In April 1914, two tugs Ruru and Pelican towed the coal hulk MV Doran into Matiatia Bay. Hulks were old ships, used as floating warehouses in Auckland harbour.
The Doran was beached at high tide on the northern side of the bay, then an explosive charge set low on her port side sunk her in place. The hulk was to be used as a breakwater for the boats used by Fred Alison, owner of the farm in the Matiatia valley.
Previously the Doran had been a 315-ton brigantine (a two-masted sailing ship), first registered in Nova Scotia in 1875. The ship started her working life in the trade across the north Atlantic.
In 1883 the Doran sailed around the Cape of Good Hope to Adelaide and Sydney. She worked the trans-Tasman trade until 1899, carrying coal (from Australia) and timber (back), and agricultural produce (both ways).
By 1899 the Doran had reached the end of her voyaging life, and became a coal hulk in Auckland Harbour.
There was still coal left in the hulk, which was used by shearing gangs at the red woolshed.
The visible remains of the Doran were removed in 2013.