James O'Brien
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James-OBrien
Previous Names: Kawateri
Boat Type: Tugboat/Towboat
Boat Status: Retired
Owner: J. Maureschat
Boat State: Operational
Boat Country: New Zealand
RTA Member: Yes
Year Built: Launched 1947
Builder/Designer: Mason Brothers
Built For: US Navy then NZ government
Length: 75 ft
Beam: 15 ft 6 in
Draft: 6 ft
Hull: Bloody good steel
Power: Atlas Imperial HM 1556
HP: About 300 HP at 295 Rev/min
Boat History / Other Notes:
This vessel along with two others were completed after the WW2, although 27 in total were assembled at Mechanics bay in Auckland, New Zealand. All vessels were supplied by the US Navy as kit set form, this formed one of this countries small but relevant ship building industries of the time (Mason Brothers). These vessels were partially completed in several places around Auckland and subsequently moved to Mechanics Bay Auckland to be fitted on a rotatable jig in order to be electrically welded 'down hand' by the women work force employed of the day. After completion, she went straight to Westport under the command of the New Zealand marine Department. (Arataki YTL 626 and Manawanui 627 remained in NZ navy hands) on the south island to work as a tug, to sound the bar daily and search and rescue missions. She also stood in for the Wairua ferry between Steward Island and Bluff Harbour. In 1996 she was converted to a fishing trawler, this venture did not last long, but the time and neglect between several owners proved (detrimental). In 2005 I came along and surveyed this vessel thoroughly and consequently purchased her (why, I don't know? love and money at first sight?). Many, many hours have gone into her and can honestly say that these old things are resilient and can pleasantly surprise one when in the dumps. The Atlas Imperial engine does tug at the heart strings somewhat at 280 rev/min she does 10 knots and burns around the 19 liter per hour mark. Fully mobile now after 3 slipping s, JOB is ready for pleasure service and could possibly pass into the hands of the next conscientious owner. Any more information please contact me on the e-mail address.

Best Regards

Joerg Maureschat
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