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)

Northern Star

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NORTHERN STAR
Its not often we see an Australian designed / built Halvorsen in NZ waters, they are the darlings of Sydney Harbour. Its even rarer to see an ex WW II one.
Northern Star was built in 1944 by Lars Halvorsen & Sons for the Royal Australian Air Force as a air-sea rescue boat.
She measures 38’x10’x4’. Current power is from a 306hp Volvo TAMD61A diesel that gets her along at 12>13 knots.
Her owner has had her for 45 years and she is  now 4sale on tme – a few rot issues to her plywood stern area and fore deck but I’m sure easily fixed. Rather a smart boat for the current price ($20+k)
Anyone know how she came to be in NZ ?
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Doris

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DORIS

While mooching around the Whangarei docks yesterday I spotted Doris. Had a brief chat with her owner who hopefully is going to email in what he knows about her past. She made a brief appearance on WW back in late Feb 2019. At the time there was a lot of chat in the comments section as to her provenance and military (WW II) service. WW link here https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/02/27/dorris/

I walked away with two photos from her past, the 2nd one above from when her owner purchased her and the b/w one, possibly, from her time in the Pacific Island’s during WW II. The location is thought to be Vanuatu.
When I get more intel – hopefully we can confirm her bloodline and life journey 🙂
Harold Kidd Input – In case the subject of DORIS has become scrambled during the previous post, this DORIS (W66) was built by T M Lane & Sons at Kings Drive, Mechanics Bay in December 1910 for Fuller of Russell as a 36 footer with a 12hp 2 cylinder Scripps engine.
We Have A New Leader In the – Boat That Most Resembles A Block Of Flats – Competition  – spotted off Waiheke Island last weekend.
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Classic Woody Things To Do In Auckland Today

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Classic Woody Things To Do In Auckland Today
If your aren’t like me and still floating around Kawau Island, its a big day on the Waitemata today with the running of the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.
The link below has the schedule for the events. The woody favourites are the Tug Boat Race and Classic Launch (drag) Race. Whether you are afloat or shore based, get out and support our regatta.
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To learn more about Tug Boat racing on the Waitemata Harbour – clink the clink below and then scroll down to watch John Street talking on how it all happened – great viewing
WAITANGI DAY WOODY BEACH PICNIC – FEB 6 – Put A Circle In Your Diary, All Woodys Welcome. RSVP Below
Woody Waitangi Picnic

Whangarei Town Basin 1943

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Whangarei Town Basin 1943


Todays photo, ex the Navy Museum, is captioned  ‘ Outer Patrol Launches Whangarei c.1943’. We have an interesting mix of vessels tied up.
The two on the right should be easy to ID – being Q Class patrol vessels i.e. motor launches built in the 1930s and used by the NZ Navy during WW2. John Clarke has supplied ex this site, a listing – Amakura Q04, Lady Gay Q00, Lady Margaret Q08, Lady Shirley Q11 later Q12, Maristella Q02, Movarie Q05 , Rawea Q06, Shenandoah Q03, Te Rauparaha Q07, Wirihana Q01. All navy inner and outer patrol vessels. John commented that if the WW list is correct, the vessels moored at the head of the line in the photo would be Maristella (Q02) and Lady Shirley (Q12). Maristella was a 40 footer, built by Sam Ford in December 1936 for Mr R.W. Wills of Epsom and fitted with a 50hp Ailsa Craig diesel. During WW2 RNZN patrol service she was fitted with a Gray for spares rationalization purposes. Lady Shirley was a 36 footer, built for Mr C Sinel of Auckland by C Bailey & Son in 1938. Both are still afloat and well-loved launches, search their names in the WW search panel for more photos / info.
 
Are we able to ID the launches astern of the Q Class boats?
 
I was contacted last week by Whangarei boatbuilder, Mike Hughes with a heads up that the little Harrison Butler ‘Omicron’ (below) was back in Mike’s workshop for a little regular maintenance.

She is a rather pretty looking yacht – but she should be given she was built by Percy Voss in 1945.
Omicron is kept at Parua Bay, Whangarei.
 
annual maintenance

Paikea

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PAIKEA
 
Two weeks ago my Westhaven spy sent my the 2 photos above of the 1921 Collings & Bell built launch Paikea hauled out at Westhaven for some TLC and then I spotted her back on her mooring in Bayswater looking very smart.
 
Thanks to Harold Kidd we know she was launched on 26th January 1921. She was fitted with a 120-150hp Model M Van Blerck 6 cylinder petrol engine (not a straight-eight Packard as is often said). Paikea had Chas. Collings’ “concave-convex” type of hard chine design which he made famous with his various Fleetwings and whale-chasers. Indeed she was a refinement of the Fleetwing whose image appears in the Collings & Bell section of WW. She was good for 20 knots and can still do it with her present big Iveco/Fiat, as Harold experienced at Sandspit. He commented the she goes like hell and stable with it.Alf Court sold her to Hec Marler in 1925 and he sold her to R B & S S Wilson  just pre-WW2. She was in NAPS during WW2 as Z17.
 
You can view more photos of her here

Caroma / W1

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Caroma / W1
 

Recently I was contacted by Peter Grant who had just discovered the story of W1 on waitematawoodys and remembered he was involved in a pre-purchase inspection of her in November 2000 for a client. The client did not purchase the vessel as it was deemed not suitable, but Peter dug out the old report which included the photos of her above, as she was then lying alongside the Panmure River.

 

Below is a photo of the 70′ vessel as she is today, post a wonderful restoration to return her to a style that while not matching her early day war time look, certainly turns a few heads on the Waitemata when she zips past at 22 knots. WW links to the restoration below:
 
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