Vessel Profile – Taranui
“There is nothing quite like it in the world,” says Evan Walker when describing the week leading up to Christmas in Pelorus Sound. “The mussel harvesters have stopped by then and you can look some 10 km up the sounds and not see another boat!”
The Walkers journey up from Christchurch about 30 days each year to spend time on Taranui, a vintage 40ft x 10ft x 4ft 6 – gaff rigged ketch motor sailer made predominantly of kauri. Evan describes the gaff rigging as heavy with only one minor winch. “It is all hands to the lines when sailing Taranui, so we only sail with competent crew.”
She has been in the Walker family for more than four decades. She was originally built by the Hay family, who launched her in 1927 to run coastal passages to Lyttelton and the Sounds. She has lived between Canterbury and Marlborough her entire life, including some time at Crail Bay when owned by John Menzies.
Havelock is now her permanent home so that the Walker family can be closer to their ‘happy place’, Pelorus. Life is pretty simple on Taranui – no TV and no protein other than what you catch allowed on the boat. Evan says, “we are reasonable fisher people, so we do eat well!”
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