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This website is developed from the site originally conceived developed & maintained by Marcus Castell and associates. Opinions are those of the various authors of the articles, and are not those of the NZ National Maritime Museum unless specifically noted. Information in this site has been updated to 2002 and will be progressively updated as resources allow. More information on historic ships (etc) is contained in the MARITIME INDEX website


Official number: 123141
Displacement: 742 gross, 690 net tons
Length: 172 feet
Beam: 32 feet 6 inches
Draft: 16 feet 4 inches
Type: Three-masted steel barque


1891     Built as the Signe by Fevigs Jernsk of Arendal, Norway for Acties Signe (C. Moller) of Christiana.

1906     May 21     Acquired by the Colonial Sailing Ship Company of Christchurch for £4,200, registered at the port of Timaru and renamed Wai-iti.

1907     January 28     After making only one voyage to Australia, she capsized at Mangawhare on the Wairoa river in Kaipara Harbour when her bilge keel became wedged against the steep river bank as the tide fell.

Here, in a chronological sequence of sixteen digitally restored photographs from glass negatives, is a record of the mishap and subsequent salvage.

1907     April 4     When she was righted the company found that the fore and main masts were broken and that the rest of the vessel was a mess. Since tenders for restoring her to full sea-going order ranged up to £3,700, the owners reluctantly decided to have her towed down to Lyttelton for conversion into a hulk. Her last cargo was secured for £430 and she left in tow of a Union Company steamer. She was then sold to the Blackball Coal Company of Christchurch for use as a coal hulk at Lyttelton.

1913     October 7     Fire aboard in Lyttelton Harbour.

1935     November 4     Scuttled in Starvation Bay on the Godley Head of Lyttelton Harbour.


Thanks to Steven McLachlan (specialist in Maritime Covers) for many of the images and Marcus Castell for the research and photographic restoration.

This page is part of the The Wrecks and Hulks of Lyttelton Harbour section of the
New Zealand Maritime Record
web site



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