NZ Historic Ships
A database of historic New Zealand Ships and Boats

Jane Gifford
1908 by DM Darroch, Omaha, NZ
Original owners
Coromandel Granite Co
Present owners
Jane Gifford Restoration Comm
Sail, ketch rig.
45 gross
L 67.1ft/20.45m; B 18.6ft/5.67m; D 2.60ft/0.75m.
Kauri wood throughout
Original use
Present use
Under restoration
Contact Details
Contact name
Jane Gifford Restoration Comm., PO Box 78, Waiuku
Web site

64 (0)9 235 8924


Scow-hulled ketch built to carry cargo in the NZ coastal trade. NZ's only example of a genuine scow in operational condition; 130 were built between late 1800's and 1930. Later a motor harbour lighter at Auckland. Currently (2001) being restored as a sailing vessel.

During July 1999 it was discovered that the ninetyone-year-old vessel needs a major refit before it can resume its Manukau Harbour public cruises as a working exhibit of the Waiuku Museum.
Some of the 22-metre vessel's timbers were found to be rotten, but the full extent of the damage could not be ascertained until a leaking false deck was removed. Initial estimates for repairs ranged from $50,000 for materials using voluntary labour at no cost, to $210,000 for a refit by a commercial yard. It was hoped that Lottery Grants Board funding could be obtained to meet the costs, as the museum society could not afford repairs and the vessel's earning power is restricted by conditions on the tidal Waiuku River, which allows one trip a day for only a quarter of the year.
After she came to the end of a hard-working life as a cargo scow, Captain Bert Subritsky donated Jane Gifford to the society in 1985. Seven years later, after a $250,000 restoration made possible by fundraising, donations and voluntary and government work scheme labour, she began a new life as a popular working exhibit.

In November 2000 she was berthed at Waiuku, out of survey, and not able to carry paying passengers. During November 2000 her ownership was transferred from Waiuku Museum Society to the newly-established Jane Gifford Trust. Restoration and repair work was planned to commence in late January 2001 and was due for completion by Christmas 2001.

NZ Marine News Vol. 48, No.3, Vol. 50, No,2

In August 2005 Jane Gifford was taken ashore and active reconstruction commenced at a site in Warkworth.

Conversion factors Feet = Metres x 3.281
Metres = Feet ÷ 0.3048



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