The Restoration Of Melodeon

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The Restoration Of Melodeon

Now woodys if you know Dick Fisher you  will know that Dick likes BIG things – big classic boats, big projects, big (zoom zoom) cars. Chatting with Dick recently he informed me he had a project on the go, his words “something to keep me out of trouble” so of course I said ’send me some details – givens Dicks other two boats – Akarana, the 60’ 1960 AJ Collings designed and built by WG Lowe, ex Auckland Harbour Board pilot boat and Hamal, the 1975 purpose built exploration ship – I suspected the project would be a doozy. Photos of Akarana & Hamal below.
Dick and Colleen have a stunning track record of converting ex work boats into the most amazing classic cruisers so WW looks forward to following this project, we will be giving Dick a friendly nudge for updates.
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I’ll let Dick tell us what he is up to, remember click in photos to enlarge 😉

 
“The story so far goes a bit like this……
We purchased Melodeon from Greg Hayes in April 2018. Greg had owned & fished with her for the past 25 years. 
One of the photos above shows her at her semi-permanent berth at the Whangarei Town Basin prior to our buying her.
After the successful negotiation of price with Greg, who had expressed the wish for Melodeon to only be purchased by someone prepared to restore her.
We lifted her out at Dockland 5 in Whangarei, her estimated weight at this point was in excess of 50 ton. We removed as much equipment as were able which included 9 ton of lead balast. This would explain why when blasting the paint from the hull we uncovered seven (7) waterlines this made her draft aft at 7 ft. 
 
With the assistance of Boat Haulage Ltd we moved her to our workshop at Kamo & then commenced dismantling decks, bulwarks, wheelhouse & removed the engine & fuel tanks etc. She was then high pressure water blasted & garnet blasted all of the paint off inside & out.  She was then moved inside the same shed where Akarana had been for 5 years during her restoration.
 
The hull was copper fastened of 3 skin construction.. unfortunately the 2 inch Kauri decks were iron fastened & unable to be saved.
 
To date we have treated with preservatives the inside of the hull & currently has a holding undercoat.
 
The last few month I have been focused  on restoring the T8 Kelvin engine which was in reasonable condition. Main items needing replacing were a set of 8 exhaust valves , a complete gasket set plus other small items. I was able to purchase these from  Kelvin Diesels in Glasgow, a subsidiary of British Polar Engines. We have found this company & their staff most helpful in procuring parts. The engine is now complete & running very nicely. 
 
Up to date the work has been carried out mostly by myself & my son Richard when he had time. The engineering side of the restoration we can manage ourselves.  We now realise we need a skilled boat builder to assist us with the woodworking aspect.
It is our intention not to alter the overall design, with the exception being the wheelhouse which needs to be a little bigger.  
 
We are fortunate in that Greg Hayes has passed on to me the Marine Dept files dating back to October 1934.
Some salient points for you:
Plans, specs & building was carried out for Melodeon by Chas Bailey & Son in Auckland.
Original engine was a German Deutz/110BHP / 2 cycle diesel/ @ 450RPM this was replaced by the current T8 Kelvin.
Propeller:  4 blades /59 inch dia x 48 inch pitch – 3.3 to 1 reduction
Dimensions: Overall 57ft Beam 15ft6in draft 7ft
The existing T8 Kelvin was installed new in 1960 & the estimate from info we have, is that she has run well in excess of 100,000 hours.
Melodeon fished using different methods all around NZ, during the 1939/45 war the US Navy commandeered her for service in the Pacific.
  
This is an ongoing project for me in my dotage & its keeping me out of trouble.. in fact it’s a pretty big job….as the TV Ad goes…”
 
A Heads Up
Two cool things you may have overlooked in the last week
1. Do check out the link that Hylton Edmonds posted in the WW comments section. Its to a National Film Unit movie that features the then police launch Lady Shirley going about its duties on the Waitemata Harbour – fast forward to the 5:10 mark to catch the start, its a great watch and lots of our woodys make appearances – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlqfwtybXE
2. Put your hand in your pocket and spend NZ$5 to subscribe for two months to the very informative and entertaining Vblog – OFF CENTER HARBOR. The guys at OCH have offered up this deal to WW readers so you can get your classic boating fix during the lockdown – details here  OCH $5 Deal
Akarana (L) – Hamal (R)

IDA – All Dressed Up & No Where To Go

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IDA – All Dressed Up & No Where To Go
Last night this 125 year old A-Class classic yacht was going to be the leading lady at the RNZYS for a party to celebrate her relaunch – but CV-19 put a stop to that 😦
So woodys today you get a peek at her tucked away in Wayne Olsen’s shed waiting for the green light to step out.
It seems unbelievable  that it was only July 2019 that I Iast visited the yard and now she is all set to splash (see link below for photos + details on her history and how she came home after ‘migrating’ to the Big Island.
Ida was designed by Charles Bailey Jnr and built / launched in 1895 by C&W Bailey gaff rigger
She is 58’ LOA, with a beam of 8’ – LOW = 45’ so there is a lot of bits hanging off her when she is in racing mode
Once again the classic yachting movement is indebted to John Street and his Classic Yacht Charitable Trust, they restore and maintain the cream of New Zealand’s A-Class fleet, and race the pants off every other woody in the fleet. Well done.
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Choptank

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CHOPTANK

Todays WW story falls into the eye candy category and will spin the wheels of the workboat group.
The 62’ Choptank was brought to my attention by Australian woody – Andrew Christie, who spotted her on the WoodenBoat Forum.
Built in 1938 in Virginia, USA by O.W. Payne Palmer and named – Julian.
Later name changes were – Callis Brothers, then – Callis Brothers II.
She has just had a complete rebuild at the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where her name was changed to – Choptank.
Choptank is what they call a ‘Chesapeake Bay Buy-Boat’.
Make sure you check in tomorrow (Sunday) – great story coming u 😉
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Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin

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Wooden Boats @ Whangarei Town Basin

Two weeks ago David Cooke and myself pointed the car north and did a day trip to Whangarei to view a few candidates for listing with the Wooden Boat Bureau. We were blessed with a stunning day, which made the quay side area at the Town Basin very pleasing to the eye. As we mooched around I snapped the above photos. With the boats shed owners taste in decorating you cant miss them 😉
A nice mix of sail and power, with a lot of live aboards.
I was pleased to see James Mobberley’s old classic – Falcon on a pile mooring, one day she will come back to her home – the Waitemata 🙂
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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

As I have mentioned in the last two WW stories, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand have over the last 3 days been running its annual classic yachting event on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The near perfect conditions on all three days made for happy skippers and a relieved race organisers. I was on the water for two of the three days and had a blast. The gallery above is a mix of Races 1/2/3. If your boat doesn’t make an appearance, I apologize, I was only a passenger, so captured those that were within range.
On the second day, James Dreyer and myself hosted the world acclaimed marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz onboard Jame’s motorboat – Laughing Lady, the perfect platform for recording the on the water activities.
For me it was a master class in boat positioning and photography angles, I tried to keep out of Ben’s way and took the above photos / videos when I could without being in Ben’s line of sight.
These days the CYA run the regatta using the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as Race HQ and entertainment hub, it is the perfect venue and as always the service and staff were 10/10.
 Scroll down for the official regatta results below
As always – click on photos to enlarge.
Race Course Videos Below (Races 2/3)
RANGER

PRIZE

A DIVISION

ARIKI

RAWHITI

CORONA

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Ngarurua + CYA Regatta Sailing Photos

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NGARURUA

The 37’ Ngaruroa was built by Nobby Clark, a commercial boat builder and launched in 1965. Built from carvel plank, heart kauri. Powered by a 120hp 6 cylinder Perkins diesel engine. 
Over the last 8 years she has been under gone an extensive re-fit and her owner now finds themselves just too busy to complete the project – so if there is a woody out there handy with their hands – Ngarurua just needs her interior finished and a lick of paint. She is fully operational in its present state. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up.

CYA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA UPDATE – DAY TWO (Races 2&3)
Yesterday morning I was dock side at Race HQ co-ordinating a meet up between renowned wooden boat photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz and James Dreyer (MV Laughing Lady) and I got ‘press ganged’ into accompanying them on LL for the day. Was not what I had planned but sometimes you just go with the flow.
Had an amazing day and got some great sailing photos. A taste below – full story on Monday.
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A10 – Thelma / A7 – Rainbow

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A7 – Thelma / A2 – Rawhiti

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A16 – Little Jim

Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

Mooching around Sandy Bay I spotted the above woody – it looks familiar. Not anchored, on a mooring so maybe she is an Island boat.
I’m sure someone smarter than me can ID her.
Woodys Classics Waiheke BBQ & Pizza Lunch – Trip Report
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Another great turn out for Saturdays gathering at Little Oneroa – I counted 16 woodys in the bay, rowing past a couple I may have detected a whiff of PVC but they were lookers and all had a healthy mix of timber and bronze. Attending boats tagged in the story.
Most people decided to order lunch from the wood-fired pizza caravan and were not disappointed – very yum.
The timing seemed to work for everyone – several boat travelled long distances to participate and 1/2 the fleet were just there for the day. Also dog friendly venues are appreciated – again 1/2 the boats had pooches aboard. Perfect weather and very low numbers of what the islanders call ‘day trippers’.
As proof that all you need to be welcomed at a Woody Classics event, is a passion for wooden boats – my boat of the day was Allan and Pam Hooper’s – Katherine. Her dinghy (built by Allan) gets her a 10/10 tick in my book.   You can read more about Katherine here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/03/katherine/
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Katherine

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Little Oneroa – Waiheke Island

I spotted Allan’s dinghy ashore on Sunday morning  at Oneroa – now Allan is a perfectionist, so his score drops to 9.9/10 – he left the stickers on the oars 🙂
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