Rescue of Maroro

The Classic Yacht Association has rescued the historic launch Maroro from Okupu on Great Barrier Island after years of service for the Faulkner family of Tauranga and longlining out of Okupu. Her owner David Owen, has presented the launch to the CYA and is assisting greatly with her transport to Auckland. 

photo: Alan Houghton

Maroro was built in 1907 by the Matheson brothers at St Mary’s Bay for themselves. Her plans came from Rudder magazine and she was therefore rather unusual in design in the local context. For example she has a “spoon” bow and a vee transom. She first gained fame by winning the RNZYS Rudder Cup Ocean Race of 1908 and has had a remarkable involvement in the maritime history of the Auckland Province ever since.

While in poor shape from being in the weather for many years, Maroro is in remarkably original condition. The only major additions to the hull are a very sensible dodger which was built on to her in 1920 by the Lane Motor Boat Co. and sponsons both sides which were installed for her work as a fishing boat in recent years. The dodger will probably be kept. Internal partions and joinery appear original. The period horizontal wood-rimmed period steering wheel with its vertical shaft and bronze rack and pinion gear is a delight.

The planking is sound but total re-ribbing and refastening is necessary together with reconstruction of her cabin-top and decking while a new engine of moderate horsepower has already been earmarked for her by James Mobberley of Moon Engines.

The CYA considers that Maroro is restorable provided it is done sympathetically and by skilled tradesmen. The work will therefore be undertaken at the New Zealand Traditional Boatbuilding School at Hobsonville which was set up by the CYA a few years ago.