Piwakawaka
Length 5m
Beam 1.3m


Piwakawaka - a fantail launch

Piwakawaka is the Maori word for the Fantail, a tiny bird known to all New Zealanders for its friendly fluttering when you walk through the bush and this, from Stuart Reid, a small plywood fantail launch in the style of the old workboats common at the turn of the century is a friendly dayboat intended for lakes, rivers or harbours. 

She is small enough to slip onto a trailer for those expeditions to the “Trad” or “Steam Society” events.

Originally designed for a small (4-6 hp) stationary petrol engine hidden away in a dummy boiler which is included in the plans, she is eminently suitable for the real thing, and if you wish to build her as a showcase for a small steam engine, you could take a leisurely approach, setting the fire, raising steam pressure and listen to the quiet rythmn of the steam engine chuffing as you move out.

If you have ever heard the marvellous tones of those whistles fitted to steamers you’d certainly opt for the latter.

The first Piwakawaka built was equipped with a W D Crombie designed 2.5 single cylinder double acting steam engine with Stephenson link reverse gear and a vertical tube, wood staved, coal fired 100 psi operating pressure boiler that the builder had built himself.

Her beautifully finished red and varnished hull is a perfect match for the tiny jewel of an engine. 

Easily built but with real grace Piwakawaka could be real fun for an enthusiast or someone with a bit of cheek and a twinkle in their eye.

Plans prices include packaging and an allowance for surface freight. If you would like a faster means of delivery we can send by courier or airmail at extra cost. All credit card sales are in New Zealand Dollars. If you pay by check, you may use the price in your prefered currency as below.

Piwakawaka Plans

NZ $195

Note that we sell sails and are pleased to quote a freight inclusive price to anywhere in the world, we have tan or white, the sails come with sailbag, one reef and are completely ready to go. Prices fluctuate slightly so we prefer to quote each sail as the demand arises but you can bet that we are competitive even with the freight included.