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"Daring" Artworks

“Daring” Artworks & Objects

I’m not sure how I first heard about Shipyard Bay. I think it was through my sister’s research of early wooden boats and early boat building in New Zealand. When I was growing up, we knew this part of our harbour by a couple of names. The Canyon, Bullock or Bullet point. Many a summers day and winters afternoon were spent at The Canyon. Swimming, fishing, snorkeling, or playing in the caves and surrounding bush. How fascinating that the rails, we saw as kids running into the water from the shoreline, were the remains of ship building yards.

In May 2018, we heard through friends of shifting sands uncovering the outline of a ship along Muriwai Beach. We were very excited to learn she was the ship named Daring. Built at our Shipyard Bay in Mangawhai, 155 years ago.

Many hours and dollars were spent digging and revealing the 53 ft long and 16 ft wide hull.  Most of the ship is intact with the exception of the stern. (Perhaps to be rebuilt one day). Sadly some of the deck planks were pillaged or floated away during the high tides before salvage was granted. Thankfully Murawai locals did manage to return some that washed up further down the beach.


Daring is a carvel planked, two masted gaff schooner, built by Donald McInnis, originally from Nova Scotia. She was the third of nine ships he built in Mangawhai. Some were smaller river craft and others were much larger. McInnes enlisted the help of local Maori and recently returned serviceman of the 58th regiment to help build her. She has kauri plank and most likely pohutukawa stringers and ribs. More than likely this timber was milled locally and grown in the Mangawhai area. She was launched on the 1st September 1963.

Daring spent only two short years on New Zealand waters travelling the coast as a merchant ship carrying materials like wood and timber, pickles, oats and sardines. She was a large ship that could carry around 40 – 50 tons of cargo. When she was beached she was carrying a load of grass seed from Taranaki to the Manukau Harbour. Traces of the seed can still be found between the planks.


The remains of Daring arrived in Mangawhai before dawn on Tuesday the 4th of May 2021. It was a gorgeous crisp autumn sunrise which developed into a stunning blue sky. A small gathering of Mangawhai locals and members of the press gathered to witness Our Lady come home.

To be honest the whole story of Daring – the era of her build, the story of her second beaching on the 17th of February 1865, and subsequent unsuccessful attempts to float her again. Through to her discovery under the Muriwai sands, the fight (at times) to salvage her and now her new phase of preservation, has been totally fascinating to me. She is currently not available for public viewing. She is tended to daily by a devoted crew of volunteers while a permanent structure is built to safely keep her.

Daring has been the inspiration for this series of artworks. I have been inspired by her gorgeous hull shape, layered planking, clever workmanship, womanly shaped stern and the patina of the aged Munstz Metal sheathing. The story is amazing and represented in visual text and poetry. To create these pieces I have used a combination of paints, pastal, digital art and photographic collage, the results are airy and otherwordly, like a trip through time, through light and dark, old and new.

As a local Mangawhai business we are really passionate about helping preserve Daring. Therefore a percentage of the sale of these artworks is gifted to the Mangawhai Daring Trust. All artworks are approved by the trust for sale using the Trademarked “Daring” name. We think it’s wonderful if you also choose to support Our Lady, Our Taonga, Our Treasure.

We really value the people and groups who support, look after and helped recover Daring from her sandy rest. John Street has been instrumental in her recovery, along with Baden Pascoe, Dave Frederick and Larry Paul, Alan Sefton, Jim Wintle and his team. Thank you.

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