Coast community helps brothers refloat boat

Brothers Wayne Makiri, left, and Eli Pattison, with their boat Dorina refloated at Little Manly.

A storm, followed by theft, was a blow for the Dorina’s new owners. Photo, Gilbert Peterson. Restoring the boat, pictured in 2003, is a family project. Photo, courtesy Tad Motyl.

The support of the community, including Coastguard Hibiscus, has seen the Dorina, which lay half sunk off Little Manly Beach, refloated and safely anchored in the Weiti River.

In due course the boat will be taken to its new home in Te Atatu.

The launch drew a lot of local attention when it was swamped by a storm on April 10 while anchored in Little Manly Bay (HM April 21).

The Harbourmaster declared it a wreck and instructed owners Wayne Makiri and his brother Eli Pattison to remove it.

In the meantime, a number of items, including a solar panel, kauri bench and fishing gear, were taken from the stricken vessel. Windows were also removed.

While the theft was a blow for Wayne and Eli, they want to thank everyone who helped them retrieve the boat on Saturday, April 17, including a Little Manly resident who assisted with their tractor.

“The process of bringing her ashore, emptying and refloating her, took all day,” Wayne says. “We were told it would be around $10,000 to employ a company to salvage her and we are so grateful to everyone who helped us.”

Wayne and Eli bought Dorina in Mahurangi. They anchored in Little Manly en route to their home in Te Atatu, as they were running short of petrol.

“We came in to get fuel and didn’t want to risk going any further, as the weather was turning bad,” Wayne says.

Work and other commitments delayed their return and the first the brothers knew their boat was sinking was a call from the Harbourmaster after the storm.

“He told us she was wrecked and we were gutted,” Wayne says. “It is our first launch and was a bit of a dream for our family to restore it so we could go on little trips. It’s been a steep learning curve so far.”

Previous owners of Dorina, who contacted Wayne and Eli via social media, have provided information on the boat’s history – originally a 10m Bailey and Lowe, it was built in 1924 and modified by several owners.

Wayne and Eli were motoring towards shelter in the Weiti River on April 20, when Coastguard came along and towed them the rest of the way, as well as giving them a lift back to their car.

Wayne and Eli say insuring the boat is now at the top of their list, along with joining Coastguard.

“It was awesome to see such a beautiful and caring community chip in and we couldn’t have done it without you,” Eli says. “We will bring Dorina home soon and once she’s been repaired and restored, we can take our families out to make some great memories.”

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