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.

Centaurus Has A Birthday

Centaurus Has A Birthday

WW readers will recall that in late 2019 Angus Rogers purchased the 1967 Bailey & Sons built bridge-decker Centaurus. After an extended summer cruise she was hauled out at Okahu Bay for a serious overhaul of her systems and to bring her presentation up to the Rogers standard. Last Friday she was eased back into the water (got to love that tractor unit) looking very sharp. One of the additions was a bow and stern water jet thruster set-up, very impressive piece of kits and remarkably quiet. More photos of the project soon.

It will be a shoes off inspection for those woodys doing the Stillwater Woody picnic cruise next Saturday (26th) – I’d better ensure she gets a prime spot on the wharf 😉

Out With The Old – In With The New

Out With The Old In With The New

Nathan Herbert’s 1917 Joe Slattery built launch – Pacific, had a serious Jenny Craig session yesterday at Milford – out came the 2758 Ib. Lister (Freedom range) diesel engine, to be replaced with a brand new 992 Ib. 100hp FPT / Iveco (Italian) 4 cylinder diesel. That is a saving of over 800kg, thats like asking the All Black forward pack to get off your boat. I suspect the waterline will need an adjustment 🙂 

As always Jason Prew and The Slipway gang were on hand to help, with expertise and the loan of their Hiab truck to collect the new engine. We look forward to seeing the completed installation and relaid wheelhouse. I suspect we will not see Pacific at the Woody Stillwater picnic next Saturday (26th).

Total Wooden Boat Porn

Total Wooden Boat Porn

Over the last week I have had numerous woodys asking if I had seen the YouTube video on one of the UK’s stunning new motor boats – the Spirit P70. My answer was yes I had, so today I thought I had better share it with you. Built by Spirit Yachts to a very simple owner brief – it must be able to cover (non-stop) 1000nm at an average speed of 18 knots, she tops out at 23.5 knots. And budget? – somewhere between 4 and 5 million pounds. That woodys gets you are very swanky vessel, every single item is bespoke – check it out.

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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Tradition – A Peek Down Below

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TRADITION – A PEEK DOWN BELOW

Back in May I did a WW story on the 44’ 1990 Geoff Bagnall built, Bo Birdsail designed, spirit-of-tradition (excuse the pun) launch – Tradition, link below.
This was an amazing story and took the form of an interview between her original owners Rhys and Dick Boyd and a subsequent owner, Keith Busch. If you missed the story I would encourage you to read it, its a cracker + lots of photos.
Today, thanks to Ken Ricketts, we get to have a peek down below on this magnificent woody. Ken was aboard while she was berthed at Gulf Harbour marina.
These days Tradition is owned by Chris and Rae Collins – so she is in very good hands and well used – which we like 🙂

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

Restoration of classic 1912 launch – Lion

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Restoration of MV LION 

Lion was launched in late 1912 for use on Lake Wakaptipu for Hugh McKenzie of Lake Wakatipu, serving the family and owners of Walter Peak, Fernhill and Mt Nicholas Stations. When launched she was fitted with a 21hp, 3 cylinder Clifton engine.
Constructed from kauri planking to a canoe stern design, to handle the choppy and unpredictable conditions of Lake Wakatipu. Her specs are – Length: 38′,
Beam: 9′, Draft: 3′ & she is powered by a Yanmar 51hp. (Info ex Harold Kidd)
At one stage she operated as a charter vessel on Lake Wakatipu.

Lion has made a previous appearance on WW and can be viewed at the link below
The facebook link below shows Lion arriving at the boat yard prior to commencement of work.

In 2019 Lion changed hands and her new owners commissioned an extensive restoration / refit at the Graham Caird’s ‘Repair My Boat’ yard (formerly Southern Classic Boats) in Invercargill, South Island. All timber used in the project is either kauri or Burmese teak.
I understand that her new owners will be returning her to Queenstown and her new home will be the Frankton marina.
The gallery of photos above showcases the amazing work that some of New Zealand’s most talented shipwrights are doing – living in Auckland sometimes we get a tad myopic 🙂
Photos below – pre-restoration

Help Needed Finding Doris / Miss Doris

Doris : Miss Doris

Help Needed Finding Doris / Miss Doris

Greg Philpott has asked for help in tracking down the 1910, A.T. Lane (Auckland) built launch – Doris / Miss Doris. She was launched as Doris but renamed Miss Doris in 1949. Her first owner was Albert Fuller for use in the Bay of Islands.

She was a hard working launch and undertook all manner of work for AE Fullers and Sons but she was eventually sold out of the Fullers fleet in 1969 to Doug Nankervis for use as a fishing boat. She was subsequently sold in 1974 to Ashley Synnott and relocated to Mangawhai. That is where the trail goes cold, and Greg would love to find out what happened to her and where she ended up.

We do know some history of her propulsion :- No intel on what engine was in her when launch but in 1917 it was replaced with a Scripps – then in 1920 a Regal G E Coy – then in 1929 a Studebaker, 1933 saw a Alisa Craig went in – 1954 in went a Ford and lastly some time in the 1960’s a Caterpillar was shoe honed in – rumour has it, it nearly took up 1/2 the cabin 🙂

She has appeared on WW before https://waitematawoodys.com/2014/10/15/9233/

A WOODY QUIZ – Win A WW Bucket Hat

Guess the most searched word on the waitematawoodys site (after waitemata woodys) and you go into the draw to win a WW bucket hat. (model not included). Entries close off at 8pm 29-07-2020. ENTER ONLY VIA EMAIL to waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Magic

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PRE – RESTORATION

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THE RESTORATION

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JOB DONE

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MAGIC

Recently I was contacted by Phil Shaw who has completed an amazing restoration on his Healey speed boat – Magic. Like many I’m sure, I was not aware that the founder of the Austin Healy sports car marque – Donald Healey (British racing car driver and engineering guru), back in 1956 had also founded a subsidiary company – Healey Marine. The company produced approximately 1750 craft, with Phil’s 1956, 14’6″ boat, a Healey Ski-master, being the first model built.
When Phil acquired the boat she was crying out for a restoration and as you can see in the photos above, that she received 🙂
 
These days Magic is pushed along by a 50hp outboard that sees her with a top speed of 30 knots, and that woodys is very fast for a sub 15’ mahogany run-about.
 
My biggest challenge with this story was deciding which photos made the cut – Phil photo documented every step of the project, and has a wonderful photo gallery of the restoration.
 
I will let the photos tell the story. Below is a an article in the April 2002 issue of the Healey Marque Magazine.

REMEMBER TO RSVP FOR THE WOODY CLEVEDON TRIP – 15 BOATS ALREADY ON THE LIST + FRESH CLEVEDON COAST OYSTERS

RSVP TO   waitematawoodys@gmail.com

Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

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