In August / September of 1987 she was born and built by Max Monkley of Maxcraft NZ Ltd.  She was one of five with this design.  Two had sloping windows on the back of the cabin as well as the front.  Three had just front sloping windows.  One went to the MAF in Wellington, the other named The Orca went to Tauranga and was used as a ferry for a while.

The Kaipara Cat was christened Space Cat.  The plans were approved by Matamata Marine and she was sold to a Brian Wiggins in Thames.  He put one Volvo stern leg on her.  We believe he was the only owner at this time and he sold her to Cliff Marshall of Whitianga around 1999.

Cliff removed the stern leg and purchased two mercury optimax 225hp outboards, apparently being the first ones in the country and used her for recreational game fishing.  He also changed her name from Space Cat to Merc Cat.  Cliff Marshall apparently fell off the Whitianga Wharf and drowned.  His wife moved to Australia. His Daughter lives in Auckland and has been in touch with us and we have had her and her husband out on a charter with us.

About 2000 / 2001 She was sold to a Stephan Schrader in Whitianga around 2000 for use as a dive charter for Trifern Experiences.  Stephan now runs Go Kiwi Shuttles.  Stephan registered her commercially and her MSA number was issued MSA129832.  Stephan says “She was a good boat. She was a stable boat and travelled well in the water at times up to 30knots.  They did do some alterations to her, because of the fuel consumption through they changed the outboards to smaller props to save on fuel but that dropped her speed to about 25-28knots.  He says but, even with that speed and power she could move quick.”  He owned her for around 6-7 years then sold her to someone in Whakatane about 2004. Max Monkley was employed to do the design upgrades when she became a charter boat pictured below.

About 2000 / 2001 She was sold to a Stephan Schrader in Whitianga around 2000 for use as a dive charter for Trifern Experiences.  Stephan now runs Go Kiwi Shuttles.  Stephan registered her commercially and her MSA number was issued MSA129832.  Stephan says she was a good boat. She was a stable boat and travelled well in the water at times up to 30knots.  They did do some alterations to her, because of the fuel consumption through they changed the outboards to smaller props to save on fuel but that dropped her speed to about 25-28knots.  He says but, even with that speed and power she could move quick.  He owned her for around 6-7 years then sold her to someone in Whakatane about 2004.

Between 2004-2007 her owners are unknown.  She possibly went to Whakatane then Whitianga then to Tauranga.

From here we are searching for who owned her and what she was doing in these three years.  Have spoken to Roger Hawkes who surveyed her in December 2007 but he knows nothing of who owned her other than she was a charter of some sort further up the coast (Whitianga/Whangamata) and disappeared for a while and said during this time she may have had about 3 owners.  He suggests getting the MMS certificates to track owners that way.  Have spoken to Timothy Woods who did the compass adjustment in Dec 06.  He seems to think she was on the hard at the marina.   In 2008 she was sold to Don Pringle of Poor Knights Tours in Tutukaka and in January 2011 we was purchased by us and renamed KAIPARA CAT for our Fishing Charters.

We were able to get in touch with Max Monkley of Maxcraft NZ Ltd.  He visited us out-of-the-blue one day and we took him and his wife out fishing on the boat he had built 23 years earlier.  Sadly Max passed away this year (2017). He had given his wife permission to use his designs so Maxcraft can continue to build his internationally recognized boats.

Kaipara Cats new look 2017

Rest In Peace Max Monkley.  Master boat designer and builder. 1945 – 2017.
May you be sailing on the finest boat of your dreams in Heaven.