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.

Quest II

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QUEST II

Quest II was built by Miller and Tunnage in 1924, currently configured as a pleasure boat, her tme listing doesn’t tell us anything about her past life, so woodys today can we uncover what happened to her from 1924 until her conversion?
Home port is Whangarei.
What we know is that she is 40’ in length and powered by a 6 cyl. FD6T Nissan diesel.
A very salty looking woody.
Photos below sent in by Dean Wright that he took of Quest II back in 2012 when she lived in Opito Bay for a bit.
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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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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.

Meola

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MEOLA 
Woody Iain Forsyth, owner of the 1961, 42’6″’, Miller & Tunnage built ex work boat – Meola is one of the most passionate wooden boating buffs you will meet, so when Iain got the opportunity to travel South to the birth place of Meola, there was no stopping him. Back in 1986 there was a major fire at the Miller & Tunnage yard and sadly their historical records / files of past builds was lost in the blaze.
The highlight of Iain’s trip was tracking down Mary Inglis, wife of Brian Inglis, who built many of the boats at Miller & Tunnage.
The black and white photos above are from Mary’s collection and show the construction of Meola and as launched. WW links below for more details
Below is a stunning photo of another Miller & Tunnage vessel, that Iain uncovered – this ones the 1960 built Deodar, which given the immaculate condition must have been at launching, prior to being commissioned as a Police launch. These days, a pleasure craft – WW links below.
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Westhaven Classic Launches

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WESTHAVEN CLASSIC LAUNCHES 

Today’s photos come to us from Scott Taylor and are from the same batch that Scott sent in earlier in the week. You may recall that Scott is the son of the late Mac Taylor, the Westhaven based boat broker.
Scott told us that the photos was probably taken by himself over fifty years ago while he was tagging along with his Dad at Westhaven.
In the top photo we see the 1970, Salthouse built launch -Idler, previously on WW  https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/03/27/idler/
In the 2nd photo, closet to the camera, we have a very new looking, modern, mystery launch, which I suspect used up a lot of sheets of plywood in her construction. Alongside her is what I assume is Connie V, the 1949 Lane Motor Boat Co. built launch. These days tucked away at The Slipway Milford, previously on WW
I’m unable to put a name to the last photo – Nathan?
She is an impressive looking craft.

Ika

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IKA
Back in mid March 2020 I was contacted by Matt Hodgson who had just purchased Ika and was berthed in Pine Harbour Marina, Auckland waiting for a weather window to take her south to Mana Marina, Wellington. Ika had been recently returned to the water and was a little thirsty e.g taking on water. As tends to happen, after a little while she quenched her thirst and Matt successfully headed south.
I asked Matt to send in some photos and details on Ika – below is what he knows –
Matt believes she was designed in the late 1920’s and was used as a commercial long liner in the Cook Strait from 1933. She’s a Lanes 42ft kauri launch and was modified and revamped by Bob Sinclair in 1996. Sinclair reconditioned the Gardner 5L3 engine in 1996 and added / rebuilt the saloon. You can see in the photos that Ika’s galley has a diesel oven, complete with a wet back.
Matt is currently working away on Ika, so far he has painted the cabinetry white and will redo the inside by sanding, polishing and vanishing the main beams in the saloon and replacing the old carpet with a high quality veneer.
Anyone able to enlighten Matt and myself more on Ika’s past?
Photos below ex Cameron Pollard
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19-07-2020 Input from Don Robertson –
Ika was owned for a while by the legendary Island Bay fisherman Johnny Cataldo.
Johnny knew Cook Strait like no other, so piloted the early Cook Strait swimmers.
He was also the Cook Strait rescue service before the Coastgaurd, and a capable police launch.
I was witness to one of his rescues in Cook Strait, in 1968, as an 18 year old when on the legendary 1912 yacht Nanette we we lost both forestays with our bowsprit in an unforecast severe northerly off Sinclair Head. By waving a tablecloth we attracted Ika passing by and as she took us in tow, we noticed the crew of Hugh Barton’s, of Barton Marine, Shiralee waving for assistance, being overpowered by the conditions and not being able to make progress upwind. So Ika manoeuvred Nanette into a position that we were able to pass a second tow line and proceeded into Island Bay directly under the seagulls feeding off the remains of impressive Groper.
I remember Ika being moored just upstream of the Mana bridge with a much more substantial cabin around the 1980’s
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

 

Ruamano RIP

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RUAMANO RIP

In the bundle of prints I received from Bryce Strong were the above photos of the 1925 Collings & Bell built launch – Ruamano. Sadly she was abandoned in 2000 off the West Coast of the North Island. I have not come across many colour photos of her, so published these to showcase what a fine ship she was.
Reading reports of the incident she might have been saved, it would appear that her crew were a little too hasty in climbing off her. You can read more about the incident in the first WW story link below.
 
Given the passage of time, maybe someone would like to tell us more about how she came to be abandoned.
 
 
 
 
17-07-2020 Input below from Tim Hanna
 
As I understand it the crew were in fact business associates of the owner and skipper. Supposedly they had to be in certain places at certain times to fit their business schedules and this played a part in putting pressure on to go round the top and head south in a marginal weather break. Deteriorating conditions forced the boat to head south west – out to sea – and a vicious cross sea developed. The skipper was handing his boat well and the boat was handing the conditions well but nobody else was. I believe there was no one fit to relieve the skipper on the helm and he eventually became completely exhausted. In the mean time the demands to abandon the ship became increasingly insistent and so the call was put out. Ironically all the busy chaps then had to sail off to Korea on the logging ship that took them off. The abandoning of the boat was extremely hazardous and it was apparently a wonder that nobody was injured. The boat’s brand new engines were running perfectly and the only damage was caused by running alongside the freighter. I believe a fishing boat spotted her some time later but she was by then swamped and no attempt was made to salvage her.Its a sad story and I feel for her owner as he had done an outstanding job restoring her to absolutely tip top condition.
 
08-09-2020 Update
Brian Fulton (MV Silens) sent in the photos below of Ruamano that were given to him by John Griffiths. John’s father owned her for approx. 18 years (dates unknown). They used her to get from Jack & Jill Bay to their house at Hauai Bay, on the Rawhiti Peninsula in the Bay of Islands. In the days before roads we put in.

Lake Manapouri – Manurere

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LAKE MANAPOURI  – MANURERE

Today’s woody is seen in the Western Arm of Safe Cove, Lake Manapouri, Southland. Photos ex Lew Redwood fb (Hocken).
On fb Daniel Hickes commented that the vessel maybe the Govt. steamer – Manurere., powered by a 1901 quadruple expansion steam engine, built by Simpson Strickland and Co. of Dartmouth, England.
Rather a smart clinker alongside 😉
Harold Kidd Input – MANURERE was only 40ft long. Built by Bailey & Lowe in Auckland in 1905, shipped to Bluff, railed to Mossburn and taken over to Manapouri by wagon drawn by a steam traction engine. She had a Thornycroft high-pressure boiler and Simpson Strickland “patent quadruple engines”. She was in service by February 1906. A neat little steamer.
Some Trivia
Ever wondered where the term ‘hang-over’ came from.
Seems its origin is related to woody boating – back in Victorian England, the cheapest (lowest) form of accommodation was access to bend over a rope for the night at the price of a penny. Usually used by drunken sailors who had spent all their money drinking.
I have always wondered how all the crew on the CYA’s A-Class gaffers managed to sleep 🙂
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