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George Dibbern: His Life and Quest

Adventurer ~ Sailor-Philosoper ~ Free Thinker ~ Self-declared Citizen of the World

TE RAPUNGA: Photographs – subsequent owners

While George Dibbern died in June 1962, nothing could be done with Te Rapunga until his will was probated. It was October before the ketch was put up for auction with a reserve bid of £1300. When she didn’t fetch that amount Te Rapunga was offered to the highest bidder who by then had changed his mind. It took a few more tries until a buyer was found.

Names associated with the purchase and changing of hands of the ketch during this period are: Mr. Taylor of Christchurch; M. R. Bellamy, a Canadian—both of whom appear to have bid on her at the auction in October 1962. Mr. Keith Robert Watson next owned her till he sold her to Cyril James Dunlop.

Stephen Dunlop (son of Cyril) maintains his family bought Te Rapunga in about May 1968 and were “responsible for a terrible light green colour the boat was painted as well.” According to Ken Moss, she was found in sad condition sitting under some trees at Bayswater Wharf when bought her for NZ$800 in ~1971. He refurbished Te Rapunga and enjoyed her with his family for a few years before selling to Mr. John? Hay who in turn sold her to Bob and Rosemary Clarkson, 1974.

The Clarksons sailed Te Rapunga for ten years till they sold her before moving to the South Island in 1984. Barry Cawson was the next owner and the ketch became a familiar sight on his front lawn while for years, as time and money permitted, he worked on her.

In 2002 Te Rapunga was bought by Gary McCarthy who has expressed every intention of sailing this historical yacht after a continued refit.

At this time of writing (2017) there appears to be no change in her status and the vision of a full restoration remains just that: an unrequited dream!

Te Rapunga for sale, 1962.

~1968 – Ken Moss raised the cabin roof

;Bob and Rosemary Clarkson sailing Te Rapunga, 1974

1998 – In Barry Cawson’s yard, Auckland NZ (owner 1976-~2001)

Te Rapunga in Auckland ~2015.