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Search for Classic Vessels

This is a growing database of classic vessels (pre 1940) with a significant connection to the region. Information comes from primary sources (mostly the Evening Post and NZ Yachtsman), and secondary sources (the more reliable being the writings of Harold Kidd, Robin Elliott and David Pardon). Where sources conflict, primary sources are generally given precedence. Bruce Askew's first notes on the database can be viewed here.

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Taniwha
Taniwha
Vessel Name:Taniwha
Builder:Harry Bender
Place built:[Wellington?]
Year built:189?
Owners:Reid and Perano (Marlborough Sounds, 1920-19??); G.H. Jackson (Wellington and Port Underwood, ????-1920, or 1913? See note)
Notes:Bow remodelled 1909. Harold Kidd writes:
"...she was built by Harry Bender, in Wellington I think, as a steam launch. She then got tricked out with a retro bow etc and turned into 15hp Union petrol-engined auxiliary owned by G.H. Jackson who sold her in 1920 and had the strange yacht Psyche built by Ernie Lane in Picton which he sailed to Oz in 1926 (see pic of her in Little Ships). Jackson had married Helen Guard of Port Underwood and Taniwha became the undisputed champion of Cook Strait crossings. Reid and Perano took over Taniwha in 1920 for use in the Sounds. She was licensed to carry 35 passengers in 1924. But after that her fate is unknown to me."
[and]
After a spell fishing at the Chathams, Taniwha was badly damaged in a NW gale on the rocks at Evans Bay in October 1917 and was then sold as is where is by auction. I imagine she was bought and repaired by the likes of Ernie Lane. It's possible Jackson had sold her by 1913 when she went to the Chathams in fact.
Actually she started life as a fishing cutter called Louie, built by Harry Bender as a young man. He put a steam engine in her in 1898. I think Jackson changed her name to Taniwha when he bought her from Bender around 1908. He put a 20hp Gardner in her and lengthened both ends.

Photo source:RPNYC 100 Years