Steamboats at Hipango Park

Steamboats at Hipango Park 
Back in February Russell Ward was twisting my arm to join him and a group of steamboat enthusiasts on a trip on the Wanganui River for a meet up at Hipango Park. The park is only accessible by boat, and is a tranquil rest point for kayakers and people making a day trip in a boat up the Wanganui River. I can’t remember my excuse but I missed a great weekend in early March.

In the 2nd photo above we see three steamboats rafted up at the upper part just below the steamer Dancer, They are Romany, Janice and Gypsy –all 3 boats once owned or owned by Russell. Russell reports that Janice and Gypsy are now in the hands of devoted owners who obviously enjoy polishing brass and copper. Gypsy has infected more people with steam enginitas (as Pete Culler said “don’t go near it or you’re hooked” than any other boat 🙂

Russell had promised to pen some copy around the weekend, but life got in the way – so today is a photo essay. Photos ex: Russell Ward, Phil Pollero and Chris Rabey

READ MORE https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/08/04/why-you-should-hold-off-paying-your-classic-yacht-association-subscription/

SS Dancer

SS DANCER 
During the recent Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat show I spotted the steam boat – Dancer, her owner and builder John Olsen supplied the following details. 

Dancer is a 30 foot long steam launch, designed by Peter Sewell and built by John and his wife Diana. The engine is a compound twin, designed by A.A Leak and built by John. The boiler is a 3 drum type.designed by Andre Pointon. (Colonial Iron Works) and also built by John apart from welding by a certified welder. In the top photo, the tender on the Aft deck is a folding dinghy, called Kahikitea and mostly built from that timber.


Dancer is equipped for sleeping aboard, with a head compartment and blackwater tank, a small galley with gas cooker, sink, and fridge, and solar panels on the cabin top to provide electric power. The boiler is fired with diesel. Myself I like wood/coal fired but her diesel set up must make life a lot simpler, and we like that 🙂

TUI – Clinker Steam Boat

SS TUI – Kauri Clinker Steam Boat
It thought that Tui’s 15’ kauri clinker hull was built c.1920, then as part of her transformation to a steam boat the hull was restored where necessary and the exterior was fully clad in f/glass.For the steam boys I have reproduced the mechanical specs below from her tme listing (thanks Ian McDonald):

The boiler is of the Ofeldt type with a 6mm thick steel central drum and has 12 1/2″ copper coils surrounding it. The boiler is fast steaming, reliable and safe. Stainless steel cladding and stainless steel funnel. The steel firebox with adjustable dampers runs on char, coal and wood.

The 2hp engine is by Wayne Larsen and is single cylinder double acting 2.5″‘bore x 2.75″ stroke. It has a balanced crankshaft and semi balanced slide valve, with Stephenson’s reversing gear, twin boiler water pumps and a vacuum pump with exhaust steam passing through a feed water heater and keel condenser to the stainless steel hot well. The propeller is 14.5″ x 23″

An auxiliary boiler hand pump and is fitted with an electric water pump as a backup. A Stainless steel top-up water tank is in the transom with a stainless steel hot well placed just in front of the Boiler. A Steam bilge ejector is fitted for removal of any bilge water.

She is fitted with a Windermere Kettle to allow the crew to make a hot cup of tea/coffee on the run.

The Best of Colin Wild + Herreshoff Steam Launch

The Best of Colin Wild + Herreshoff Steam Launch
The top two photos of the Brooke families 1927 Colin Wild launch – Linda comes to us via Mitchell Hutchings fb ex the Williamson Family Collection. Linda at the time was moored at Herald Island.

The bottom photo I took today of Wirihana tucked up in Chris McMullen’s shed for her winter TLC. Wirihana is another of Wild’s big motorboats, built in 1933.


It was great to see that CMcM’s Herreshoff steam launch (below) is coming along – engine installed 🙂