rua” with her mainly on the main channel before Westminster came in and deepened the place. We also did provisioning of the oil tankers at Marsden Point and bunkering oils for the ships. I knew she had come from the sounds area origionally. When “A.A. Tankcleaning” sold her I believe she went “up to the islands” as a village supply boat but was lost soon after. I was driving her about 1964-65.

Photo Below – by again ex Ray Morey of Rata off Onerahi about 1965 when owned by Ivan Rolfe.

Something From Left Field 

Like most classic woody boating enthusiasts I’m not a fan of jet skis / personal water craft etc – they have a habit of shattering the peace and quiet in a bay. The ones used for fishing are all good. The one below is almost starting to look ok, lose the white on white paint scheme and it would be very cool.

Rata – A Woody Project



RATA – A Woody Project

Anyone up for a project? Woody Jeff Norris recently sent me the above photos of Rata, she was once the fastest launch on the Kaipara back in the 1940’s/50s.  It once had a petrol V8 Fairlane engine in it.
It was owned by the Hargraves family from the Pahi region many years ago, that was before it had a conservatory built on it.
Originally it would have been a flush deck speedboat and as such she won all the races in its early days.
So woodys – can anyone share more on her past & is anyone tempted to take her on? She will need more than just a spray with Wet&Forget 🙂
Harold Kidd Input – RATA was built for Ted Hargreaves of Batley in February 1911 by H.N. Burgess of Judges Bay with a 6hp Automatic engine. She was 27ft x 6ft 6ins. Still in the Hargreaves family in the 1960s. There are several photos of her from the 20s through to the 60s at the Matakohe Museum. A thoroughbred and a very worth restoration project!
Lost Boat – Taurima
 The other day in the NZ Herald – SideSwipe section a reader was trying to track down her families (Neil & Janice Hudson) old motorsailer. Its called Taurima & was built in 1977 by John Gladden at Milford. She had an interesting past – she sank at the Poor Knights in 1996 & was towed to Tutukaka by Grant Ogle Salvage. She then sat just of the motorway in Albany for approx. 5 yrs & then in c.2000/1 was sold to someone in Tauranga. Neil is now 85 and would love to know what became of the boat.
Can anyone help the family out with info on Taurima?



Rata was built by Dick Lang in 1926 in St Marys Bay. In todays world she is rather unquie in that her owner is only the 2nd since 1936. Rata has recently completed a lengthly keel up ‘rebuild’.

She is 35′ long with a 3′ draft & powered by a 85hp Lees Ford engine, she cruises at 8knots.

Currently 4 sale on trademe. Hopefully the price of $45k includes a chainsaw to remove the ‘carry handle’ 🙂

Anyone able to provide any more details on Rata?