Restoring the Machinery of the TOROA

Posted by on 20 September 2013 | Comments

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Notes by Don Bradshaw - Feb 2010 

Reversing Engine

The steam reversing engine for the main engine has been removed, dismantled, cleaned out and re-assembled. The steam cylinder cladding was badly corroded so new cladding was made from sheet copper. The unit was then replaced on the main engine, the valves were set and the steam cylinder painted.


Don Bradshaw and the reversing engine with its new copper cylinder cladding. Don Henwood photo

Generating Engine

This small steam engine originally fitted to the Toroa was one of two steam plants generating 110v DC for the vessel's lighting, navigation lights and radio, and to operate the electric alarms between the wheelhouses and the engine room. Towards the end of the vessel's operating life, rotary inverters were fitted to produce 230v AC. 

The engine was returned to the restoration yard in a most horrible condition—it had obviously been kept outdoors and uncovered. When we stripped the engine down we took out more than a litre of rust and snail bodies and their droppings!  The piston and valve rods were badly corroded, also the pump body. New rods and pump body were machined by Viv Hayes, and restoration work was completed in time for the 2010 Toroa Open Day.

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Don Bradshaw is the archetypal Scottish Marine Engineer (born at Greenock on the Clyde) with a vast store of practical and theoretical knowledge which he imparts via a very dry sense of humour. He and Viv Hayes are carrying out much machining and other engineering work in rebuilding Toroa’s triple-expansion steam engine and its pumps and auxiliary devices.


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Don Bradshaw and helpers with the restored steam generating engine. Photo: Don Henwood