Author Topic: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug  (Read 6723 times)

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sea monkey

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The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« on: January 25, 2019, 11:51:43 »
I finished my last project 2 weeks ago and there have been no new posts on the site since then – so rather than grizzle about the lack of action (again),  I'll fill the void.

Some-one's got to do it – might as well be me.

So... no prizes for guessing where this next tug comes from.

Yes, it’s another NZ harbour tug, and this time it’s the little Tika from Auckland. 1/50, display.

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand. It has more than double the number of people than the next two cities put together – although it never seems to be able to find 15 decent players to put in its provincial rugby team. It also seems to have more than its fair share of tossers, and politicians.

It even has double the normal amount of harbours per city. It is built on a narrow ithsmus and has a harbour on each side. Greedy bastards!

The Waitemata Harbour on the east coast/Pacific/Hauraki Gulf side is the biggest and busiest port in the country, and is served by 5 or 6 tug companies. The Port of Auckland’s (POA) tugs are state of the art ASD docking tugs. I’m reluctant to admit it but their harbour is even more beautiful than my home town, and I’ve caught many good sized schnapper on it.

The Manakau Harbour on the west coast/Tasman Sea side is the 8th largest natural harbour in the world (the 7th, Kaipara Harbour, 947km2, is just up the coast). The harbour mouth is only 1800m wide, but after a 9k channel it opens up into a roughly square basin 20k across, with a water surface area of 394km2, and a 4m tide.

Many sites on the internet wrongly tout Poole (UK, a miserable 36km2 – yes – 36!), Cork (Ireland, a Poole size puddle) and Sydney (just a creek at 55km2) as the largest harbours but actually San Fransisco, Tokyo and Rio are duking it out for top spot. Depends on the difference between a harbour and a bay: Protected on 3 or 4 sides? Poole, Cork and Sydney don’t even make the top 10 in surface area.

Despite its huge size the Manakau gets very little traffic due to its shallow depth and treachorous bar – the site of NZ’s worst maritime disaster – the loss of the Orpheus in 1863, when 189 seamen died.  To reach Auckland via the safer east coast was an extra few day’s sailing from Australia so Manakau was quite busy until the Orpheus disaster. The only POA facilities on the Manakau now, are a few small wharves for servicing coastal trawlers, and the cement transporters that travel up the west coast from the cement works in Westport.  The only tug on this huge harbour was the little TIKA, which was there to handle the cement ships.

tugboyben

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 13:27:24 »
Evening sea monkey

I for one all ways look forward to seeing your work
Please keep posting  :)

Jason
kirkleesmodelboatclub

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 17:04:39 »
Thanks Jason.

Tika was built by Whangarei Engineering and Construction Ltd (WECO) in 1971 for the Auckland Harbour Board, and measures just 16.76m x 5.3m x 2.4m, has an 8 ton bollard pull, twin screws and is powered by two 365hp Caterpillar D343 TA 6 cylinder turbo-charged diesels. A pretty conventional set up considering many of WECO’s tugs from around this time were Voith drives, like the Kupe and Maui (also built in 1971). WECO built quite a few tugs during the 70s and 80s. Two of my projects have been WECO tugs: the Kupe and Te  Matua. . My next 2 projects after the Tika will also be WECO tugs: the Maui, and the Te Matua (1986), again. WECO had tugs in most NZ ports and they are what I associate with a ‘classic’ NZ tug look – especially the Kupe class. The Kupe is a personal favourite – my son got to drive it when he was 5.

WECO are still making some pretty good tugs but it’s hard to compete with the Allen/Sanmar and Damen yards.


sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 17:12:12 »
Tika served in the main Auckland port (Waitemata) until moving across to light duties on the Manakau in 2001. She had a relatively stress free working life other than one really bad afternoon in 1982. She was assisting the 1433 ton freighter Shereen move from her berth to the mid-harbour position, and was about to release the line when the Shereen started to pick up speed. The Tika’s emergency tow release failed to function and the tug was pulled over and capsized. The deckhand made it but Tika’s skipper, since she had been launched in 1971, was trapped in the wheelhouse, and drowned.

A couple of years ago the cement company got a bigger boat that couldn’t use the Manakau facilities and Tika was put out to pasture. Last year while it was waiting for sale I was able to get onboard and take lots of photos.  POA were very helpful and also gave me hull lines and GAs. Much more friendly and helpful than some of the much smaller provincial port companies.

Capt.Towline

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 02:35:02 »
Enjoyed the background intro...now looking forward to the build. 1971 was a good year indeed 🎂

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2019, 16:39:29 »
Thanks Capt.

So here we go...

Tika is tiny and has nice lines – it’s a straightforward design and shouldn’t present too many problems in construction: Hard chine, no winch, basic deck equipment and simple window frames. Plus – painting should be a breeze – it’s all one colour from the neck down. Yahoo!

A lot of you will know my MO by now –  ribs and keel 3.6mm laser cut; superstructure, deck, bulwark knees and funnel frame 1.5mm. All of the components fitted onto an A3 sheet ply.

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 16:44:07 »
These all slot together pretty easily and quickly, with a bit of internal bracing, and the deck keeping everything square.

Fitting and glueing these bits together only took about 2 hours. The laser cut part take all of the guesswork and time out of this part of the build.

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2019, 16:45:01 »
All good so far...

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 21:45:22 »
After that smooth start I had assumed that the hard chine hull would be pretty straightforward. You know about assumptions – make an *bottom* out of u & me. Well just me this time.

I made a real pig's ear of skinning up the hull. So much so that I can't bring myself to show you the progress photos. They are more of a 'how not to'.

I really should use stringers to keep the chine edges sharp and smooth. Not rushing things would also be a good idea. Next time!

I wasn't happy with the state of the Parakaki hull about the same time last year and I was able to rework and salvage that, so not all is lost – yet.

Here's the progress so far. It'll need plenty of fill and sand sessions. This is after the first session with the 120 grit.

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 21:48:38 »
I'm on a time limit with this project – I need to finish it by the end of April. I'll have to try and keep things moving without rushing and making errors that will take time to fix.
As you can see – plenty of work to do yet.

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 21:41:27 »
Geez – I had to brush the tumbleweeds off the site when I logged in – it's a ghost town.

Anyway, I've been doing a little remedial work on the hull between sessions working on the gunwales. I'm not sure if it is gradually improving or if I'm just getting used to it.

I decided to attach the gunwales so that I could get a better idea of how the hull looks now and how it should look.

The gunwales went on by my usual method: laser cut bulwark knees and ply bulwarks.

The knees are positioned in pre-cut slots in the deck and squared up with a piece of lego (they are pretty much perfectly all square).

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2019, 21:45:10 »
I wrap a piece of  thin card around the hull/knees to make a pattern for the bulwarks.  This is used to cut the bulwark ply, then they are attached. I make sure that bias of the ply works for the curves. The curved sections at the stern are 2 layers of 0.8mm ply. Plenty of clamps to hold everything in place as you don't get a second chance with this.

I try and ensure that the base of the bulwarks fit a best as possible to the line/shear of the deck so that the glue holds well. The top of the ply sits a bit higher than the knees at the moment but I can sand it down to correct height later.

The hull is surprisingly strong and can take some rough handling. Just as well because it's going to get a good seeing to with the 120 grit over the next few days.

Capt.Towline

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2019, 02:12:21 »
Does the second layer of ply need to be slightly bigger on the curved sections or can you get away with it and fill any gaps afterwards?

Coming along nicely!

sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2019, 23:45:39 »
Thanks Cap. 

Yes,the second layer needs to be slightly longer to account for the curves, but as the ply is really thin the extra length is minimal – only 1-2mm at this size. I'm not too concerned with gaps. I try to offset the ply spot any gaps are only with one layer and easily filled without effecting the structural strength.

Here's where I'm at at the moment. The bulwarks/gunwales are done and I added the capping rail – then decided that it just didn't look right – and removed it.




sea monkey

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Re: The Tika – 1971 Auckland Harbour Tug
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2019, 23:46:39 »
I've been slowly and steadily reworking (sanding/filling) the hull. It's a very slow process and hard to gauge progress – I'm not happy yet...