Models of Te Rapunga


Doe von Fritsch with model of Te Rapunga, Sausalito, ~1933
Do von Fritsch Leber with model of Te Rapunga
California, 1932. Courtesy Rüdiger von Fritsch

Four years after the publication of Dark Sun, the godson of Doe von Fritsch (the baroness who sailed aboard Te Rapunga during the period covered by Quest found me through my web site. He sent a photo of her with a model apparently made at the (Herb) Madden and (Dick) Lewis Shipyard in Sausalito, California. Unfortunately, according to the annotation on the back of the photo, she left the model with Captain Dibbern and it subsequently disappeared.


Model of Te Rapunga made by Peter Anderson, Gisborne, NZ
Model of Te Rapunga made by Peter Anderson, Gisborne, NZ

Peter Anderson, of Gisborne, New Zealand, created a model of Te Rapunga. The following are his remarks on how this came about:


Before getting married, a friend and I decided to build this yacht from the plans obtained from George and we actually had the line drawings down. My friend had built a couple of dinghies and knew about these things but money was going to be a problem.

Maureen and I got married, my friend bought a car and so the line drawings never got used. But to keep the dream alive I decided to build a model so I could see what it would look like if I was ever to build the real thing. I started it in late 1960 and over a period of 3 or 4 years of spare time it got built.

Apart from times of dusting and floating in the swimming pool when our kids were young it has been on its shelf ever since. It’s a shame it’s not more complete as bits of it have vanished over the years.