Rangatira destined for scrap heap, broker says
A well-known ship with Hollywood ties that was pinned to be a tourist attraction for Timaru has failed to sell on the open market and may be destined for the scrap heap.
The Rangatira, which made the regular voyage between Timaru and the Chatham Islands for 15 years and appeared in the film The World’s Fastest Indian, was suggested as a long-term gem and potential future tourist attraction for Timaru by fisherman Gordon Mitchell.
Mitchell had put forward the idea to save the ship and make it into a tourist attraction for the town because of its history and Hollywood ties.
The tender for the ship was being offered by SeaBoat, a marine brokerage.
SeaBoat broker Geoff Fraser said the boat did not sell at tender, which closed on November 7.
Fraser believed that PrimePort was talking with individual parties about further discussion of the ship’s future.
He said there were no official tenders made on the ship, and while some people had shown ‘‘interest’’, they were people who were not going to pay any money.
Fraser estimated it would cost about half a million dollars to repair the ship to get it up to operational standard.
‘‘Some people may think it is worth something...but a ship won’t live forever.’’
He said the ship would most likely be scrapped.
Mitchell, 69, said the ship was past saving.
‘‘It was a good idea and I think it would make a good tourist attraction for Timaru but it’s [the Rangatira] past it.’’
PrimePort Timaru chief executive Phil Melhopt had no comment as to the ship’s future.
The ship was formerly owned by Timaru maritime industry veteran Kelvin Leslie’s company South East Shipping Ltd.
It used the ship to transport livestock between Timaru and Owenga, in the Chatham Islands.
The Rangatira made its final voyage to the Chatham Islands in 2015.
In May, a High Court Justice ruled the ship should be sold to pay off more than $170,000 owed to PrimePort.
The Rangatira, which a broker believes is likely to be scrapped following a lack of interest.