Page 111in printed edition

Introduction

Simon James rowing the Mahurangi punt Penelope

Mahurangi Punt Revisited: While the hardcopy editions of Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi acquiesce to the author’s penchant for calling Mahurangi punts dories, this online edition reverts to the term punt, as used predominantly by the descendants of Mahurangi settlers, not least because it is a determinedly flat-water craft, unlike the classic dory. Here Simon James rows the Mahurangi punt Penelope, one of two replicas built by he and boatbuilder Kerry Miller, on the day of her launching in 2006. image Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi

Mahurangi was one of the more fortunate of the Auckland settlements.

Only thirty nautical miles from the capitaluntil 1865, it was able to develop, in spite of the absence of roads. The traffic in the tideway was the lifeline of the settlers, from the earliest cutters to the end of the steamboat era in 1937. The resources of the Mahurangi gave rise to a vigorous community of sawyers and shipwrights, engaged in building ships from 1849 to 1880. Sons of Mahurangi families went to sea as crew on coasters.

Going about one’s business often meant rowing, and the distinctive Mahurangi punt became the workhorse of the shoreline settlers.

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