The end of the Rehu Moana

Alan Winter

Rehu Moana

After reading Ian Hawks memories of Prouts boatbuilding on Canvey and the Catamarans, Alan wrote in with an update of what happened to the Rehu Moana.

Alan writes:

“Good to see the old girl still gets around, I was the last owner of Rehu Moana, we bought her in 1979 when we found her rotting on a beach in Cornwall and spent two years refitting her, sadly she was lost in a storm in 1982.”

At the base of this page are a few pics of Rehu Moana including the shipwreck.

Alan continues “I am disabled now and can no longer sail, but I did build a model of her for the sailing simulator ‘Virtual Sailor’ (See below)”. Alan’s website is Millennium Dock

Virtual Rehu Moana

Comments about this page

  • Very interested to read Alan Winter’s story of the REHU MOANO, I sent Francis Prout a copy who also found it interesting. We both wonder how she became derilect in 1972 and what happened to her in the storm of 1982.

    By Ian Hawks (11/10/2008)
  • Not up to posting much as I am unwell, but in 1972 Rehu Moana was owned by a guy who only wanted her for status value, he never sailed her and just left her to rot, we tried to buy her but he refused …

    In 1979 my Family came across her again, the old fella had finaly decided to sell her to a young couple who made a small attempt to restore her and we purchased her from them for £5,000, she was in a very bad state indeed and it took us almost two years working full time and living on board to restore her to a seaworthy condition, we made some modifications to her superstructure to make her more of a live on boat.

    We sailed her a lot in late 1981 and early 1982, but we got caught out in an unforcasted South Easterly gale in May 1982 just off the small Village of Kingsand in Cornall, the storm smashed the outdrive, stripped the main and two kedge anchors and as there is no way to sail out of there with the wind coming in from the SE, the photo’s tell the rest of the tale, but as David Lews said to us in a letter “At least she went out fighting” which was the way he would have wanted her to go as opposed to rotting on some lonely beach.

    We have very few photo’s left of her but here are a few more.

    “Starboard Transom Rebuild”

    “Restoration Work, Port Hull Aft Section And Transom Rebuilt”

    “A Christening We Had On Board”

    Alan Winter

    ——–

    Alan, I have added the photos to the Gallery above – thanks for this update. Dave Bullock, Editor.

    By Alan Winter (31/10/2008)
  • Alan, Many thanks for further interesting information on Reha Moana which I have copied and forwarded to Francis Prout. Sorry to hear that you are not well, Best regards Ian

    By Ian Hawks (05/11/2008)
  • I met the old guy in 1972. He had advertised for a crew and was proposing to sail the catamaran to Australia. Was a long time ago but I remember his wife did not keep well and was against him sailing anywhere. He seemed a strange individual and we decidely wisely not to follow up our interest.

    By Alan Attwood (24/12/2019)
  • My Father Robert Rook (Bob Rook) built the mast for that, for Prouts, as his workshop was the only one long enough. His workshop was still in the old bus garage at Small Gains Corner.

    By Robert Rook (30/10/2022)
  • Hi was just looking up on canveyisland.org.

    I’m the son of Alan Winter. Just felt a great need to post, to inform your team, that my father passed away on September 6th 2023, I became his carer after my Mother passed in 2021, Rest in Peace Mum.

    I tried to heal him myself, with alternate healing methods Crystal Healing/Light Therapy & Sound Therapy which was really helping him in his final year.

    He told the doctors at the hospital I saved his life more than twice with these methods in that final year. He just had so many things wrong with his body due to years of medication, & the multiple problems that he had that, it was draining me to much, he told me to pull back from the three sessions of healing a day I was giving him & he began to deteriorate in his last few months.

    This large comment is in Honor of my Dad & my Nan who passed when I was very young, & my Grandad & Uncle who are still very much alive thankfully, for their part in the last events of the Rehu Moana story.

    I love that my father reached out to you about the Rehu Moana, I grew up hearing about the Rehu Moana from a young age & was so proud of my Grandparents/Dad & my Uncle, for what they did back in the early 80’s, buying the dying katamaran & restoring Rehu Moana to her former glory as best they could.

    I’m only alive to write this because of that ship wreck that almost took my family & the cats lives since they were all on board at the time of the wreck. Thanks to the local life guard that helped get them to safety, including the cats. My Mother/Brother & Sister, met my Dad after the ship wreck disaster, I was born a year later in 1983.

    I remember, I told the story of what happened for an english project at school & the school were fascinated with the story, I still have the surviving wheel on my wall in honer my family & their part in the final chapter of the Rehu Moana’s life.

    I remember my Dad said he or all my family had to literally find the pieces of the wheel washed up on the beach, before restoring the wheel, he found all but one half back piece of the wheels timber. He said the Rehu Moana’s bell was never found or recovered at the time, not sure if it was ever recovered after the event. I’m sure I would have that with me in the house now if my family found it.

    I give the wood of the wheel a coating of olive oil from time to time & the wood looks as good as new when I do, give the brass a good polish, every few years also with some brasso.

    Although my family never fulfilled the dream of circumnavigating the globe like Dr David Lewis & his family did, which was definitely my Father’s dream at the time as he told me many times.

    The goal in his mind at the time, was our family to be the next family to circumnavigate the globe on the same heading David Lewis headed out on, at the helm of the newly restored catamaran.

    The fact that they were part of the end of the Rehu Moana’s story, and apart of history thanks to your team at canveyisland.org, makes me so thankful to my Dad for posting what he had & for all of you for having the story on your website.

    I have always wished my families part in the story was more well known, being that it is the final chapter of a piece of history of Rehu Moana, even wished I could find any of the still surviving witnesses, who not only was present at the refitting in Wilcove, but also those still surviving witnesses who saw the events occur in Kingsand in 1982.

    This story had great family team building feel to it when told by my Dad, with an exciting & very dangerous but thankfully happy ending. Knowing from others perspectives of the events of that time, would give me an even better understanding of this piece of history, that has been apart of my families story for 41 years.

    Like my Father said there were not many photo’s from back then, at least from our family. I bet their are plenty more photo’s out there, even recordings from witnesses out there somewhere, just hope more people put forward additional knowledge of those events on your webpage.

    Years later I had my own sailing experiences because of my Dad & his work creating 3D modelling of yachts & other vessels on his computer for Virtual Sailor.

    I got to sail on the famous Gipsy Moth IV, with my Grandad at the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA), the same yacht that Sir Francis Chichester had sailed & had become the first person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe, in 1966.

    The trip on the Gipsy Moth IV was a gift originally for my Dad, for the work he did for virtual sailor.
    One of the top (UKSA) team members at the time reached out to my Dad with the offer for him to sail Gipsy Moth IV for a day for the work he did for virtual sailor, which was probably because virtual sailor was good advertisement for the UKSA at the time I guess.

    My Dad told him, he was just to ill to go on the trip, but what he did tell him, was that he had a son who would probably jump at the chance, which was me & oh yes I did, he also managed to entice my Grandad to go, of course was my Grandad was very eager for the experience & the adventure also.

    It was just a day on the yacht, which I of course recorded, glad I did, it was enough for me to get the itch & go back with a friend for a week’s sail again on the Gipsy Moth IV month’s later, also recorded 6 hours of footage. I went back once a few months later to do a 6 week Basic Crew Training course at the Academy.

    I also got to sail on another famous yacht while there, called the Challenger 2 for a week, when doing my training course at the (UKSA). This only happened because of my Dad’s work modelling, stuck in his bed for decades, so Thank You again Dad for what you did. Rest in Peace.

    After completing my 6 week course, I ended up becoming a Deckhand for Square Sail limited Tall Ship company based in Charlestown Harbor near St Austell, for a year.

    I got to sail on 3 awesome tall ships. The Kaskelot, The Earl of Pembroke & finally The Phoenix even got to be in a few TV History documentaries while on the Tall Ships, which was pretty awesome experience.

    The Boats that built Britain – The Phoenix Part 1 & 2 I just found on youtube.

    Dan Snow’s history documentary- Empire of the Seas. 2/4HD, also on youtube.

    All at Sea which aired on itv1, actually just bought a copy of All at Sea on amazon all these years later they only copy 1 copy, guess it was ment to be.

    The one I most enjoyed being involved in was called – The Untold Battle of Trafalger which aired on channel 4 for in 2010, I found it while researching to write this, it wasn’t on youtube but on a website called Schooltube.

    None of that would have happened if the Rehu Moana was never built by Prouts catamaran boat builders & made famous by Dr David Lewis & Family.

    So I Wish to Thank You All of you who were involved with the Rehu Moana, that are still breathing & to those that have passed on, may you rest in peace.

    I really Hope you place this on this comments board.

    Again for my Dad’s memory & for my family. And to all those who had a hand in this story & my very own life that I have now, with out these events I would not exist to have told you my perspective.

    Best Wishes.

    By David Winter (12/01/2024)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.