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Welcome > HISTORY AND RESOURCES > Classic Yacht Database

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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Ruawaka
Ruawaka
Vessel Name:Ruawaka
Builder:Bill and George Fisher (brothers)
Place built:Roseneath, Wellington
Construction:triple skin kauri
Rig:Bermuda
Owners:?? (Anikawa, 19??-19??); John Searing (Wellington, 1987-199??); John McKechnie and Graham Sang  (Wellington, 1981-1987); Bill and George Fisher (Wellington, late 1940s-1981
Notes:Timber purchased pre WWII but construction not begun until after the war. Sold to English couple in 1995 who sailed her to Europe via Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
David Fisher writes:
The kauri timber for Ruawaka’s construction was bought before world war 2 which interrupted the building as George saw service in the war. Construction was 3 skin kauri, with 2 opposing diagonal ½ inch skins and one fore and aft skin on the outside, with copper nails roved over. The lead keel was poured on the hard at Evans Bay and fitted after she was transported from her building site in Grafton Rd, which was where brothers Bill and George lived. The mast was hollow Oregon, varnished, keel stepped. Ruawaka originally did not have an inboard auxiliary motor, relying on a Seagull 4.5 hp barge pusher outboard when there was no wind. Later in 1960’s a 33 hp Perkins engine was fitted with the propeller offset to port. Berthed in the ‘boat harbour’ ie Clyde Quay boat harbour while owned by the Fisher brothers and had a successful racing history in the 1950s. Ruawaka sailed in the tragic Lyttelton race of 1951, suffering some damage but returned safely to Wellington.  I donated the pennants she won and some other material to the Wellington maritime museum some years back.I have a collection of silver teaspoons won by Ruawaka stored at another house, that I will aim to collect and document.
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Photo source:RPNYC archive