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Rakanui (should have been Rakaunui) was built for Skip Patterson by Bailey and Lowe and launched in early March 1926. The name is Maori for "big tree" which was the brand of petrol Skip had the agency for and which was delivered on the coast by tug and barge.
Her 30hp Widdops semi diesels were not the greatest (hence the tall funnel to clear the soot away) and were replaced by Kelvins in the '30s. She was sold in the early '30s to Captain Douglas Bell who ran charter parties pre war which were very well liked. He was a native of The Isle of Man and he evidently had to rename her on taking her over. Mona's Isle ll was chosen -the first Mona's Isle was a Clyde ferry so she had to be number 2. Bell sold her to Winstones post war and she worked out of Hobson Wharf. I loved her with the Kelvins. They sounded so nice. The Kelvins were eventually replaced by Dormans which, I seem to recall, failed to live up to the manufacturers' specificati and were a disappointment. I think that she got GMs not long after that and still has GMs.
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The picture above shows an early configuration of her wheelhouse from just post war. Harry Julian's fleet merged with Winstones in the '50s and she received the present wheelhouse For some time they moved Winstones building products on the coast as well as salvage etc. Harry was not apparently allowed to operate independently and the combine split. Harry ended up with her as the mainstay of his fleet for a time. She then went south to Dunedin then to the sounds and then ran to the Mercuries in the ownership of Fay and then back to the south, A stint in Dunedin again that didn't work and then a variety of owners before nestling into Andrew Cameron's care. She is awaiting a Gardner transplant.
You can see in the picture to the right just how deeply her props are imersed and why she is such a good towboat.
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There was an article about Rakanui's efforts in the reflecting of the ship Golden Master who grounded off Tauranga in the '60s. Here is the url
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