photo & details ex Bob Wichman* via Bruce Pullan

Callie was built c.1916 by Bailey & Lowe for the Brown Bros. She was 39′ x 9’3″ x 4’6″ & when launched had a 35hp Twigg 4 cyl diesel engine.
In 1918 she was sold to C.W. White of Onehunga. In 1925 she was re-powered with a 140hp Steams petrol engine. Sold again in 1939 to I.G. Vickery of Onehunga. In 1940 a Gardner 24hp (seems small?) engine was fitted, this was replaced in 1948 with a 48hp Ralston diesel.

In the early 1900’s she was used as a passenger ferry to Cornwallis & Huia on the Manukau. Post c1940 she was commercial fishing for skipper Fred Vickery.

Unfortunately she was wrecked on 11-05-1968 on a sandbank at Southhead, Manukau Harbour.

In the photo above given the presence of Fred Vickery, I assume its Callie on a day off from her fishing boat duties & not when she was a passenger vessel. A note with the photo records the following people:
# ‘Gary’ standing with foot on the rail
# Beverley Wishart, red dress, black cardigan
# Fred Vickery (owner/skipper) outside wheelhouse
# Rod Vickery in water

*note: Bob Wichman’s family had an association with Callie & the Awhitu (Inverness)

7 thoughts on “Callie

  1. That photo of “Callie” she looks remarkably like “Awhitu” which I knew well when she was owned and operated in Tauranga by Glen Tomich


  2. Based on an estimated 800 rpm at an estimated 40 hp, the 4 cylinder Twigg produced 356 newton meters of torque. Not too dusty!


  3. Sorry to harp on this theme, when most WW followers are more interested in recovering from a couple of terrific days on the water and the topic has reached deep-yawn country, but Ken’s suggestion that the RAC automotive rating was relevant to British marine engines prompted me to look into it further. It just seemed so silly.
    For MOTOR VEHICLES the RAC rating was calculated by the formula D squared X N divided by 2.5 where D = diameter of the cylinder in inches and N = the number of cylinders; a highly artificial calculation indeed.
    It was all over by 1947 when cars were taxed on cubic capacity alone.
    Turning to MARINE engines and taking the Twigg as an example, its bore was 7 inches and its stroke was 8 inches. That gave a cubic capacity of 307.8 cu in (4.965 litres) PER POT and an RAC rating of 19.6 hp PER POT. So the 4 cylinder Twigg in CALLIE displaced nearly 20 litres and had a theoretical RAC rating of 78.4 hp!!!
    Clearly Twiggs rated their engines at a hugely conservative 10 bhp per cylinder OUTPUT. However, the torque produced would have been in Mack truck territory. Making a few assumptions as to compression ratios, inlet and exhaust plumbing etc you could guesstimate the torque figures, but I’ll leave that to the Pollard brothers.


  4. I think you’ve provided this information a couple of times in the past already, Ken, but it’s only a tiny part of the “rating” story.
    Firstly, the Twigg was built in Auckland.
    Secondly, you can’t compare a 63.5mm x 89mm (1125cc) 4 cylinder side-valve 1948 Austin 10 producing 32 bhp with a 65.58mm x 89mm (1200cc) 4 cylinder ohv 1949 Austin A40 producing 40 bhp. They were quite different engines.
    Thirdly, the Yanks too had a very similar rating until about 1920, based solely on bore dimensions, which had had some relationship to actual output in the technology of 1905 and earlier. After 1920 they started to get real and provided an SAE power rating, which was commonly rather inflated. There’s a graphic illustration of this above where the US-built Stearns is known by its maker’s claimed power output, 140 hp.
    The Brits however struggled on with bore dimensions thrust on them as a convenient tax-gathering device for motor-vehicles and it persisted until the early post-WW2 years. Each rated horsepower by this method cost the owner one pound a year in tax, so an Austin 7 cost 7 pounds a year, while a 3.5 litre 25 hp Morris (which actually produced up to 85 bhp) cost the owner 10 bob a week.
    Of course this tax structure meant that power could be increased simply by increasing the capacity by increasing the length of the stroke and that lead to higher piston speeds than the materials and lubricants of the time could handle, greater wear and shorter engine life.
    It wasn’t until the Brits were faced with having to export or perish after WW2 that the insane horsepower tax was revised and British manufacturers were encouraged to produce shorter-stroke more efficient engines that would find export markets.
    Fourthly, Of course none of this malarkey applied to marine engines but engineers recognized that the rated horsepower at least gave the UK (and Colonies’) buyers a rough idea of an engine’s swept volume.
    Fifthly, with a marine engine, horsepower was secondary to torque at low revs as most of the engines drove their props direct and rarely revved above 1000 rpm.


  5. The Register of British Ships says that her first engine was a “35hp” and that’s confirmed in the late Bill Laxon’s book “Steam on the Manukau” where Bill says she had a “35hp 4 cylinder Twigg” but he may have got the “35hp” from Watts Register. Certainly all Twiggs were petrol engines and usually sold on the basis of 10hp per pot. The 48 hp diesel installed in 1948 was, of course, a Ruston not a Ralston and there were two of them, according to Laxon replacing TWIN 24hp Gardners.
    Brown Bros sold her to C.W. White of Onehunga in 1918 and she was taken across to the Manukau in November of that year.


  6. Being of that vintage & a British engine, the Gardner & probably the Twigg would have been rated on the RAC ( Royal Automobile Club). British rating, which a very common in Britain at that time, & would convert probably convert to about 80 Hp in the now standard SAE rating, — (compare to the “1948 Austin 10,” & next year, in 1949, when Britain seemed to go in line with America, & most other countries, the “Austin A40” arrived, which was rated on the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), rating. — Trust this helps — KEN R


  7. Hi Alan,
    Mr White was a friend of my Grandfather Charlie Pascoe. I have heard my father talking about this boat and the Whites. My uncle Bruce may have worked on her when she was towing sand barges.

    Just a correction about the engine, she would have had a 40 hp 4 cylinder petrol Twigg engine, Twiggs never made a 35 hp model or a diesel. However on her documentation, this engine may have been rated as 35 hp. Nice to see some old work boat photos on Woodies.Keep digging them up!




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