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)

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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La Rosa, John Dory & Kelvin

La Rosa, John Dory & Kelvin
photo ex Baden Pascoe

The above photo was taken 2 weeks ago at Auckland’s Maritime Museum, La Rosa & John Dory had just returned from the CYA launch cruise to the Riverhead hotel & according to Baden Pascoe they all rafted up alongside Kelvin for afternoon tea, I suspect the word ‘tea’ covered a wide selection of beverages 😉

How lets see how clever you woodys are – these 3 vessels share one connection – who will the first to ID it. And it goes without saying that Ward House, Baden Pascoe & David (Davie) Jones are excluded 🙂

A.H.B. / KELVIN

A.H.B.  /  KELVIN

A.H.B. is 1907 Chas Bailey Jnr, 3 skin Kauri and 39ft., she was built for the Auckland Harbour Board hence her name A.H.B….Once she was sold out of their ownership she was renamed Kelvin and spent most of her life called that, her current owners, the Pollard brothers, we put her back to her original name.
Paperspast says she’s worked alongside Ferro in the early days, even receiving Ferro’s old engine at one stage. Also that she was leased to the police during night time hours for patrolling the harbour in 1911.
She was transferred to the Manukau and used by their harbour board for quite some time there before being sold off eventually.

The old stern on photo (supplied by Harold Kidd) is thought to be before or after the shot of the other old photo (ex Paperspast ) which caption says she was being returned to the Waitemata to be used in cray fishing industry 1933. Refer b/w photo/caption below.

Some info supplied by CYA member Baden Pascoe even has her fitted with two engines in the late 1940’s. Both shaft logs are still installed but plugged off.

She was also owned for a time by by boat builder Dave Jackson.

For a while she languished amongst the derelict boats down in Waikawa, then she was sold and steamed to Mana where she was forgotten and almost met her end via chainsaw before the Pollards rescued her, got her running / floating  and bought her  back to Auckland.

She’s powered by a D series Ford with a hydraulic box and is berthed at Panmure. She is mobile but she is a project boat requiring plenty of work and a loving owner to take her to the next step.

The Pollards boys – Andrew & Cameron have rescued more classic motor vessels than anyone I know, I have heard Harold Kidd say on numerous occasions “the their blood is with worth bottling”.
Like all of us, there are only so many toys you can fit in the box so A.H.B. is looking for a new owner / home – initially contact me on waitematawoodys@gmail.com

as always – click on any photo to enlarge 😉