Tuesday 2 February 2016

Mahurangi Punt

The Mahurangi River is on the northeastern tip of North Island, New Zealand. Like Chichester Harbour, it is infested with mudflats. So the local boat is a flat-bottomed punt with many features in common with my own Hampshire punt Snarleyow Too (see masthead).
The main difference is the flare of the sides, with the lowest plank bent vertically to form a pointed stern so the water can flow smoothly away without the turbulence that follows Snarly wherever she goes. Above is a neat V transom giving a very attractive shape to the boat.
The first Mahurangi punts were built of solid kauri so they must have weighed a ton, especially as lengths ranged from 16 to 18ft (Snarley is a mere 11ft). This is a modern copy in plywood built by Colin Brown of Whangateau Traditional Boats.
I really like it. It looks as though it would have all the advantages of shoal draft with none of the vulnerability of the Hampshire punt's vertical sides and low freeboard. Does anybody do any plans?
There's more on their history here.


Anonymous said...

Looks quite similar to a transom stern Fleet Trow used on the backwater between Weymouth and Chesil Beach. Plans are given in Eric McKee's Working Boats of Britain.I seem also to recall that Gavin Atkin featured them on his blog intheboatshed.net.

NickW from Bournemouth

Chris Partridge said...

It is a bit like a Fleet Trow, but squared off and with quite a bit of rocker. Of course, the Fleet Trow is also designed for very shallow water.

Alden Smith said...

This is a very nice rowing boat. Have you thought of contacting Colin Brown directly on the Whangateau Facebook page?

Perhaps the small boat designer John Wellsford on http://jwboatdesigns.blogspot.co.nz/ may be of help.

Are you thinking of getting it built or building it yourself? Small flat bottomed boats built of plywood are relatively inexpensive.

The pointy stern of the Mahurangi punt, apart from helping with water flow may also give the boat good directional stability.

Does your Snarlyow Too have good directional stability?

Chris Partridge said...

Getting a set of plans is not the same thing as deciding to actually build the boat. I have some friends who have libraries of plans they pore over on long winter nights, fantasizing about the fleet they are going to build one day.
Snarleyow Too has no directional stability at all, but I have hopes that higher rowlocks and longer oars will improve things. If not, a skeg is the next step.

Chris Waite said...

I have plans Chris

They're labelled 'Premise' and have the same flat bottom and flared sides, but with the advantage of a straight stem and deep forefoot to improve waterline length, i.e. speed, as well as windward work. My plans also have a rather more, generous stern for the boat to sit upon when sailing downwind, but it is, or can be designed smaller and just clear of the water, if rowing is the primary objective.

For directional stability, use the rudder with the blade down and take a bungee with a ring in its end, from between your legs to a hook under the tiller to hold it approximately fore and aft. It keeps the boat on the straight and narrow and can be nudged with a knee if a minor change of course is required. Problemo Disparatu

Ah, which 'two' are you referring to?

Christo El Dubbaya

lonach34 said...

To my eye your Mahurangi Punt looks very much like a Banks Dory but with the bottom plank pinched in at the stern to provide a skeg. Like the dory the flat sides have a considerable flare, but apparently lacks the rake of the bow & transom.

I built a lightweight skegless Banks Dory last summer to use as an inshore fishing boat in estuaries, over the mud flats and around rocks. A skeg would be hindrance where nimbleness is needed in the slosh around the rocks as well as when grounded out in mud.

On the other hand, my Chester Yawl (Shown in your Tuesday, 6 September 2011 RFP*) does have a skeg that is really good for directional stability when going from A to B, but doesn’t have the nimbleness to use around rocks - and hopefully will never wind up there.

*By the way, looking at that old posting, you asked me a question and apparently I was rude enough not to answer.
"Where did you get that hat?"
I apologize.
First of all, I must say that I am not the thief who stole MacKinnon's Pith Helmet while he was rowing Jack De Crow to the Black Sea. Mine was a surplus US military "Sun Helmet" which was widely used in the Pacific in WWII. I say "was" because when sailing in a local lake it got knocked off my head, went overboard, sinking to the bottom of a deep lake, carrying my treasured 60 year old Marine Corps emblem with Just recently I found a replacement which now carries a much newer and less sentimental emblem. When summer comes it will also have some bubble wrap stuck inside for flotation.
This kind of sun helmet likely deserves greater usage by rowers. The only contact with the head is a sort of sweat band, more or less at eyebrow level. The helmet creates its own set of aerodynamics, so that the slightest breeze creates a marvelous draft over the top of the head. When rowing in 90+F temps, one needs all the help they can get.