Designer: William Cutten
Built: 1905 Jock McPherson. Pt Chalmers, Dunedin
Length Overall: 38ft 6” (11.73m)
Beam: 8ft (2.43m)
Draught: 5ft (1.52 m)
Length Water Line: 30ft (9.14m)
Construction Hull: Kauri Carvel
Engine: Lombardini 502 20hp
Sail: Bermudan: Main, Jibs(4), gennaker
Tucana was donated to the Tino Rawa Trust in 2008
Tucana is one of the finest yachts ever built in the South Island. Commissioned by Spencer Bolt and Horace Camp to be the champion Otago keel yacht, she was designed and built by James McPherson at Dunedin and launched in December 1905. McPherson established his yard in Dunedin in 1899 and built up a fine reputation as a sportsman and boat builder.
Yachting was flourishing in Dunedin at the time, with good club racing with the Otago Yacht Club, at Ravensbourne, Broad Bay and Port Chalmers.
Tucana’s real target was the Bailey Bros 2½ rater Thelma which had dominated racing in Otago waters since 1895. Tucana was a much more modern yacht. She had no difficulty taking Thelma’s place and becoming scratch boat. Soon afterwards there was an influx of new yachts from Auckland builders and a new McPherson yacht, Waimana. The competition became fierce.
After passing through several Dunedin hands, Tucana was sold to Lyttelton in 1935 where she was a mainstay of racing with the Banks Peninsula Cruising Club wearing Canterbury’s A1 sail number.
Under owner Bert Geissler she took part in several Ocean races including the stormy 1940 Centennial Lyttelton-Wellington event.
By 1973 Tucana was in Whangarei then came to Auckland. She was owned by a syndicate from the Wooden Boat Workshop.
In 2006 she was given her a major refit and it is the intention to return Tucana to her original magnificent gaff rig.
Tucana was donated to the Tino Rawa Trust in 2008.