Author Topic: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea  (Read 7337 times)

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sea monkey

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Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« on: March 19, 2018, 14:02:51 »
The sad lack of action on the forum has forced me into action. We have a great resource here and if we don't use, we'll lose it.

So I'll try to spark a bit of interest with my new project – the 1905 steam tug Kumea.

There isn't a great deal of information about the Kumea – just one old photo and not much else. Built in Britain in 1905 she spent a lot of time in Wanganui in New Zealand's North Island.

There aren't many navigable rivers in NZ, they are all either to swift, too shallow or don't go inland far enough. The Wangaui is one the few that is navigable for a long way upstream, and has a port a mile or two from the mouth of the river. The entrance to the river can be quite dangerous and the tugs had a busy time. Quite a few ships had a tough time trying to get in there – the Port Bowen being one of the largest to come to grief. The Harbour Board had its own dredge and the entrance was continually being dredged but it didn't prevent regular disasters. The port isn't used much these days but up until the 1960s it was a busy little provincial port.

The Kumea was stationed here and eventually broken up in the 50s. The only photo shows her steaming down the river in the mid 30s. It is from Russell Ward's site: tugboats.co.nz. I can't visit that site without finding another tug that needs to be built.

So… not much to go on. I can sort out the hull based on typical British tug hulls from that era. From the photo, I'm guessing around 85ft LOA, steel hull, wooden wheelhouse.

In fact pretty much everything will be guesswork – even the colours. Wanganui's provincial rugby colours are royal blue and black hoops (the 'butcher boys' win the 2nd division on a regular basis and always turn down promotion) so that's the funnel sorted. The hull is obviously not black and at the moment it's looking very Union Castle lilac, from this angle. What do you reckon, George? Wanganui port is in the suburb of Castlecliff so that's close enough for me.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 12:57:08 by sea monkey »

model tugman

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 06:21:10 »
Hi Steve not been on lately as we have been away on holidays, and Insteer clear of the internet if poss.but back now for a while and will be building again , I like the idea of the Union Castle hull colours, they certainly get people asking questions at the lake.  Geo.
Tugs are for life      George B

VANYA

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 22:31:16 »
Hi Steve,

Had a message from Russell Ward this afternoon asking if I want to accompany him on a steamboat trip up the Wanganui in his steamer Romany in April.
Going by this it might be a grand plan but might need to take my spares and weapons to fend off the natives up in those parts.

Not sure if I can call it a business trip though.

Hope you can make the lines drawings into something that would take a miniature steam boiler and engine. I have a 5" dia pendle boiler sitting about with no where to go.

Looking forward to the build.

You know much about the Otago tug "Plucky"

Hayden
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sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 12:08:51 »
Good to see you back George. All rested and ready for another project, after your holiday?

Hayden: Sounds like a fun trip. Beware of the lure of the Arapaho Pub on the city side of the river. That was always the start of a slippery slope in my old rowing days. How far upstream are you planning on going. Should be able to get to Taumarunui in 2-3 days. The old river steamers had the first night at Pipiriki, the second at 'the Houseboat'  and then onto Taumarunui.
Take plenty of the local Tui's because you won't want to drink the water – maybe that my downfall at the Aramaho.

No, I don't know anything about the Plucky, other than it was in Otago around the turn of the century.

sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 12:29:05 »
Hayden: Any info on old tow hooks will be appreciated. There is online reference for 1880 and after 1910 shows  quite a development but I'm not sure if 1900 was different.

Found these drawings for the Mana from Timaru, the other day. Would make a great subject. I have the old Titan on my wish list. I think she preceded the Mana. Do you still have any drawings of the Titan?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 12:30:53 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 15:19:36 »
OK, time to get started.

Anyone who has seen any of my previous builds will know the drill by now.

I began by adapting a plan of the 1900 steam tug Flying Foam down to the dimensions I figured to be equal to the Kumea.This was then turned into a vector file for a set of ribs, keel, deck and basic superstructure components to be laser cut. The ribs and keel are 3.6mm meranti, and the deck and superstructure parts are 1.5mm birch. The 1.5mm ply in the photo still has the backing paper attached. This holds all of the pieces in place as it is being lasered. It peels of very easily and lives no residue.

After a quick scrub to remove any laser dust/ash, the pieces slot together very simply and quickly. All glued together with CA and plenty of bracing to keep everything square and straight. Used 2 complete 3mL tubes of glue on the hull so far, so none of the pieces are ever going to move. Luckily the CA glue is very inexpensive.

Drawing up the plans and parts takes about 3-4 evenings, assembling the hull carcase takes only a couple of hours.
The bracing might be a bit over the top but I've had hulls warp and twist at this stage so now I over-compensate just to be on the safe side. Plus I'm working in a very sunny room and that doesn't help with any warping.

So far so good. Next step… planking.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 02:25:16 by sea monkey »

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 23:31:55 »
I will look at the tug book tonight and before the sun comes up in the morning.ZZZ

The Titan would be a great subject, it was shared around the port on New Zealand and including Port or Melbourne, Aust. I have some accounts for its voyage out here too.

Just working on my Vic Smeed Moonmist and then the Bustler to get those half started projects out of the way. Did I mention the half built Springer tug and the half built Port of Rotterdam RPA21. Oh dear...forgot the half built Seatow 25 and barge too.

HB



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sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 02:30:25 »
Ah ha! You can use the same paint for the Seatow and the Port of Rotterdam tug.
Good thinking, Batman!

Think of them as 'half finished' and you're almost there.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 02:16:07 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 02:14:51 »
Before I get stuck into the planking I needed to pack out the bow and stern with some balsa blocks.

The planking is pretty straightforward and shouldn't cause too many problems but the curves in these areas are quite tight and complex, so the more surface area for the planks to be glued onto, the better.

The packing only needs a rough sand – it'll all be covered eventually.

The timbered sections of the deck were stained as well, and they'll be covered in masking tape for the duration. so I don't spill any glue or paint onto the stained areas. The decking lines are laser etched into the ply. The stain highlights the etched lines, paint would cover and hide them. Not sure about the colour at the moment – might be a little light.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 02:24:17 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 02:20:28 »
And so it begins...

sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 12:47:21 »
I laid out the first plank and found that one of the frames needed a little remedial work to smooth out the curves. A thin strip of ply to pack it out and then sanded back did the trick. The rest of the frames were sorted out with a light sand to fair them out. Then the first plank could be relaid and both side looked pretty even and symmetrical.

My planking is pretty messy compared to many of the fine examples on the forum. Mine are more swiss cheese than watertight. I tend to see planking as a means to an end, and rely on filling and sanding a little too heavily. I usually use balsa but after seeing some of the fine examples here I might try using Lime/Basswood for my next attempt. Unfortunately it is about 4 times the cost over here so I may need to tidy up my technique.

Anyway, I'll spare you the gory details of my hamfisted planking progress, and skip ahead a few days to something looking more like a hull.

sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 12:50:25 »
... and with coat of resin.
Then the prime, sand and filler sessions can begin.

model tugman

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2018, 22:46:33 »
Crikey Steve you are quicker than me, very nice job again matey.👍👍👍👍👍☕️☕️
Tugs are for life      George B

VANYA

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 01:13:01 »
Thats nice, really nice!
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sea monkey

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Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2018, 21:43:07 »
Not yet, George, although I would have been a lot faster if I hadn't kept glueing my fingers to the planking.

Thanks Hayden.

Early days yet. I usually need to repeat the fill/sand/prime process many times. Hopefully I'll have something I'm happy with in another week or so. Whenever I see a model boat my first instinct is to check out the hull. The detail topside is fine but, for me, the real work is in the hull. Getting rid of any bumps, dips, funny curves or flat spots might take ages but It's something I'm very fussy about. I can spend days on it, I think I had 8 sessions on my last build. Being obsessive is just part of modelling, I guess.  Besides, it beats gardening.

Regular viewers will notice that I've managed my usual trick of snapping of the rudder post. Not such a disaster this time as I couldn't get the prop shaft in with it there. Had not thought that part out too well.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 21:52:07 by sea monkey »