In recent years I have been spending time in Thames, catching up with family – when I need to ‘escape’, I drive down to the Thames marina and have a mooch around. Depending on the tide it either looks like a normal marina or as if someone has pulled the plug out and most of the boats are sitting high and dry in their mud berths (see below photo). The launch Manukura had always been hauled out and looking like a Beehive restoration was around the corner – the top photo is from a February 2020. Ken Ricketts has pulled together the below insight into Manukura’s past and current situation (edited a lot by AH)
Manukura is approx. 50′ long and was built in late 1950 > early 1960’s by Shipbuilders and is one of 3 more or less sister ships, which include Corinthia and Romany II. which were a development on the 1946 built Mahara. Manukura is presently owned by Allen Watson. He bought her fairly recently, in a very sorry state, on the hard at Thames off a lady owner, who had only had her for a short time. She bought her off a gentleman called Paul, who had taken her to the Thames area 3 & ½ years earlier, & who had bought her off the elderly gentleman as referred to below.
Allen is a well experienced boat builder / painter, and has commented he is intending to restore her to her original former glory. As visible in some photos above, Allen has commenced work on her on the outside – focusing on re-calking, painting and repairing hull timber work at Thames marina. The interior is in a completely stripped out and the intention is totally rebuild it, with some changes to the interior layout, without alteration to the exterior. The stainless steel work at the flying bridge will shortly be removed 🙂
Allen commented that interior was ruined as a result of her almost sinking on a return trip to Auckland from Great Barrier Island about 14>15 years ago when the then elderly owner of the day, was encountering big seas and did not notice that a forward hatch had opened and she was taking in large quantities of water, through this hatch, which reached a point, where one engine sucked in water and stopped. She was also getting very low in the water. They towed her back to Gt. Barrier, pumped out and brought her back to Auckland but everything inside including all wiring, furniture, etc., along with the engines, had to go. Sadly she was not insured and was eventually sold by the elderly gentleman (as-is-where-is), who had kept her for 10 years in a shed In West Auckland. The new owner (Paul) took her to the Thames marina where he kept her for 3 & ½ years. Then the ownership chain, mentioned above took place.
Current owner Allen moved the boat on 26-2-21, to Whangamata for a week or 2 on the hardstand for a little exterior finishing and then be put in the water. Allen intends to live aboard, on a swing mooring while rebuilding the interior.
Manukura had a pair of 120hp 6 cyl. Ford diesels fitted during her 13 & ½ years on the hard, which replaced 2 previous Fords.
The b/w photo below ex Harold Kidd show the launch c.2012
Update – current photo by Allen Watson via Ken Ricketts