Designed & built by A (Bill) Couldrey in 1937 for W R Craig, she saw serve with the RNZ Navy & Police during WW2 as a harbour patrol vessel. B/W is on launch day & its fantastic to see her 76 years later so close to her launch day configuration. The ‘solo’ colour photos were taken in Issy Bay at the 2012 CYA Cake Day event. The photo with the launch Joan was taken off North Head just prior to the CYA picnic cruise to Stillwater in 2011 (?)
Russell Ward Comment
Beautiful beautiful ship. Every line is just right -look at that sheer and the line of the cabin tops. Even that turtle deck on the “bikini deck” between the wheelhouse and aft dodger: raised to give the headroom but not at the expense of spoiling the line. The detailing of the windows -the work of one of the real masters. Not many boats look ok from any angle -she does.
She did time as a police launch too, I seem to recall. I also seem to recall (from a visit in the ’60s) that one could service the trusty Gardner while sitting on the throne -useful bit of multi tasking and clearly another design feature!
An update from Ken Ricketts
An insight into Tiromoana’s – (early years 1939 – circa 1988)
As I sit at my computer, at 76 years old, & reflect back, I have realised, there is no doubt, that this, most beautiful Bill Couldrey, double skinned, (1 fore & aft 1 Diagonal), 37ft, 1937 masterpiece of design & build, has had a profound affect upon me, & substantially directed & affected the entire course of my life, since I was a small boy of 7.
It is absolutely certain, that I would never have been able to make the contributions that I am able to do, to this website, if it were not for my beloved Tiro. Ken Ricketts
She was built in 1938 for a Mr Craig, he however only owned her for a very short time & sold her to a friend & business associate of my late father, Ralph Ricketts. He was a Mr. Henry Allen who owned The Auckland Handle & Dowel Ltd sited in Manukau Rd, Newmarket. He, & his wife, Mrs Joyce Allen, lived in a large villa right next door to the factory where they brought up their 3 children, Jack, the oldest, (who later owned the beautiful C, ( later F), class keeler, C22 “Turangi,” for many years & his 2 sisters, Mavis the older, & Esme the younger.
Henry A & Mrs Joyce A, moved to No.4 Suddley St Orakei in 1946-47 where he lived for the rest of his life.
Henry Allen bought Tiro., shortly before WWII & was destroyed, when the Navy took her initially, & then passed her to the Police shortly after, as a harbour patrol boat. The Police painted her grey, & for the next 3 years Henry A., fought tooth & nail to get her back, eventually succeeding in 1943. Such was his joy & excitement, he didn’t even bother to repaint her, but used her for the rest of the season in her grey Police livery,.
This was the point at which Tiro came in to the lives of my parents & me.
Henry A owned her until he died, but long before this, & not too long after WWII, his children all married, Jack Married a lovely lady called “Doreen,” Mavis Married a young businessman called “Doug Millar,” & Esme married another young businessman, called “Joe Coggan,”
The marriage into the Coggan family seemed to my family to be a not only a great love for Esme, but also almost as great a love of Tiro, & for many years in Henry A’s later life, Joe was always seen at his side, whenever “things had to be done,” Such was his love for this boat.
When Henry A eventually passed away, Joe bought Tiro off the estate, & loved her as Henry had before, for the rest of his life as well.
During Henry A’s stewardship, she was moored her entire life at Westhaven, just off the dinghy launching ramp which was there at that time, right in front of the Auckland Motor Yacht Club & she was right next to that other lovely Couldrey classic “Reremoana.”.
When she passed to Joe C,, he moved her to the Tamaki River, at the bottom of his garden, right on the waters edge’ with riparian rites, to the Tamaki River, in Riverview Rd Panmure, & just 2 minutes around the corner, from my parents who lived at No 1 Bridge St Panmure, also on the waters edge, with riparian rites, & my parents used to look at Tiro., every day on her pile moorings a few yards downstream from their home & their own “Gay Dawn.” She remained there for the entire time Joe’s custody lasted, which was also until he died.
A wonderful pedigree for a wonderful boat
Changes to Tiromoana along the way:
When Tiro was built, she was powered with a green painted 4 cyl Gardner truck Diesel, with a huge open flywheel, & detached gearbox, which I think was made pre the days of the “LW” series of engines, as it had 4 separate cylinder blocks, on a separate crankcase with side inspection covers in the crankcase, & could only be started with the crank handle, & by opening the exhaust valves with the decompression levers, whilst one built up flywheel speed & then closed the compression levers. There was a chain drive from the rear end crankshaft between the oil seal & the flywheel to a shaft along the top of the engine to the front end, & one swung on the handle at the front of the engine.
My father & Henry A were both absolutely outstanding precision engineers, & my father did not think much of anyone swinging on a crank handle to start the engine, so about 1945, with the assistance of the entire very extensive facilities, of Mason & Porter Ltd’s (Masport today), machine shop, of which he was manager, he designed & made an electric starter system, for the Gardner, which, as with everything my father ever made, worked perfectly. Its necessity however, was fairly short lived, because circa 1948-49, my father & Henry A, jointly removed the 4 cyl Gardner & replaced it with a brand new 5LW Grey painted Gardner marine engine, which is still painted grey as far as I know, & is now, over 60 years later, once again, as far as I know, is still running like a Rolex. I was on Tiro 4 or 5 years ago & it was still just like new then.
Paint, colour schemes, changes, & modifications
I am really delighted that the successive privileged owners of this aesthetically outstanding craft, have appreciated the traditional wonderful balance & beauty she has always had, in her original design, & have not tried to “improve” her, virtually at all. — a different mast is really about all that is visible on the outside, & when I was on board, she was still virtually original inside as well, long may it continue.
Tiro was one of the very first pleasure craft in NZ to be spray painted. Joe C was a craftsman with a spray gun, & began spraying Tiro’s hull every winter when the rest of us were all laboriously brushing away & trying to get rid of the brush marks to make an “eggshell like finish” to our various pride & joys, as we all did in those days, & Joe achieved an unbelievably better job with far less effort. – I never understood why my father never followed his example with his own “Juliana,” & later, “Gay Dawn.?”
Tiro has had a small degree of modification done by Joe C., somewhere around the time he took her over from the estate. From memory I think it may actually have happened when Henry A was still alive.
As you will see, in the pics taken by me, in Christmas 1947, at anchor in Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, & Christmas 1949, at speed, entering Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, with her “brand new 5LW,” she originally had totally varnished combings, which Joe later painted through in white, on the aft cabin section, where the 3 oblong windows are.
Actually, I personally like that present concept, however I feel that the pic on the wheeled trolley with her going in to the water, already on the website may be intended to convey that this was her original concept, as at her launching day, which is of course not possible, because of the pics I took, & that colour concept was not introduced until circa the 1970s.
I think it could very well be, this was taken when she was living in the Tamaki River, & she may have been slipped at the Panmure Yacht Club area. (ww comment – the b/w photo was taken from a 1937 newspaper & is at the launch of Tiromoana)
THE RICKETTS FAMILY ASSOCIATION, & SHAPING OF MY LIFE, BY TIRO.
For a number of years my parents rented a batch on the waters edge of Christian Bay Takatu Peninsula on the farm of a Mr Donald Jones. We looked straight in to Mansion House Bay Kawau Island, from our batch.
One morning, during Christmas 1943, this beautiful looking bridge decker painted grey, came across from Mansion House Bay, in to our bay, & would you believe it, the Allens came ashore & invited us out on Tiro for the day. I can still remember being beside myself with excitement, at being invited out on this “huge” boat.
We had a wonderful experience, which I could not know at that time, was to be the first of many over the next 3 years, until my father bought his first boat the “Juliana” in 1946.
My father had been born in to a pioneering boatbuilding family in Nelson dating back to the 1840s & of course was bought up in, & loved boats of many types.
My mother on the other hand was the daughter farming family, new nothing about boats, or cruising on them, but like me, was besotted with this wonderful way of life,
It had been my parents intention to buy a batch of their own after WWII, but after just a very short time, after being introduced to Tiro, she said to dad one day, “Dad, do you think perhaps we could buy a boat instead of a batch after the war?” — Well, you can imagine what my father said & thus my whole life has been focussed on & revolved around this idyllic lifestyle, & will until I die, almost certainly solely, thanks to the Allens, & Tiro.
Nothing I can think of, has had a more profound effect on me, or my life, than this life long passion for cruising on comfortable pleasure launches, (especially at Kawau Island, which is, & always has been, since 7 years old, my favourite place of any part of any country in the world, I have ever been to.)
Now, to get back to the “Allen, Coggan, Family Dynasty.” I am trying to Liaise with Helen Coggan daughter of the now deceased Joe & Esme, to try to add correct & timing for various things referred to above & will report further if I can achieve this.– I was actually talking to Helen, within the last 18 months or so, so hope I can locate her again.
In the meantime may “Tiro” continue to grace us all, with her beauty, for another 75 years
Photos added to posting
# 4 ladies standing on tuck of Tiro in 1945 pic holding on to dodger are L to R Miss Mavis Allen, Mrs Wyn Ricketts, Miss Esme Allen, & Mrs Doreen Allen, (Jack Allen’s new wife).
# 2 photos of Tiro at Kawau Island
# Ken Ricketts as “Santa” at 9 years old, Christmas Day 1944 in the bridgedeck of Tiro with Mavis Allen
An Update for Tiromoana’s Owners 17/08/2013
My husband, John, and I are the current custodians of Tiromoana. Photos 1, 2 & 3 are of John and I (Carolyn) cruising the Gulf. Tiro currently resides at Bayswater Marina, although she is currently in “hospital” on the Westpark hardstand, being treated for rising damp and gribbles behind the keel cooling. With her out of the water for awhile, we took the opportunity to get into all the nooks and crannies, and remove accumulated detritus, including six anchors! And, going on the size of the gaffs we found on board, earlier owners must have caught much bigger fish than us.
I must assume that the head has been moved, since vintagesteamer’s day, as we can no longer multitask from the throne. However, the trusty “new” Gardner, installed in the 50’s, is still going strong. Recent changes we have made is the installation of an electric head, and holding tank, and new batteries and charging system.
As I work in the Operations Room at Coastguard, I have great delight in reminding the Maritime Police of our association as Auckland Police Boat #1.
If you see us around the Gulf, do drop by and say hello.