The Restoration of Rehutai
The 43’ launch Rehutai was built by Sam Ford in 1926 and has been owned by Tony Whyman, of Wellington, for the last 25 years, having bought her in November 1994 in Picton, off Lex Parkes, who Tony believes, had her for many years. Tony sailed her to Evans Bay, Wellington, where she still lives.
Post purchase Tony took her ashore and commenced a major refit & refurbish, from 1994 to 1997, the work we see above was undertaken by Tony and a boatbuilder working full time, with the help of others working part time.
When purchased she was powered by a ‘tired’ 6 LW Gardner diesel, which Tony replaced during the re-fit with a new John Deere diesel, derated to 186hp.
Post the work, Tony and family ended up with a very smart woody that they use frequently and should be around for many more years to come.
(Photos and details ex Tony Whyman, via Ken Ricketts – edited by AH)
Last Chance to Check Out the Logan A Class Guff Fleet
If you haven’t yet seen the A Class Gaff Classic Yacht Exhibition – make the effort to visit the Viaduct this Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Details below & a sneak peek via one of Roger Mills stunning drone videos.
Nomad is a perfect example of how confusing the issue of ID’ing a classic launches name can be. Harold Kidd has supplied the intel on Nomad below.
This launch started life as an amateur-built 35 footer, partially built by a chap called Elley in Ponsonby who sold her to J.P. Aldred of Ponsonby. He had her finished off (most likely by Collings & Bell) and launched her in December 1919 as IRIHAPETI (maori for “Elizabeth”) powered by a 30hp Doman supplied by Collings & Bell. Aldred sold her to H.F. Butler of Remuera in November 1921 to commute to his property on Browns Island. Butler changed her name to NOMAD and kept her until about 1929, having repowered her with a 56hp Ferro around 1925. He sold her to Nops who sold her to W.E. Fullerton of Remuera in 1931. Fullerton sold her to Stan Parker in 1935 and he had her converted to her present configuration by Lidgards who added 7 feet to her amidships, taking her out to 42ft., renaming her ARAWA and having a 65/90 Deutz diesel installed.
After WW2 she was renamed REHUTAI.
(the photo above, dated 1937, is from the Tudor Collins collection at the Auckland Museum, emailed to me by Ken Ricketts)
photo & details ex Gavin Hargreaves
With today’s post we are looking to see if we can join the dots. Gavin sent me a photo of Manana, his Colin Wild launch. Gavin has owned her for 7 years after purchasing her from Bill Webber of French Pass who owned her for 20 odd years running a fishing charter business. When purchased she was pretty run down with what appeared to be the original interior. Gavin spent many hours and money giving her the love she deserves. The only difference in looks now is she has a fly bridge and a cut in stern leading to a boarding platform apart from that she still looks as pretty as the day she was launched.
Now back in 2013 via Adrienne, Dave Jackson sent in the photo below of a launch that he thinks was Raehutai, that Bill Seager changed the name to Manana.
So the question of the day – are these the same boats? For easy of comparison I have dropped both photos into a slide show.
Harold Kidd Input
Bill and Gerry Seagar got the design from Colin Wild, probably the last he ever did. They got her built at Chas. Bailey & Sons because, effectively, they owned that company at the time. Harry Pope was the foreman on the job.
The two brothers were notorious for their barneys with each other. Bill wanted her called REHUTAI after the two steam launches the family had built in the 1910s but Gerry wanted her called MANANA. She was launched as MANANA.
Photo below of her in Seagar ownership.
details & photos ex Vinings Brokers ex Ken Rickets
If you believe the brokers listing Rehutai was built by Lanes in 1960……………. She is 43ft x approx 13ft 6in, carvel kauri hull, powered by a 120hp Ford diesel. Currently based in Waikawa.
Ken questions the 1960 launch date as he recalls her from the 1950’s & she was not ‘new’ then. Open for discussion but Kens view is she looks early to mid 1930’s & could even be earlier than that??
Any input / details would be appreciated.
Note – there was several steamers called Rehutai
Harold Kidd Update
Thank goodness Ken has learned to be more cautious with his prognostications. The owner should add not a “II” but probably a “VI” to her name to satisfy Ken’s obsession over names, because REHUTAI was a popular name for NZ launches, up and down the country.
I have told the owner of this boat her provenance, but he doesn’t believe me. He believes his own myths and maybe you can see why when the full facts are revealed.
This particular REHUTAI started life as an amateur-built 35 footer, partially built by a chap called Elley in Ponsonby who sold her to J.P. Aldred of Ponsonby. He had her finished off (most likely by Collings & Bell) and launched her in December 1919 as IRIHAPETI (maori for “Elizabeth”) powered by a 30hp Doman supplied by Collings & Bell. Aldred sold her to H.F. Butler of Remuera in November 1921 to commute to his property on Browns Island. Butler changed her name to NOMAD and kept her until about 1929, having repowered her with a 56hp Ferro around 1925. He sold her to Nops who sold her to W.E. Fullerton of Remuera in 1931. Fullerton sold her to Stan Parker in 1935 and he had her converted to her present configuration by Lidgards who added 7 feet to her amidships, taking her out to 42ft., renaming her ARAWA and having a 65/90 Deutz diesel installed.
After WW2 she was renamed REHUTAI.
Now who would believe that??
REHUTAI (the steamer)
story & photo ex Russell Ward
Here is a ship with some class.
The steamer Rehutai built for and owned (and I guess engineered) by Seagars. Who built her and when she was launched, I will leave for Harold to advise. There were several Rehutais. Scroll down to the previous post to view another.
I would imagine that she had the old faithful tandem/steeple compound that was Seagars’ stock in trade and they would have been quite capable of doing the boiler too, so I guess they did.
The first of the two pictures show her embarking and taking Lord Plunket for a jolly on the harbor. He was Governor in 1905 so that is as good a date as any. The next shows the container ship Iris moored in the harbour. You can see the craneship Mahua and some good ships around the Iris.
BUT what is this on the foreshore? A steamboat funnel? Is it the Rehutai of my dreams?
A chance glance at one of the pictures in the Matakohe museum revealed that the Rehutai was burned out at Whangaruru and lost. The records show that there was a Rehutai that was diseaslied with 50hp engines in 1934 –not sure if it is the same ship.
Bear in mind that there was an other Rehutai that became the Hauraki –looked a little like the steamer in passing. Again, I will leave to Harold to unravel.
Harold Kidd Update:
There were 3 Seagar Bros-owned REHUTAI steamers. The first was a 36 footer built for them by Bailey & Lowe in 1905. The second was a 45 footer built in April 1905 by Chas. Bailey Jr. (the one in the images above) which was sold the Government in 1910 for work at Thames and the Piako River. She had a 30hp steam engine designed and built by Seagars. The third REHUTAI was a 50 footer built by Chas Bailey Jr in December 1909 with a 35hp compound tandem engine. She was dieselised in 1926. The image on the Devonport foreshore is REHUTAI (II) with the Logan launch KARORO in front of her.
Of course it was this launch (REHUTAI II) that became HAURAKI in the ownership of the Government Lands Dept. and got dieselised in 1934.
Update from Chris Leech:
The floating crane picture looks more like the Auckland Harbour Boards floating crane – Hapai. Seen below uplifting the Devonport Ferry Co.’s Ticket office before relocating it to its new home as the Devonport yacht Club , clubrooms. C.1927. photo ex DYC centennial year book
story & photo ex Russell Ward
Rehutai (this one) was (according to Harold) built in 1926 by Sam Ford at St. Mary’s Bay for C.C. Ross of Wellington and had a 50/75 Stearns engine.
Ross owned her at least until 1933. In 1957 she was owned by R.N. Barton of Featherston.
I would have sworn she was a Lanes boat. Just shows you.
Harold Kidd Update:
ALL ROADS LEAD TO LANES! Actually Garth Lane personally built every launch constructed in Auckland from 1905 onwards and licensed/franchised boatbuilders to put their nameplates on them. But seriously, you can tell an Auckland-built launch at a mile; there was an Auckland “look”. Compare images of contemporary Dunedin/Australian/ US/British/French/Italian/wherever launches and there are strong family resemblances within Auckland launches. It’s not hard to figure out; it’s a cultural and fashion thing. So, when Logan Bros went out of business in 1911, lots of builders started building Logan-style double-enders of class. They all built what their owners wanted them to build. I defy anyone to get the provenance of an Auckland launch right just by looking at an image of it, particularly when, like this Sam Ford REHUTAI it has been changed time and time again over the years.
PS Recently I did a count of the “Oliver & Gilpin” launches then currently on TradeMe. There were 9 of which only 4 were built by Oliver & Gilpin, the rest were knock-offs. With the other 5, that distinctive O&G style had been copied so well that their owners were convinced and had no hesitation in claiming O&G provenance (with potentially dire commercial consequences for misrepresentation).