Mystery Napier Boat – Tautane > Centaurus
Hylton Edmonds sent me the above photo of the unnamed Napier pilot taken by his late uncle TDE Edmonds who lived in the Hawkes Bay. Hylton recalls that it was taken sometime in the late 1950’s > early 1960’s and shows the pilot boat giving the ship ‘a bit of assistance’, which was common practice at the time.
Hylton was hoping one of the Napier / Hawke’s Bay WW followers could fill in some of the gaps re the photo e.g a more accurate photo date, name, builder, launch date, and was she actually built as a pilot boat or later commissioned as one etc as she definitely has an ex Fishing Boat – Miller and Tunnage look about her, and of course, what became of her?
UPDATE : Thanks to Michael O’Dwyers shape eyes we now know its Tautane – WW link below for details + photo of her today as Centaurus 🙂
19-08-2019 Input from Michael O’Dwyer
“Had a wee chat with an ex skipper of Tautane today.His name is Morry Trow,now 86 years old. Morry drove the pilot boats in Napier from 1967 through to 1983.He recalls Tautane being a good sea boat especially when driven with the 6/71 but the pilot house could get a little cramped with four people packed in.He regaled me with one account of having to remove an entire crew off a freighter all at once,the problem being one of the crew members had murdered a fellow seaman and the body had to come back too.Morry had taken out a number of policemen of course, so not having enough room and not that keen to have a tense situation on deck they ended up towing one of the lifeboats back with the perpetrator aboard duly escorted by the police.Tautane was replaced with the 120 tonne Athol Burns designed tug J.R. Harland in 1968 now Albatross V working adventure tourism in the Bay of Islands.”
The above photo of Tautane was sent to me by her owner Clare Robinson, Clare is hoping that we can uncover more on her past.
What we know is that she is a Miller & Tunnage, completed in 1945 or 1946, operated as fishing vessel for a time and then was purchased by the Napier Harbour Board as their pilot boat and renamed Tautane. Sometime during her tenure there, a Detroit 6-71 manufactured in 1963 was fitted to replace a lower power Gardner.
She was purchased by Colin Davenport in about 1993 and was used to ferry guests out to Endeavour Inlet in Queen Charlotte Sound and for day fishing and diving charters. Colin added the canopy.
Clare bought her in June 2017 and is in the process of converting her to a live-a-board.
The photo shows Tautane as she is currently, sitting at Picton wharf next to the ferry terminal in May 2017. Clare has advised the boat is now named – Serenity.
Do we have any more information on? Russell W you must be able to help?
Input from Russell Ward – below are two photos of the ship one as originally launched – Centaurus and the other being used as she should be. More details in the ww Comments Section.