I received an email yesterday from woody – Mark McLaughlin, regarding the launch Tainui, that he and his wife previously owned – I’ll let Mark tell te story – 

 “My wife was in Thames recently for work and managed to get a few photos of our old launch Tainui (also previously owned by Sue & Mark Edmonds before me), having recently emerged from the shed at Kopu Marine. After 10 years of sitting idle in a mud berth at Thames she now has a new owner, Peter Elliot. Peter works at Kopu Marine and has bought Tainui back to life again. Amongst other items, I understand she has had new fuel tanks installed, new windows fitted (with the original claytonrite window rubber mouldings now replaced with battens), new stainless steel bow rail, some interior upgrades, and she has been stripped back to bare wood and repainted. When the photos above were taken last month she was just awaiting antifouling and will then be relaunched.  Tainui was very well built in Nelson in 1958 by boat builder Alan Westrupp for Ron Montgomery at “Montgomery’s Garage”, which is the site where the Montgomery Carpark is now. Ron Montgomery did the finishing work and engineering on the boat himself. The original engine was a 6 cylinder Chrysler Crown, replaced in 1988 by a 4 cylinder Toyota 1W diesel. The design is derived from a Nova Scotian lobster boat hull form by US Naval Architects Eldredge-McInnis Inc. She is very sea kindly and capable of a good turn of speed.  Also above is a photo from 1958 when new and another one from the “Nelson Photo News” in 1960. The last photos show her on the pole mooring during our ownership. It’s great to see Tainui looking refreshed now and hopefully we see her out and about again on the water soon.”
Look below to previous WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/23/tainui/

RSVP waitematawoodys@gnail,com

Tainui in the Sounds


Tainui in the Sounds

Nathan Herbert sent in the above photo of this Dick Lange design/built woody that he spotted on his recent trip to the Marlborough Sounds.

She is quite big for a Lange, so hopefully we can ID her & dig out some info on her?


08-03-21 Input from Nikki Clark – The mystery is TAINUI owned by my dad (Peter Wiblin) and has been part of our family for 42 years. She lives at Momorangi Bay Marlborough Sounds. We understand she may be a Dick Lange built 1968 for Marine Land Napier as a dolphin catcher. Dad had her lengthened in 1986. Dad was told she was one of three built the same. Any more information would be fantastic 

Mystery Launch (Tainui)

Unknown 2

Mystery Launch (Tainui) 

I was sent the above photos by Graeme Sapwell who is hoping to ID this launch.

They were taken in Auckland in 1989, the vessel is 26’ in length, but the design/builder unknown. She was at the time powered by 60hp Fordson.

The name on the photos is Tainui, but not the original name. Can anyone identify her?

Tainui – The old days

TAINUI - c1940s

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TAINUI – the old days

Photos & details ex Fraser Chapman via Ken Ricketts. edited by Alan H

The above photos show Tainui in the 1940’s & 1970’s.
There have been several posts on Tainui on ww (link below) but these photos deserved their own post, rather than be added to the existing. I’m a little confused because the top b/w photo Ken emailed to me is tagged 1940’s but else where on ww it has been stated that she was built in 1967 for the Auckland Harbour Board.

Tainui is currently at the Whangateau boat yard undergoing an extended restoration which includes a full rebuild on the Gardner engine. Her Kiwi owner lives/works overseas so will be very keen to view these photos, equally we look forward to following her progress at the yard.

Fraser Chapman has told Ken R that he recalls he bought Tainui in the 1980’s off the widow of a Helensville gentleman, who had owner her for approx. 10 years. Tainui was moored at a jetty, on a private property, opposite Herald Island, (probably Beachaven), when he inspected & bought her. He took her to Thames, where he has lived for a great many years. He owned her for approximately 7 years & sold her to the proprietor of a Boatel in the Sounds, who sailed her directly down the East Coast, to the Sounds from Thames, without stopping. This ties in with the existing details in one of the previous posts on herr which states she was on-sold, (presumably by the Boatellier) in Plimmerton in 1994.

When Fraser C., bought her she had a 3 LW Gardner, but whilst on a trip to the Bay of Islands, not long after he bought her, Fraser called on the people at Opua who had replaced her original engine, which was a 3 cyl Kelvin, with the Gardner & actually saw the old engine, which was painted green, still there, under a tree, on the property. Fraser believes it was replaced because the Gardner was more economical & she went faster. Fraser said she cruised at 9 knots all day.

Fraser believes she was built by Coulthard possibly around 1953/55 & the kauri for her milled in Thames at the Twentymans Mill. Fraser was good friend with the Gt. Barrier Island radio operator at that time also, during the early days of her Govternment ownership era. They both spoke often, about her trips to service the lighthouses in the area during that period.

Fraser advises that her new owner John Sloane, rang him in an effort to try to find her, some time back, as John Sloane’s father, along with John as a young lad, had cruised on Tainui with Fraser frequently & John had such happy memories of that era, he contacted Fraser & told him he would like to buy her. Fraser told him that she belonged to the Christiansens, of Gt. Barrier Island, who he thought had had her there for about 10 years. John tracked the boat down & now owns her.

Can anyone confirm the builder / year?

Link to past ww stories on Tainui

Mooching Around Whangaroa




Mooching Around Whangaroa
photos ex Nathan Herbert

Last weekend Nathan took a break (based on the weather forecast) from working on Lucinda & headed north to Whangaroa for some R&R. He reports the fishing was good.
This collection of photos show some of the woodys Nathan spied in the harbour (Totara North) while aboard Korara.

Tainui On The Move

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photos ex Pam Cundy

One of the ww woodys, John Sloane, recently purchased the 1967, 38′ kauri plank carvel launch Tainui from the Great Barrier Island. We do not know a lot about her but she did start life as an Auckland Harbour Board work boat.

John has retained the service of the Whangateau Traditional Boat Yard to under take a two year restoration of Tainui. Pam & George had previously travelled to the island to inspect her & yesterday (10-02-2016) the real work began with Pam & George towing Tainui back to Whangateau with the help of Dave Jackson & his wee ship Karros. Pam reports it was a very pleasant trip & Tanui’s now tucked up at T Point and will go up the creek to the boat yard later today.

Tainui is a great looking launch & I’m sure John picked her up for a good price. She is also a very lucky boat because she is now in the care of one of the best classic friendly yards in NZ.
We will follow the work at WTBY with great interest.

Still keen to learn more about Tainui’s past – anyone able to help?

More details on Tainui here https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/12/28/tainui-3/

15-06-2018 Update – photo below ex Whangateau boat year fb  showing Tainui’s rebuilt Gardner being delivered ex Dave Shaw’s workshop. Looking stunning 🙂 well done John. 

Visit the yard fb page to see / follow the restoration


Update 10-09-2019 – Tainui seen here off Cape Brett, in the 1958>1966 period. Her owner John Sloane commented to me that she was probably ‘working’ in her role as an Oyster Inspector boat.

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Heads up from Murray Willis (MV Margeurite)

Tainui was built to survey for the Auckland Harbour Board in 1967, originally a workboat but later converted into a pleasure vessel. She is built of kauri & is 38’ in length with a 9’3” beam.

Tainui is powered by a 70h.p. 3LWGardner diesel that gives her a comfortable 9 knots at 1000rpm. A great sea ship, she has plied across Cook Straight many times.

Currently moored in Whangaparapara Harbour, Great Barrier Island.& listed for sale on trade. The asking price is $15k ono & from the photos, for that price looks like a great restoration project.

What do we know about her, designer, builder & who did the conversion?



photo & details ex Murray Willis

It is believed that Tainui started life as a Auckland Harbour Board work boat. Built in 1967 by according to her owner someone or thing called ‘BOSS’ ?
Her construction is 1×1/2” Kauri plank Carvel. She is round bilge and 38 ft long.

Tainui is moored next to Murray’s launch Marguerite in Whangaparapara at Great Barrier Island where she has spent the last 10 years. The current owner purchased her from a bloke in Plimmerton and sailed her up the east coast to the Great Barrier Island.
More details on her past would be appreciated.

Due to poor health she is for sale but not listed nor advertised any where, if you are interested, contact Murray at jan.murray@xtra.co.nz



Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 2.09.27 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 10.39.03 AM Tainui Jan 09

Designed by Eldredge-McInnis in the USA (original design / lines above), built in NZ c.1960 with kauri planking on oak rib. Originally powered by a Chrysler Crown engine. First owner possibly the Montgomery family in Nelson. Previous owners include CYA member Mark McLaughlin, Michael Cooper & before him CYA members Sue & Mark Edmonds.
Info supplied by Mark Edmonds