Author Topic: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien  (Read 14851 times)

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sea monkey

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WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« on: December 07, 2016, 12:22:59 »
I have a couple of weeks before the last parts for my Hikurangi tug arrive so I知 starting another project to work on at the same time. This one may be of interest to some of you.

During the Pacific war 30 YTL tugs were built for the US Navy by various yards in Auckland, New Zealand. They were a 75 YTLs and 41 YTL Sea Mules. Most saw service in Pacific. 17 were built by Steel Ships Ltd in Mechanics Bay, Auckland and 3 75 YTLs were under construction when the US Navy cancelled the contract towards the end of the war. All 3 were stamped with their YTL numbers on the bow.



sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 12:32:37 »
YTL622 was completed in August 45 and delivered to the USN but did not leave Auckland. It was given to the NZ Marine Department for disposal and was used for harbour work servicing the large fleet of laid up surplus vessels in Auckland痴 Waitemata Harbour. Tug 622, as it was known, finished this work in late 1946 and was handed over to the Royal New Zealand Navy, in October 48 being renamed Manawanui (brave hearted). After many years service as a dive tender she ended up in a maritime museum (1979) but sprung a pinhole leak under the keel about 5 years ago. The current owner of 625 tells me that the leak was not terminal and could have been easily fixed but a decision was made to scrap it.

YTL627 was 40% completed when the contract was cancelled and lay rusting until 46-47 when it was launched incomplete and towed to the RNZN depot at Devonport for completion. It was named  HMNZS Arataki (to tow or lead) and was used around the naval base for many years, with a civilian crew.
After leaving naval service 627 changed hands a few times and eventually fell into serious disrepair in Dunedin. It was stripped and finally scrapped after being laid up for many years. Some of its parts were used to repair 625.

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 12:34:07 »
The other YTLs built in Auckland ended up scattered around the Pacific Islands after the war, surplus to peace time requirements and donated by the USN to local territories.

Only one of these fine little vessels (YTL625) lives on.

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2016, 12:37:23 »
In 1946 YTL625 was launched and passed on the RNZN, renamed Kawatiri and then handed over to the Marine Department for distribution to one of the smaller regional ports the coal town of Westport on the west coast of the South Island. Kawatiri (deep and swift) is the original Maori name for the Buller River which flows through Westport
Just prior to the tug痴 arrival in Westport, the Minister of Transport, the Right Honourable James 腺riney O達rien (miner, engine driver and social reformer), who had organised the deal, and was also the local member of parliament for Westport, died.
YTL625/HMNZS Kawatiri was renamed in his honour.

She stayed in Westport for many years as a harbour tug and pilot boat. In those days coal was still important and Westport was a busy wee port with colliers heading all over the country. And any tug in a port at the mouth of a river with a bar gets plenty of work. Sold in the 94 to new owners who did a very poor job of trying to convert it to a trawler, before leaving it half ruined.
The current owner is a marine engineer but certainly has his work cut out to restore it.
Looking its age but still runs like a charm despite the previous owner痴 attempts. Takes a lickin but keeps on tickin.

The engine (Atlas diesel 320 shp) and electrical gear are quite basic even by 1945 standards.

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 12:47:05 »
Not sure where the original boat design came from but the GA is from the Commonwealth of Australia Dept of Munitions, Small Craft Director. The Aussie versions have a slightly different superstructure arrangement. The design is unlike any other YTLs, or any local commercial tugs of the period. They were designed so that they could be pre-fabricated in sections at various locations, and then assembled at the harbour.

Up until then New Zealand痴 tugs had all been built in the UK. The steel work needed during the war probably lead to the start-up of the local tug building industry that would have its heyday in the 70s-early 2000s, then the global cookie cutter tugs took over. Tugs are still made in NZ, and very good ones too, but they can稚 compete with the Damen and Allen yards in Vietnam and Turkey.

I知 hoping to build a 1/50 James O達rien.

The owner was happy for me to get on-board and get as many photographs as I need.
I致e followed PhilNZ痴 (from Nelson) fine build of his YTL625. He used a Microglass hull and the real boats have a hard chine hull. No plans unfortunately but a decent GA so I can probably bluff my way through.

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2016, 12:49:12 »
I知 not sure what colour scheme to go for.
A you don稚 get too many tugs with tiger camouflage. Would need modellers licence as it never enter USN service.
B Kawatiri in post war RNZN light grey, and it is a very light grey.
C As a pilot


sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 12:51:45 »
or D in civvies as JO達 as it was 1949 and is now.
Cast your vote now!

model tugman

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 22:55:51 »
What a very interesting article Steve, a very similar type of construction as the TIDs I suppose.
Tugs are for life      George B

VANYA

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 14:57:36 »
I like the Pilot version Steve.

It is almost as nice a colour as the Timaru Harbour Board green!😉
VANYA

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 18:04:06 »
Hayden: Thought you'd like that green.
George: Yes, similar in the simple lines and ease of construction but totally different design. The hulls are very different when you see them out of the water.

model tugman

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 03:27:45 »
Yes I see , if anything the TID looks a lot more complex, with less buoyancy aft.
I lik the raised Fore deck as well, thanks Steve. Geo.
Tugs are for life      George B

tugboyben

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 05:13:04 »
Hi Steve
Looking forward to seeing this build great project

Jason
kirkleesmodelboatclub

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2016, 13:58:55 »
Well the voting is neck and neck at the moment.

Anyway, I started the project by drawing up at the hull and superstructure components and had them laser cut. If you have seen any of my other builds they all follow the same process. The laser cut pieces arrive clean as true and slot together pretty easily.
I was able to knock up the hull and frames in about an hour the wonders of CA glue!

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2016, 14:00:56 »
Packed out the stern and bow sections with balsa blocks and sanded them to shape so that the ply would have something to form around and adhere to.

sea monkey

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Re: WWII USN YTL625 / James O達rien
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2016, 14:02:15 »
Then I skinned it up with 1mm birch ply. It's a very simple hull design and luckily it came together really quickly and problem free, no warps or twists.