Author Topic: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug  (Read 4858 times)

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sea monkey

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Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« on: September 21, 2016, 00:27:12 »
When I showed my wife my last tug model she asked the two questions we all dread:
How much did it cost? and where is it going to go?
Well, she’ll never get to know the cost of making a model – that could be a real deal breaker, it even makes my eyes water to think how much they really cost to build. But she did have a point about filling the house with model boats.
To try and slip my next project past her I would need a pretty special boat.
And I think this one will do it – it’s small enough to fit in her handbag – and cute.
In fact, when it was launched, local papers described it as ‘a handsome little vessel’ and ‘one of the finest little vessels ever built in New Zealand’.
It also ticks a few boxes for me: nice lines, wooden hull, teak deck, no winch, lots of polished timber – and it’s white! Not too many white tugs around.
Plus it has bilge keels (which I’ve never done before), canvas flying bridge and a funnel that looks like it’s come off a passenger liner. All good so far.
The Hikurangi was designed in Wellington by Athol Burns for the Gisborne Harbour Board and built in 1961 by Miller & Tonnage in Dunedin. Athol Burns designed many classic local work boats (tugs, launches and trawlers), many of which are still in service.
Gisborne is a small port on the far east of NZ and is the sort of town that you go to for summer holidays. It’s a relaxed little town with great beaches and the best weather in the country.
From these press clippings it looks like the Hikurangi had a pretty good life there – taking school kids for rides, being used as the starting point for swimming races and the odd bit of harbour work.
My version will be a 1/50 version of the boat as it was in the early 60s. At 1/50 it is only 335mm long – tiny – she’ll never notice it.

model tugman

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 02:28:11 »
Oh I like the look of her very classic, do you have plans of her?
Tugs are for life      George B

Aucklander

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2016, 11:45:01 »
I knew Athol Burns very well and used to call on him whenever I passed through Wellington. I owned two boats that he designed and commissioned him to design a 40' motor sailer which was possibly he last ship he designed. His boats were generally very heavy construction: You would have to sail in Cook Strait to realise how tough and nasty it can be in NZ's southern waters. I was told by many that the Burns designed boats were always the last boats in and the first boats out when the going was tough.Such was the confidence the crews had in his designs.
I have attached his obituary which will sketch in some background and will post other things of interest.

sea monkey

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 13:21:01 »
Yes George, she is 'a most handsome little vessel'. They don't make them like that any more.
I started out with the designer's initial sketch, which isn't exactly as built, and as usual as soon as I'd planked the hull I found out that a GA existed and I could probably get hold of it. The current owner is out of the country for a while so hopefully I can get a copy when he returns.
Russell: Great insight into Athol Burns being prone to seasickness, that may be why his boat were so solid. A few of his boats are still in the Marlborough Sounds and as solid as the day they were built. They handle the Strait weather and the Sounds' chop  very well. Do you know if the Glenmore and Toaroa mailboats were his designs?
Do you have any photos of your Burns boats?
And do you know anything about the Hikurangi?
Steve

VANYA

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 19:55:06 »
Steve,

Its great that you are interested in the designer as much as the craft itself. Many tugs are just designed in an office, the designer unknown but lucky here we can go beyond just the vessel, the designer being as interesting as the boat.

Happy to help with the photo shoot on the actual vessel, its a great vessel.

HB

VANYA

sea monkey

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2016, 02:35:25 »
Turning into a team effort!
For any non New Zealanders reading, Russell (Aucklander) is pretty much the expert on New Zealand tugs and workboats. He knows everything you need to know.
Vanya has been able to visit the Hikurangi where it is currently laid up in Dunedin and has taken a lot of reference photos for me. Very helpful but it has highlighted a few changes to the 'as built' layout, and some of the more quirky features. A few things have changed over the past 50 years use.
The aft towing bitt is a good example of one of the peculiarities of the real boat.
The bulwarks/gunwales have no struts/supports and are an extension of the hull triple planking. Might be difficult to have a smooth interior finish and still have the side walls strong enough and able to be glued securely into position.

russellward

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 19:59:55 »
Hi! This is Aucklander in my older alter ego for which I have found my log on-feels better not to be a newbie and to be a more senior and a site supporter. Here are some pix of the Albatross V -ne J R Harland. Designed by Athol Burns and I watched her being built at Miller and Tunnage Port Chalmers. You wouldn't believe the huge baulks of Kauri going into her. Must have been '68.
Here are pix of the Albatross V out of the water -simlar to Hikurangi but with 10' extra length to draw the lines out a bit and fitted with a Kort nozzle.
Also one of her at launch as the  J R Harland

russellward

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2016, 20:02:18 »
Whoops! Here are the pix of the Albatross V on the hard

russellward

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2016, 20:08:21 »
And some pix of Hikurangi in Dunedin. She is alongside Arataki the second to last of our YTLs and then about to be knackered. Long gone now.
Sad. We've one left of our own and there is another Australian made one masquerading as a fishing trawler over here.

russellward

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2016, 22:49:20 »
They had to be quite burdensome hulls -Hikurangi was rather bathtub-like in the fwd sections as i recall. They had a 500hp Lister Blackstone down below. Regrettably Hikurangi's engine was covered with a tarp when I went below to pay my respects.
She did sound nice when she was working......

sea monkey

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2016, 23:17:16 »
Thanks Russell. The photos of the Albatross out of water will be a great help with the hull details.
I started the project by drawing up the hull and profile based on the designer's sketch and a fair amount of guesswork. Luckily it turned out not too different from Russell's photo, although it's much easier getting all of the research/reference material before you start – doh!.
I have since found out that the current owner has a GA/plan. I'm reluctant to get a copy as it might send me back to the drawing board – so, full steam ahead.
Once I was happy with the lines I transferred them into a form that I could use to laser cut the keel, hull frames, deck and superstructure. If you've seen any of my previous builds this followed the same process.
The hull frames and keel were cut from 3.6mm ply and the deck and superstructure from 1.5mm birch ply. This way I end up with almost a semi kit that slots together. Takes a bit of time on the computer to draw it up but I quite like the 'figuring it out' part.  Very accurate, and easy to flip or mirror image components as well.
By adjusting the laser power ( the blue lines were half power) I was able to get the planking lines etched into the ply. The burnt edges will look like caulking when the deck is stained, and the etching will look like planking in the wheelhouse when painted.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 23:24:25 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2016, 23:21:53 »
But first the hull needs to be planked.
The hull frames and keel slotted together pretty easily and the the fun began.
Purists look away now...

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2016, 17:53:00 »
When I showed my wife my last tug model she asked the two questions we all dread:
How much did it cost? and where is it going to go?
Well, she’ll never get to know the cost of making a model – that could be a real deal breaker, it even makes my eyes water to think how much they really cost to build. But she did have a point about filling the house with model boats.
To try and slip my next project past her I would need a pretty special boat.
And I think this one will do it – it’s small enough to fit in her handbag – and cute.
In fact, when it was launched, local papers described it as ‘a handsome little vessel’ and ‘one of the finest little vessels ever built in New Zealand’.
It also ticks a few boxes for me: nice lines, wooden hull, teak deck, no winch, lots of polished timber – and it’s white! Not too many white tugs around.
Plus it has bilge keels (which I’ve never done before), canvas flying bridge and a funnel that looks like it’s come off a passenger liner. All good so far.
The Hikurangi was designed in Wellington by Athol Burns for the Gisborne Harbour Board and built in 1961 by Miller & Tonnage in Dunedin. Athol Burns designed many classic local work boats (tugs, launches and trawlers), many of which are still in service.
Gisborne is a small port on the far east of NZ and is the sort of town that you go to for summer holidays. It’s a relaxed little town with great beaches and the best weather in the country.
From these press clippings it looks like the Hikurangi had a pretty good life there – taking school kids for rides, being used as the starting point for swimming races and the odd bit of harbour work.
My version will be a 1/50 version of the boat as it was in the early 60s. At 1/50 it is only 335mm long – tiny – she’ll never notice it.

I like the look of the "little" boat too, though she doesn't look all that little to me. What is her length?  Looks to be 75' or more.

sea monkey

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2016, 18:28:59 »
OK it's safe to look now but not too closely. The planking will all be painted so it will hide all of the blemishes. A few sessions of filler and sanding will sort it out.
The real deck is teak and the best way to replicate this is with a light stain/wash of very diluted paint. This way the grain of the timber and the laser etch lines show through. I decided to finish the deck and then mask it off for the rest of the build. I didn't want to get any glue or paint on the raw deck wood as I'd never be able to clean it off once the bulwarks were attached.
The teak colour turned out OK. Now it's all masked and we won't see it again for a while.
Arlyn: It's 55 feet LOA.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 19:01:45 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

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Re: Hikurangi – Classic 1960s Wooden Tug
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2016, 18:42:21 »
Next step was adding the bulwarks. On the real boat they are an extension of the hull triple planking and don't have any struts or supports. Usually the supports give the bulwarks a lot of strength and make it easier to glue them into place.
To replicate the smooth inside edge of the the bulwarks I would have to make the whole lot one piece – and strong enough that it could take a few knocks or be used to pick the boat up.
Luckily I had given this some thought beforehand and I had drawn up a jig that was laser cut with the rest of the components. This saved a lot of headaches later.
The jig fitted onto the deck perfectly (double sided tape) and I used the old 'thin cardboard wrapped around the curve' trick to get the basic shape of the bulwark. This was taped in place and then a pencil traced the top and bottom of the bulwarks shape.