See also: New Zealand Yarns, New Zealand History, Polar Exploration

  • We Were Different
  • The Team that hit the Rocks
  • Captain Samuel Phipps
  • David Hutchison
  • Far Horizons
  • A Biography of David Kirkwood (1834-1913)
  • Blind Bay Hookers
  • Reflections, Connections and Memories
  • The Ships of Omaha
  • The Era of Coastal Shipping in New Zealand
  • Strait Crossing
  • Vehicular Ferries of Auckland. The Floating Bridge
  • Catlins Bound
  • Square Rigged Sailing Ships Visiting Nelson. 1841-1914
  • 150 Years of New Zealand Shipbuilding
  • Home Boats
  • Ships Of Wellington
  • New Zealand Maritime Images - The Golden Years
  • All at Sea

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    WE WERE DIFFERENT The Tasman Express Line Story.
    By Gavin McLean. Hard Cover 262mm x 200mm, 168 pages, 0.78 kgs, Black & White and Full-coulour photographs. 2004

    Forget windjammers or steamships. Tasman Express Line was a container and computer age baby. Tasman Express brought new service standards to the Tasman, then one of the worlds costliest sealanes.

    Run on the smell of an oily rag by a young, energetic staff, and by hands on directors, Tasman Express quickly established itself as the innovator. It invited ship's officers to attend board meetings and its advertising broke all the established rules.

    In We Were Different Gavin McLean traces the highs and lows of a modern shipping company that took on the big boys.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    THE TEAM THAT HIT THE ROCKS The inside story of the Wahine disaster.
    By Peter Jerram. Paperback 162mm x 240mm, 239 pages, 0.72 kgs, Black & White and Full-coulour photographs. 2024

    In April 1968 the New Zealand interisland passenger ferry Wahine, a fast and modern ship for its time, hit Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour in a cyclone, the worst storm ever recorded in New Zealand's history.
    Six and a half hours later the ship heeled over and sank, with the eventual loss of fifty-three lives.

    Among the 610 passengers and 125 crew was the Lincoln College cricket team. I was one of that team, and this is our story.

    Peter Jerram offers a riveting firsthand account of their experiences on that fateful day - drawn from written and oral testimony of his teammates, crew and rescuers. Jerram also examines the causes of the disaster and loss of life, finding serious fault with the Court of Inquiry into the tragedy. Told for the first time from a survivor's perspective, The Team That Hit the Rocks is a powerful account of our nation's worst modern maritime disaster and the unbreakable bond formed by those who survived.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    By Diana McGurk. Paperback 210mm x 297mm, 24 pages, 0.13 kgs, Black & White and Full-coulour photographs. 2022

    This is the story of Diana McGurk’s great-great-grandfather, Captain Samuel Phipps.

    Samuel was born in Mitcham, Surry in the UK and was destined to work in the local copper works as had his father, uncles and brothers. However fate changed Samuel’s life forever when his father died and he was indentured with the merchant navy, and so began his life at sea.

    Captain Samuel Phipps spent most of his life working on boats and through the help of his descendants, we have been able to find precious documents showing many of his journeys, and details of the life of his wife Alice and their children.

    We also get a glimpse of Onehunga, which was a busy port at the time and home to many people plying their trades, including local shopkeepers, ship traders, and mariners.

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    By Don Armitage. Booklet, 210Mm x 297mm, 36 pages, 0.17 kgs, Black & White and Full-coulour photographs. 2023

    This is the story of how a Scottish shipbuilder came to Onehunga, near Auckland in New Zealand and whose life and the lives of his family, eventually became severely affected by coming into contact with David Kirkwood (1853-1913), an entrepreneur and shipowner also based at Onehunga. The tale spreads around New Zealand, the Pacific, the globe and ultimately back to New Zealand

    In 2018, occurred the uncovering after a severe storm, still in good condition, of one of David Kirkwood’s vessels, the 53ft (17m) schooner “Daring”. It had gone ashore at Te Oneone Rangatira Beach just south of the Kaipara Harbour entrance in February 1865. This has led to it being uplifted and displayed alongside Mangawhai Museum by the Mangawhai Daring Trust, north of Auckland, nearby where it had originally been built in 1863.

    A consequence, has been a lot more research going into its wider circumstances during the 1860s, including David Hutchison’s story which is a significant part of the history surrounding the discovery. Now read the book..

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    By Robert J. Hawkins. Paperback 210mm x 298mm, 118 pages, 0.55 kgs, Black & White and Full-coulour photographs. 2023

    This is a true story of maritime history based upon the life experiences during Robert (Bob) J Hawkins’ career at sea. It spans his life from shipping out as a deck officer cadet in 1966 through to his retirement in 2014.
    While this book may be deemed an autobiography the intention is to portray life as it was during the turbulent period in maritime history that resulted in changes to my own career path but also reflects the story of many other mariners who experienced these times. Bob was in no small part influenced by his well - known maritime historian/photographer father Clifford Hawkins. Bob soon joined the Sea Scouts and learned to sail small 17 foot cutters and later yachts of various descriptions.
    In 1965 Bob joined the Union Steam Ship Company as an apprenticed cadet and his career at sea had seriously started… This is your life Bob.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    By Don Armitage. Booklet, 148mm x 210mm, 28 pages, 0.07 kgs, Black & White and Full-coulour photographs. 2022

    The schooner Daring had gone ashore on Te Oneone Rangatira Beach in February 1865 . She lay undisturbed for 153 years until she was uncovered after a storm in May 2018.

    The discovery of the vessel after so many years has brought to light one of the best preserved vessels of that age and type in the Southern hemisphere.

    As to Kirkwood himself, he is indeed a fascinating character with an unusual personality. He has left many descendants in New Zealand and possibly Australia the USA and elsewhere! This is a short biography of the owner of the schooner Daring and other vessels. Don Armitage has researched the life of David Kirkwood and in Don's own words, this is a work in progress.

    NZ$20.00 + delivery.

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    BLIND BAY HOOKERS - The little ships of early Nelson, and colonial times.
    By Fred Westrupp. Paperback, 164mm x 240mm, 318 pages, 0.68 kgs, Black & White photographs. Revised and expanded 2022

    Fred Westrupp grew up on Nelson’s Waterfront where his forebears had built and captained many of the small ships which were vital to early trade in the region.

    Widely acknowledged as an accomplished researcher and writer, Fred has meticulously melded archival records with his personal acquaintance with characters and vessels of the era.
    From 1841 to 1925 Blind Bay (Tasman Bay) was serviced by a “mosquito fleet” of sea going little ships, amiable known as hookers. Some were even built form the bush, as small as 30 feet in length. All were able to discharge and load cargoes on beaches and in estuaries.

    For the NZ Land Company settlers, struggling in difficult terrain, these ships were their lifeline.

    NZ$55.00 + delivery.

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    By Robert J Hawkins. Paperback, 215mm x 305mm, 83 pages, 0.49 kgs, full colour and Black & White photos with Art Reproductions. 2021

    Through the watercolours, Pen and Ink drawings and Photographs of Clifford W Hawkins.

    Amongst the collection of books, photographs, and negatives of the Hawkins family home were a selection of watercolours and pen and ink drawings completed by the Late Clifford J Hawkins. In most cases the paintings and sketches were completed prior to WWII, dating back some 80 years or so,and it was left to one of his sons (Bob) to undertake the task of sorting through the material...
    The result has formed the basis of this book.

    Reflections, Connections and Memories, aptly sums up this historical collection and the association behind the images and artwork. While some deterioration, (due to the ravages of time and inadequate storage), has occured, the selection of images and the anecdotes and stories behind them, illustrate the multi-talented skill of the Artist, and a look back into a different time.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    By Carol & James Ramage. Limp back, 210mm x 297mm (A4), 165 pages, full colour and sepia photos and drawings.
    This book describes origins of the principle builders, the Meiklejohn family, and the scows and early sailing vessels and the environment in which they were built and operated in the Omaha vicinity. Omaha is in the north west corner of the Hauraki Gulf, north of Kawau Island.
    The vessels described feature those built by the principle shipbuilding families, the Meiklejohns, Darrochs, Mathesons, and also other builds. One of the authors - Carol Ramage - is the great grandaughter of Septimus Meiklejohn, which was a major motivation for producing the book.
    The presentation is lavish with many pictures of the ships and their surroundings, full colour, original sepia and black and white photographs, and colour reproductions of paintings. The book is very well priced. The histories of vessels are detailed and the narrative will be absorbing to anyone having an interest in the area, and in general of coastal trade by sailing vessel in New Zealand.

    NZ$70.00 + delivery.

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    By Victor Young. Hardback, 215mm x 280mm, 253 pages, 1.19kg. Monochrome and Colour photographs. Published 2006

    This book provides a record of every ship and vessel which has served as a public passenger or cargo ferry between Wellington and the South Island ports of Lyttelton, Picton and Nelson over the often stormy waters of Cook Strait since the late 19th century.
    It details every ship, even those which made only one voyage, and explores the experiences of travelling and working on them.
    Profiles examine the ports, companies, onshore facilities, connecting boat trains, and the Wahine shipwreck.

    Lavishly illustrated with many historic scenes, documents and portraits of the ships, this book is an essential addition to the library of anyone interested in New Zealand Maritime Heritage

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    By David Balderston. Softback,0.88 kg, 210mm x 298mm, 235 pages, black and white images. Published 2016.
    Over 50 years ago the completed Auckland Harbour Bridge made obsolete in an afternoon those (7) in number, vehicular ferry boats that had plied the harbour since 1910. Though a way of life and employment was lost for their crews, to the general public, the passing of the "vekulars" went unlamented.. Nowadays these Ferry Boats, so unique to Auckland, are only a dim memory: with the only 'customers' who experienced them now being rather elderly....

    Nevertheless, these interesting and peculiar little ships, designed for utility rather than beauty, served the Harbour well.

    It was their inadequacies that made the Harbour Bridge a reality, which in turn changed the face of Auckland and brought the North Shore a step closer to their Southern neighbours...

    NZ$65.00 + Delivery.

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    CATLINS BOUND. William McPhee's Southern-Built Sailing Ships, New Zealand 1860-1870s.
    By Mike McPhee. Paperback with flaps, 170mm x 240mm, 262 pages, colour and monochrome photographs and a CD of music by The Maritime Crew.
    In 1856 William McPhee finished his shipbuilding apprenticeship in Canada, signed on board a sailing ship, and set out to see the world. A year or two later he arrived in southern New Zealand and began working his trade. This is the story of the ships he built on Stewart Island and in the Catlins.
    His ketches and schooners delivered timber and general cargo to villages and towns around New Zealand. They battled through both Foveaux and Cook Straits; storms accompanied them and dangerous river entrances awaited them. The Nora, Eliza Simpson, Jane Hannah, Owake and Catlin served for years before the unforgiving sea claimed them and their brave crewmen. Two of his smaller vessels, the Anna and the Jane ventured into the Southern Ocean and somehow survived the sub-Antarctic. His biggest ship, the John Bullock, traded regularly from Melbourne to Hokitika and was finally lost in Northern New South Wales.

    There were few navigation aids in those days and all coastal vessels had near-misses or strandings; only good luck, sturdy construction and a skilled captain could save a ship that got into trouble - captains like Stephen Tall, Bill Hanning, Daniel Mcphaiden, Edward Tonge, Roert Norman, Alexander Purdie, James Tunbridge, Roderick Currie, Otto Arndt, John Mason and Charles Hayward.

    You will meet the ships, and the captains - good ships and good seaman, they knew their business well.

    NZ$60.00 + delivery.

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    By P.D. Raggett. Softback. 210mm x 295mm, 237 pages, 0.64kg Black & White Images and line Drawings. Updated Edition 2004.
    This is a meticulously researched book of every sailing ship that visited Nelson between 1841 and 1914. Including passenger lists, ship construction details and photos drawings of the ships.

    NZ$45.00 + delivery.

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    By Miles Hughes, Second Edition. Published in 2014.

    The first European ship to be built with New Zealand timbers was the Fancy, built in Sydney in 1893. A year prior to that,a group of deserted sealers began construction of the first European-built vessel in New Zealand. This schooner was ultimately launched in 1795.

    European settlement of New Zealand began with traders establishming isolated settlements on the coast, often under the protection of the local Maori Chief. With the mountainous interior of the country heavily forested, the only means of travel between these communities was by sea.

    This (Second Edition) of the book lists more than 1,200 New Zealand Shipbuilders, Shipwrights and boatbuilders, including their biographies and the names and specifications of over 5,600 vessels. The various types of vessels built during this 150 year period include: dinghies, pinnaces, whaleboats, Maori war canoes, ships boats, gigs. barges, punts, dandys, luggers, open sail boats, cutters, ketches, galliots, schooners, topsail schooners, brigs, brigantines, barques, barquentines, fully rigged ships, yawls, scows, dredges, floating cranes, naval patrol boats, tugs, minesweepers and a sbmarine, oli launches, maotor launches and yachts of all types.

    A valuable source of information on New Zealand's maritime history, and for anyone seeking vessel history,or biographical and ancestestoral history.

    NZ$75.00 + Delivery.

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    HOME BOATS The Ships that Made New Zealand and Their Seafarers
    By Nick Tolerton. Hardback, 1.61kg, 218mm X 305mm, 330 pages, Full colour photographs. 2021

    The story of the magnificent passenger and cargo ships that made New Zealand – and the colourful characters who manned them.
    Masters, engineers, deck officers, radio operators, seamen, cadets, shore staff and passengers talked to maritime historian Nick Tolerton for this brilliantly illustrated book, full of salty tales of adventures at sea and ashore, war, storms, smuggling, eccentric characters, and fun and misadventures in port.

    Special features include harrowing excerpts from the previously unpublished diary of a passenger on New Zealand’s worst immigrant ship on which 44 people died on the voyage to New Zealand and the recollections of New Zealand’s last Cape Horner.

    This fascinating story of the golden age of seafaring is complemented by 400 photographs, most of them previously unpublished.

    NZ$80.00 + Delivery

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    SHIPS OF WELLINGTON. The Past 50 years.
    By Victor Young. Hardback, .59kg, 248mm X 220mm, 104 pages, Black & White and full colour photographs.
    A delightful pictorial history of ships and smaller vessels of various types that were part of the Wellington Harbour scene in the second half of the 20th century. The photos, taken by Victor and his father, have extended captions, and photo essays deal with topics such as small ships and harbour service vessels.

    NZ$45.00 + Delivery

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    By Emmanuel Makarios. Hardback, 282mm X 217mm, 257 pages, Full colour photographs.
    This book contains some 300 colour images of New Zealand maritime scenes from the collection of the Museum of Wellington City and Sea taken between the 1950s and early 1970s. This was the era when conventional cargo ships plied the waters, and people headed overseas still boarded passenger liners instead of aircraft. Included are large ocean going ships and smaller coastal traders, ferries, service vessels, ports large and small, and wharf scenes redolent with the atmosphere of the time before containerisation changed everything.
    Many of the ships are British, as can be expected in the period when over 40 percent of New Zealand's foreign trade was with the 'old country', but ships from several other countries are represented also.
    The author was a merchant seaman for 12 years before becoming the Exhibitions Officer at the Wellington Maritime Museum and more recently Manager of the Cable Car Museum, and has written the three volume history of New Zealand fishing vessels 'Nets Lines and Pots', as well as an account of the tragic sinking of the Lyttelton to Wellington ferry Wahine in 1968.

    NZ$50.00 + Delivery

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    ALL AT SEA. Stories of New Zealand Seafarers.
    By Emmanuel Makarios. Hardback, 1.05kg, 215mm X 303mm, 193 pages, Full colour photographs. Published 2017

    Accounts of life at sea around the New Zealand Coast and in other parts of the Globe by sixteen men and women whose occupations and duties ranged from Deck boy, Able Seaman, Engineer, Purser, Steward, Pilot to Captain.

    Maritime historian Emmanuel Makarios, himself a former Seaman, has written their stories as given to him in interviews. Together, the stories recount the days when men and women chose a career at sea as a means of seeing the World and experience adventure.

    Each chapter is lavishly illustrated with colour and black and white photos which give a glimpse into the once romantic and colourful days of seafaring in New Zealand.

    NZ$50.00 + Delivery

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