Tamaroa

The History Of Tamaroa – as told by Eric Stevens

“I am writing this as the owner of Tamaroa from early 1994 to the middle of 2010. She was in a sad state when I bought her and it was only the quality of the original hull construction which warranted her restoration.

Tamaroa was built by Collings and Bell Ltd for A.E. Fisher of Whangarei. at a date which I have not been able to confirm. At the time of sale I was told that she was the last boat made by Collings and Bell. “They sent her down the slip and closed their doors after her”.  When I tried to confirm this story I found that there were quite a number of ‘last boats built by Collings and Bell’ And whatever Tamaroa might be, she was not that. I have been told she was built in 1953 but my enquiries suggested she may have been built in the late 1940s. She certainly was built at a time when Kauri was short and all the larger timbers in the cabin sole above the engines and the cabin sole planking in the stern cabin were Southland Beech. So too were many of the finishing timbers.

In the time I owned her I measured her up and made extensive CAD drawings to aid with her reconstruction. These show her as being 12.8 meters (42′) between perpendiculars and 3.3 meters (11′-10″) beam. By the time one took into account the strongman for the anchor and the boarding platform at the stern she was in modern NZMIA parlance 13.77 meters (45′) over all. Further, substantial strakes had been added to increase the width of the decks and these brought her overall beam up to a little over 4 metres (13′-1″).

When she was built she was fitted with what was reported to be a large Austin diesel engine. Irrespective of what the exact date of build might be, as far as I can tell, Austin were not at that period making diesel engines suitable for a boat of that size but they were using Perkins P6 engines. Also Perkins were supplying engine exchange kits to enable the fitting of the P6 engine to Austin trucks. The Perkins P6 was commonly used in larger boats at that time and it is most likely that this is what was actually used. Alternatively it could have been the almost contemporaneous and slightly more powerful S6.

At some stage Tamaroa was sold to a Mr Jeeves. Mr Jeeves was allergic to diesel fumes and had the original engine removed and two Scripps engines (marine conversion of the old flat head Ford V8) installed. This entailed fitting new shaft, tubes and logs to the hull. The engines were fitted with identical Borg Warner gear boxes with the results that both shafts turned in the same direction.

Tamaroa then passed through various hands until an Allan Brown bought her from a truck sales man whose name he can no longer recall. Allan Browne did not like the petrol engines and he started to convert Tamaroa back to the original diesel by replacing the port engine with a Nissan SD33 diesel engine. The Nissans come in a variety of configurations and this one was configured for industrial use in a forklift truck. For a time he ran Tamaroa with one engine diesel and the other petrol but not long before he sold it to me in 1998 he installed a second industrial SD33 identical to the first except that it had a slightly different flywheel housing.

When I bought her the interior was in a rather sad stripped-out and crudely rehashed state. However I had her surveyed by Jack Taylor and he gave a good report on the condition of her hull. The strength of the construction of the hull impressed him and was such that he took a lot of convincing that it was not a prewar boat. The cabin was a different matter: he kept repeating that they had left it to the apprentices. When I later got to replacing the glass in the cabin I found that the port side bore only a passing resemblance to the starboard with various nominally equal dimensions varying by several inches from one side of the cabin to another.

By the time I bought her most of the original furniture had gone and been replaced by a mish-mash of all kinds of strange things. There was a large armchair in one corner of the wheelhouse which in fact was a refrigeration cabinet. And when it rained the cabin leaked like a sieve.

I started the long process of fitting her out. When I removed what was not wanted I was left with a large empty space with a flush dunny on one side.  The engine changes over her life had caused the structural beams for the deck in the wheel house to be badly chopped around and I decided to replace the whole structure. This included the cabin sole in the wheelhouse. There was so little of the original left that I decided to refit the interior from scratch with a clean sheet of paper. It’s not original but it incorporate most mod cons and it works.

The aft cabin sole was planked and screwed down with immovable bronze screws. We had not been able to lift this for the survey. After I had bought her, all had to be laboriously cut out to give access to the hull. The completion of this work revealed a dreadful state of affairs. When the new shafts were installed for the twin screws. no sealant (tallow, pitch) had been run to fill the gap between the shaft tubes and the logs. The result was that over the years sea water had been seeping in past the stern bearing housing and evaporating through the timber of the adjacent planking and the shaft logs. The concentration of salt had given the timber the consistency of Weetbix and in places the sound planking was only 3mm thick. Nevertheless, as we had found at the time of survey, what remained was so hard that attacking it with large knife from the outside revealed no weakness. In the end more than 4 square meters of the bottom had to be replaced. This entailed new shaft logs, GRP tubes and shafts. Needless to say all this was sealed with copious quantities of epoxy resin.

The original central rudder had been retained when the two Scripps engines were fitted. At the same time two wing rudders were installed in the propellor streams in order to give better low speed steering. The rudder shafts and glands were in a sad state and the only reason they had not sunk Tamaroa at her moorings was that the glands were about 5cm above water. The general design and condition of all this was such that I decided to remove the original rudder and fit two new rudders to suit the new installation. Propellor calculations had suggested the original propellers were too small and spinning rather too fast for the Nissan engines. After much searching I decided to replace the original gear boxes with a pair of ZF which gave me a deeper reduction and allowed the use of larger propellers.

The evidence of the transom was that when Tamaroa had been first built the exhaust discharged through the transom on the port side. There was also evidence of a smaller exhaust along side the main exhaust suggesting she may have been fitted with a small auxiliary ‘popper’ engine of some kind. The original exhaust system was discarded when the two Scripps engines were installed. Instead each engine was equipped with its own ‘North Sea’ exhaust which discharged on both sides of the vessel at the water line. These employed large thin-walled bronze tubes fitted into the hull. I did not like these as they were old, had screw threads for securing nuts cut into them and most importantly, they had no seacocks.

I removed these and blocked one of the two holes on each side. Too the remaining hole I fitted a large bronze skin fitting with a gate valve for use as a sea cock. The two Nissans had been fitted with wet exhausts, the risers for which were just underneath the cabin sole which had become charred by radiated heat. Accordingly I had made for each engine a water cooled riser which discharged into a large rubber silencer.

The Scripps installation had required two additional outboard engine bearers which I thought were rather short. I had these extended to pick up the major framing bulkheads ahead and aft of the engines. The original water tanks were four, by now, battered 30 gallon hot water cylinders mounted in cradles underneath the wheelhouse. I found drinking warm, slightly green, tainted water to be unpalatable so I replaced these with stainless steel tanks to each side of the aft cabin. At the same time I had two aluminium 520 litre fuel tanks constructed which sat in the engine space on top of the forward end of the engine bearers.

Before Allan Brown had bought Tamaroa an attempt had been made to install an external steering and control station on top of the aft cabin. This used cable steering and holes were bored through whatever part of the vessel got in the way of the cable’s passage. Allan Brown had replaced this with hydraulic steering with a rather crude linkage at the rudders. A windscreen and dodger had also been fitted. I totally rebuilt all of this during the refit. I also installed dual Simrad navigation, radar and plotter control stations.

The refrigerated armchair was replaced with an electrically powered refrigerator and freezer. There was only one working alternator between the two engines and this was charging a very large lead-acid battery which tests showed was down to about 12% of its original storage capacity. With the increased electrical load had to totally rebuild the electrical system. I installed separate engine and house batteries charged by two alternators, one of which was of high capacity for the house battery, and installed two large solar panels on the roof of the cabin.

The galley was relocated from forward to the aft cabin. Two LPG cylinders were installed in a properly ventilated locker in the transom. A gas hot water heater was fitted to the aft cabin bulkhead and used to supply pressurised hot water to both the galley and toilet/shower area which now resides forward in the place where the galley had been.

Apart from up in the bows, all of the furniture is new. It was all designed to be held in place by screws so that it could be removed without any cutting and hacking. I had most of this work done by freelance boat builders.

The electrical side of the refit is a story on its own. There are literally kilometers of wiring throughout the hull and concealing this was a major task. I probably spent as much time on this as I did on everything else combined. Be warned, if you want mod cons in an old boat, there is a downside”.

Most of the photographs above of Tamaroa show her as she was when Eric sold her.

Around The Yards – The Slipway Milford

L>R Marline, Connie V
Disturber
L>R Lucinda, Disturber

Around The Yards – The Slipway Milford


I was passing thru Milford last week, so took the opportunity to drop in on the team at The Slipway (Geoff Bagnall’s yard in a previous life).I can report that I was pleasantly pleased to see so many woodys hauled out and in various stages of repair – from the annual bum clean right thru to major refits.The one that caught my eye the most was the 35’ Leone Warne built launch – Marline, more on her on Monday, I now have so many cool photos from her past.
The woodys below are at the yard, where possible I have included a WW link to see / read more on each one.


The Slipway yard is one of Auckland’s very few ‘railway’ hail out facilities and both deserves and needs the support of the wooden boating community. If we lose yards like this we will be forced to use yards that tend to have equipment designed for big while plastic boats and that are not wooden boat friendly in terms of planked boats. So woodys support the guys that support us. Contact Jason Prew for details on haul out rates and on-site services. jason@slipway.co.nz

Connie V – https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/12/23/connie-v-saved/
Lucinda – https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/30/lucinda-4sale/
Disturber – https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/19/disturber/
Marline – https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/16/marline/
Lonestar – a visitor from Hawkes Bay 😉 more on this project later.
Gweneviere – another visitor from Hawkes Bay and possibly a project.

Woody Speedboat – Help Wanted

1930’s Speedboat – Help Wanted

Serious woody boat restorer, Peter Murton contacted WW with an update on a recent boat shed find, I’ll let Peter tell the story – he is also on the hunt for some ‘bits’ to complete the project.I have posted two photos below of a 1895 fantail clinker work boat / launch that Peter restored, it had spent 25 years as a garden feature before Peter saved her – proof that the mans not afraid of a challenge 🙂

“We pulled the old girl above out of a shed in Ngakuta Bay in the Sounds. She is 18′ x 5’, probably late 1940’s, but there is talk she could be as old as the mid 1920’s. Have been told she was built in Dunedin, she is all kauri. She is very lightly built with canvas covered decks, planks are all 1/2″-12.5mm thick, frames are all 5/8-16mm thick. Seam battens on all planks and under decks are all copper riveted. Her frames are brass screw fastened with 1/8th 3mm iron brackets to brace the chine joint and one bolt on the vertical frame into chine rail deck framing. Has 1/8th- 3mm iron brackets holding some framing members in place, rudder is iron. Shaft is stainless steel with a thrust bearing mounted on the inboard end, shaft is stepped at the bearing and a iron bracket supports it on engine beds. She would have been direct drive, she has two shaft holes forward one is oldest. The aft shaft hole has been hacked in very roughly done. Looks like she had a re-power and had to shift the shaft aft to accommodate new motor.”

Wanted to complete this project

• Kauri Planks 8×1 for planking and frames

• Flathead V8 or flathead or straight 6 with or without gearbox 

• Windscreen hardware crome center and side brackets

• Rudder is transom hung we are missing the steering pulleys that mounted on each side of the transom to guide the cables on to the rudder arm

06-09-2020 Input from Peter Krans – Peter sent in the photos below of the speed boat Miss Waikawa which Peter commented that while nothing confirms Peter Murton’s shed find is Miss Waikawa, they are a similar size and shape… Peter M may be able to tell if his boat once had a dickie seat.Peter K thinks that Miss Waikawa was built immediately after the war, she was sold about 1958 to 1960 after the family head passed away. Possibly sold to the Fishburn’s at Drydans bay.There is quite some story attached to her, but all those who had first hand knowledge are no longer with us. The second shaft outlet is a bit of a clue, story goes that there was a hunger for speed, and a pair of post WW2 trainer aircraft were purchased from Woodborne, and one on the engines was fitted. Miss Waikawa had her own boat shed by what is now the old rowing club. The aircraft sat in a paddock in Waikawa bay for a number of years next to what is now Findlay Grove. Peter Beech who has commented on here may also have some recollection.

RSVP waitematawoodys@gmail.com

28 Days On Board Waitangi – Auckland > Sydney

28 Days On Board Waitangi – Auckland > Sydney


Hopefully today will be the last day of lockdown at L3 for Aucklanders, so should therefore be the last day of ‘staying-close-to-home’.

A perfect excuse to view this great video from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, the club are approaching their 125th anniversary and have come up with a cool idea, under the umbrella ‘Club Conversations – Unplugged’- today we get to meet club member Peter Oldham QSM, and hear the story of his passage aboard the classic yacht Waitangi, on her 28 day journey from Auckland to Sydney in 1949 + a peek into his life story.
Enjoy 🙂

Peter Oldham QSM

RSVP via the form below

Lake Taupo Launches At The Landing

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Lake Taupo Launches At The Landing
The above photo comes to us via NZ Vintage Postcard fb and is captioned – The Landing, Taupo and is possibly from the 1930>1940’s period.

A question for Paul Drake – is the boat ‘closest to the channel‘ your 1914 Bailey and Lowe launch – Romance  ? If so, that would date the photo post 1931.

Can we ID any of the other boats?

Input from Paul Drake – Yes the launch nearest the channel is ROMANCE, still at Taupo and owned by the Drake Brothers. She arrived ex Napier post 1931 earthquake as a flush decker, and had her cabin raised when acquired by Jack Taylor and put to work as a commercial boat, probably in 1932. The counter stern boat is KINGFISHER. Thomas Ryan ran the 60 foot steamer RMS TONGARIRO ( Bailey and Lowe 1899 and built at Taupo) until 1925. She eventually rotted away on the foreshore between the Boat Harbour and Acacia Bay – photo below at the Taupo Wharf, before the 2 storied cargo shed was built , so quite early on in the 1900’s.

Tongariro

Input from Nigel Drake – The boat between Romance and Kingfisher looks to be Waihora, about 23 feet in length and probably a Couthard built boat, (not to be confused with the Brin Wilson built Waihora). She was on the lake for a long period of time and ran for hire under local identity “Tabby” Tabernacle.
POHUTUKAWA 
Lock-down = less going out = more fires, so collected a load of firewood today, life is easy when there is an arborist in the family 🙂
While at his yard, I spotted this magnificent pile of Pohutukawa logs, the coffee cup is there to give you an indication of the size of the 12 logs . A huge tree came down in a recent storm, blocking a road so out with the big chainsaws. Not destined for firewood, I’m told a few coffee tables and bar tops.
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Classic Wooden Boat Cruise – 72 photos

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S/S Romany

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Arohanui

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Trinidad

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Matira

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Ann Michelle

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Arohanui

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Lady Crossley

Raindance CCC trip Aug2020

Raindance

CLASSIC WOODEN BOAT WEEKEND CRUISE TO CLEVEDON  – 72 Photos 

Lets be honest, a large chunk of 2020 has been very average – locked marina’s, no on-the-water boating and cancelled events. After spending the weekend on-board Raindance, cruising up the Clevedon river and over-nighting with 12 other woody boats at the Clevedon Cruising Club, I realised what I had missed the most was the sense of fraternity that comes with being in a space shared with people who love the same things as I do – woody boats. 
 
The trip up the Wairoa River revolves around a tide window, so it was a very early start for some of us, helped by coffee on-route, the smart ones left on Friday and were enjoying breakfast in a bay as we were sliding down the Tamaki Strait. We were meet at the river entrance by CCC member Barrie Abel who ‘piloted’ us up the river – no opps, so thank you Barrie.
 
Awaiting for us at the CCC wharf was Russell Ward with his steam boat – Romany. The gent deserves a medal – all day Saturday and Sunday morning he was taking the CCC members and families + the woodys for rides. Romany is coal fired and as Russell tells everyone getting aboard – “if its metal – its hot, if its varnished – its dirty 🙂 . I’m a big fan of Romany, but the star was Cooper the English springer spaniel – I could have taken him home.
 
After some wonderful ‘air-traffic control’ we managed to get everyone either alongside the wharf or rafted to another boat that was alongside – soft bumper fenders along the entire wharf makes for very civilized berthing. However – no names, but one woody had to leave the Saturday night BBQ to check that their diesel fired on-board central heating outlet wasn’t roasting the fenders 😉
 
The day was very leisurely with most people enjoying a dockside lunch and CCC members dropping down to view the boats and people having steam boat rides. One woody took the opportunity to buy some fuel from the club’s dockside bowser, seems he forgot to check the level before departing, staring to become a habit……….
In addition to the activities afloat we were treated to some eye-candy in the car park – a stunning 1947 Ford Coupe and a replica 1945 Fairliner Torpedo speed boat.
 
Come 4pm we invaded the CCC club house for the main event – as always amazing hospitality from the club and to use that old saying “a good time was had by all”. It was announced that our visit will be a compulsory event on the club’s annual calendar – so woodys – no excuses for missing out next year. Date to be advised.
 
Check out the outdoor heater – a piece of kiwiana and it worked a treat.
 
Overnight it was a tad nippy, with several re-filling the boat water bottles in the early hours of the morning. But we woke to a stunning day and departed at 10am for the trip home.
 
And the Clevedon Coast Oysters were divine – photo below was my lunch – another set were dispatched as a appetizer – 8.5/10 – not Bluff but on the day as good 🙂
Special note of thanks to David Cook (Trinidad) who is my sidekick pulling these events together 🙂
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Tides Out 🙂  (photo ex Alan Good)

CCC tide out

Southern Woodys – Work Boat Wednesday

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Southern Woodys – Work Boat Wednesday
 

Iain Forsyth, owner of the 1961, 42’6″’, Miller & Tunnage built ex work boat – Meola, has recently returned from a trip to the other island. Ian commented that he stopped off at Carey’s Bay and saw Pakeha (recently featured on WW) on the slips after a large refit by Carey’s Marine and ready to launch.


Iain snapped the above gallery of workboats. It was opportune timing as the Bluff fleet were in port and getting ready for the season. Now I’m sure they aren’t all woodys but as per the NZ Classic Yacht Association rules (see below) metal is all good 🙂 
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Yard Mooching

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My Girl

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YARD MOOCHING

Over the last few days I have had cause to be in the vicinity of several boat yards

THE SLIPWAY MILFORD
Jason Prew has his 1925 Dick Lang built speedster – My Girl out and is in the process of re-powering her with a ’newer / better’ version of the 100hp Volvo that powers her. Given an engine box hasn’t been ticked off the To-Do List, this ones being pimped and blinged a little.
The new engine wasn’t the primary reason I called in, I had to see Jason’s just added,  Riviera styled set up for his Robert Brook built classic dinghy. I’m told it all comes apart and tucks away out of sight for photo oppo’s. Thats a relief 😉
Also at the yard are Eileen Patricia , Peter and Jenni Mence’s 1933 Arnold Couldrey designed and built launch. Out for even more enhancements and a coat of paint.
Meanwhile Connie V the 1949, Lane Motor Boat Co. built launch waits her turn.

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Eileen Patricia

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Connie V

MILFORD CRUISING CLUB
Little Jim and Wairiki are out getting some TLC

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Wairiki

PIER 21
Thanks to a call from Dave Giddens, I got to see the recently arrived / unloaded Tasmanian built Couta Boat – Rose. They were stepping my mast. Photos and video footage over on the original WW story https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/07/15/mystery-kiwi-buyer-australian-woody/

CLEVER MAN
Jason Delamore who purchased the launch Mahanui off Angus Rogers, is a clever chap and very handy with the tools. Jason has just recycyled an old oak table into a very smart table that alternates between the saloon and cockpit, thanks to a ‘Langun’ base / mounting system (ex UK).
The flip hinges give both a small drinks table and larger table for dinner.
Jason commented that he was pretty happy with the result and breathed new life into some gorgeous timber that will last another 80-100 years on top of its current 80+ years.

Log of The Rawhiti – bringing her home – Sydney to Auckland Passage

LOG of The RAWHITI – 1947 Sydney > Auckland Passage

The log is reproduced below via the generosity of the Mahurangi cruising club, who ran an abridged version in the 2020 year book. Click link below to read/view – its a cool story, enjoy

The Log of the Rawhiti

Today’s WW story is an amazing account of the return of the 1905 Arch Logan designed, Logan Bros built yacht – Rawhiti from Sydney, Australia to its place off birth – Auckland, New Zealand.

Almost immediately after her 1905 launch Rawhiti headed off across the Tasman to Sydney where she spent the next 41 years. Sadly the last 10 of those years saw her laid up on the hard, rapidly deteriorating.

Luckily for the yacht and all classic boaters in New Zealand, Sydney Ernest Marler (Hek to most) entered the scene and purchased Rawhiti and immediately made plans to sail her back to NZ. Some rather questionable repairs were undertaken and she set sail on December 17th 1947. Her crew for the passage was Hek + Peter Henley (navigator) Brian Lane (shipwright) Roy Johnson (bos’n and ships ‘surgeon’) Norman Vickery (signaller and radio operator)

The passage was recorded in the form of a ships log, written by Hek to his father Hank ((Henry Maitland Marler) outlining the voyage and the crew’s experiences. The trip took 11 days, said to be a record passage from Sydney to Russell, Bay of Islands, that was unbeaten until the 1970’s. 36 hours of the 11 days saw the yacht becalmed, so woodys she was greyhound 🙂

It would be an understatement to say it was a pleasant passage – Brian Lane is on record saying that they were very lucky, if the weather had got any worse they wouldn’t have made it, Rawhiti was hopeless at laying up into the wind. But very fast, built to race on the Waitemata Harbour not ocean passages. At times they trailed anything spare off the stern in an attempt to slow her down. Brian constantly thought she would split in two when coming down off a wave, no splash just a crash that Brian described as like being dropped off the back of a truck onto a concrete road. If he had known the yachts condition and blue water abilities, he would not have ventured past Sydney heads – but they did and Hek went on to raise a family with salt very much in their veins. Son Bruce and grandson Rod continuing the families association with wooden sailing craft.

In the mid 2000’s Rawhiti underwent a total rebuild / restoration while in the ownership of Greg Lee, Greg and master wooden boat builder Peter Brookes conducted the 7 year restoration. Without a doubt she is New Zealand’s finest restoration of a classic wooden vessel. If you search Rawhiti in the WW search box you will get an insight into the restoration.

I bet her crew on the passage back to Auckland in 1947 would not have imaged that 73 years later she would still be sailing and commanding a prime spot  on the world classic wooden boat stage. One of the worlds most admired (&selling) wooden boating items is the Calendar of Wooden Boats by Benjamin Mendlowitz and Maynard Bray. Rawhiti is centre stage in the 2021 edition for the month of March. As are two of our launches – Jason Prew’s – My Girl (April) and Peter Boardman’s – Lady Margaret (June). Owning 25% of that real estate is pretty good for little old NZ, but it comes at a price and that price is all the time that a small bunch of woodys put in making Ben and Maynard so welcome in NZ.

Copies of the 2021 edition are available at

 https://www.woodenboatscalendar.com/wooden-boats-calendar.html 

 

 

Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details

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WOODY LAKE TAUPO BOAT TOUR + WOODY EVENT DETAILS
One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
WAIROA RIVER – WOODY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy