ss Maraora

11th May 2007, 05:05
The Mararoa (Official number 89380) was built by Denny & Bros, Dumbarton for the USSCo in 1885, and was eventually scuttled in 1931. In her glory days I presumed she sailed the England-NZ routes before becoming a trans-Tasman, NZ coastal trader and inter-island ferry.

My question is how do I find out about her initial sailings, ports, and crew lists, particularly for the period 1890 to 1900?

Txs in advance.

11th May 2007, 11:09
Mararoa 1885-1931

Built by W Denny & Bros, Dunbarton. Laid up at Wellington in 1927 and scuttled in Palliser Bay in 1931. The 16 knot Mararoa inaugurated the Union Company Trans Pacific service in 1885 and was the first triple screw expansion powered steamer to enter San Francisco. She was later employed on the trans-tasman, interisland and the Tasmanian trades before being withdrawn after 42 years of service.
photo & text from Museum of Wellington City & Sea and nz ship and marine

11th May 2007, 11:46
Greetings Chris and welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and bon voyage.

12th May 2007, 08:35
Txs Maurie and R58484956 for your comments. Any pointers re crew lists. Cheers

Emmanuel Makarios
12th May 2007, 09:11
Parainen you could try the Hocken Library, University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ as they hold the early records of the Union Steam Ship Company and also the Museum of Wellington City and Sea and the Wellington City Archives as they both hold crew lists form the Union Co though not for every ship or employee of the company.
Good luck.

14th May 2007, 07:32
Txs Emmanuel. I did wonder where the company records were kept.

19th May 2007, 01:31
Just to fill in a little more information.

1885 As mentioned built by Denny's and incidently she was the first triple expansion in N.Z. waters and it was Dennys first 3 crank engine.

1885 December 4th she was placed on the Auckland-Sydney-Honolulu-San Francisco Service and also she was the first triple expansion liner into San Francisco.

1886 In September she did her final San Francisco sailing and was replaced by Oceanics Zealandia and she was placed on the trans-tasman service.

1906 She was one of the Lyttleton Vessels when the inter island run became a daily service.

1914 She was retired from the Lyttleton run when the Wahine joined this service.

1915 Saw her back on the Lyttleton run when Wahine was requisitioned for war service.

1918 During the world wide influenza epedemic the Union S.S.Co was so short of crew the Mararoa was the only vessel on the Wellington-Lyttleton run.

1923 With the Maori and Wahine back on the inter-island run Mararoa then became the relief vessel.

1927 Acted as relief vessel for both Maori and Wahine on their annual surveys. She made three round trips but on June the 4th her hydraulics failed she was replaced at short notice by the Manuka and she never returned to service being laid up in Wellington.

1931 Hull stripped and sunk in Palliser Bay on February 16th.


19th May 2007, 09:14
Txs zsimone - this helps narrow down my seach. I'm particularly interested in the period 1890-1894, so the ship would've been doing the trans-Tasman service then.

John Crossland
10th July 2007, 03:54
Sounds like you're all talking about the same ship, but what's her real name ?

Chris Maraora
Maurie Mararoa
Gary Mararora