Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gosh, It's The "Goss"!

Ever wonder about the history of an old wreck you might see on your travels?
Just north of the village of Kaiaua on the Firth of Thames, North Island, NZ, lies the remains of what was once a very smart sailing ship.
The Guy C.Goss was a 1,500-ton wooden barque (213ft.long, 40ft.wide and 24ft.deep), built in Maine, USA, in 1879 by Goss and Sawyer, one of the most successful American ship-building companies of the late 19th. century. She was named after one of its principals, Captain Guy C.Goss.
Following a few years in the timber trade, Guy C.Goss spent over two decades salmon-fishing in Alaska. Then after sitting idle for some time, she was bought by a Canadian firm in 1926 and sailed for NZ with 1,250,000ft.of timber. But when she arrived, she was embroiled in a legal dispute over wages. After lengthy court action, the master and crew gained ownership. Then she languished in Auckland Harbour for a few months, before being auctioned off, partly dismantled and towed down into the Firth of Thames in 1927. There she was run ashore on a very high tide and used by a shingle company, as a store ship and workers' residence. Crusher machinery was later installed and she became a shingle-loading platform for barges that came alongside at high tide.
Guy C.Goss met her fate in February 1935, when a fire burnt her almost to the waterline.
She's remembered by the Guy C.Goss Boating Club in Kaiaua, just south of the shingle works. The hulk also featured on the cover of legendary NZ singer Dave Dobbyn's 1998 album The Islander.
So next time you're driving past, you now know what 'that wreck' actually is!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've seen this. You gotta walk into the shingle place, but it's right there on the shore. Lotsa terns nesting on it now. Cool!

john neville said...

so have I she still resting there theres a cabbage tree growing on the top its really relaxing to sit and admire, she still a great boat resting there jon Neville 2nd july 2014

Den said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Den said...

This is not the Guy C Goss, as stated it was burnt to the waterline, this ship has never been on fire. What is left of the Goss are some ribs to be seen at low tide not far from this wreck. This is the HMNZS Hinau. Easy to verify with profile and measurement, Goss 213ft long, Hinua 134ft long. Goss 40ft beam, Hinau 23ft beam.

Simon B said...

Thanks Den. I've been down there 26 years and understand that to be correct. How could it burn to the waterline and still be there? Also, it has a steel superstructure - with wood over it to stop the magnetism.