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Major Upgrade to Northland’s Tall Ship

12 October 2011

Major Upgrade to Northland’s Tall Ship

The most ambitious maintenance programme ever in the life of the ship was completed on time and to budget this year under the watchful eye of Bosun Sam Meldrum. The ship’s crew worked long hours and most weekends to complete the project in a record 5.5 weeks.

With the ship reaching her mid-life at 25 years, Maritime New Zealand survey required the hull to be stripped back to original steel and completely repainted from scratch. While the ship was out of the water, the ship was also repowered with a brand new engine. The total cost of the refit completed this year was a staggering $125,000, the largest single maintenance project since the ship was launched in Mangawhai in 1986.

A generous donation from a local philanthropist funded much of the project, with Pub Charity providing funds of $23,360 for the new engine.

“We are extremely grateful to Pub Charity’s for their contribution for the new John Deere engine. Doing this at the same time as the haul out has made it substantially more cost effective and of course has made a massive difference to the performance of the ship. The old engine was starting to become quite unreliable as well as uneconomic and it was starting to be a cause for concern” commented Executive Trustee Jane Hindle. “We were extremely pleased when we checked the ballast under the floor plates to find that this was still in excellent condition, pretty much the same as when she was launched.”

The ship was taken down to Norsand shipyard in Whangarei for the refit, with some 4 hours being wiped off the return journey due to the engine repower.

In addition to the new coat of paint and engine, the head (toilet) got a major upgrade. The constant complaint from youngsters after a week at sea is about “Mr Pumpy”, the old faithful pump operated toilet. With an electric toilet and push button operation, a whole new generation of sail trainees will miss out on the traditional exercise of pumping the handle 15 times after each visit. A new vanity completes the refurbishment of the ship’s smallest room.


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