SS TOROA - 1985 to 1995

Posted by on 20 September 2013 | Comments

1985 21 March   
A group of interested parties form the Toroa Preservation Society to save Toroa, the last of the double-ended steam ferries, from the ship breakers.

toroa bill of sale sml

1986 7 February   
New Zealand Maritime Trust purchases Toroa 

North Shore Ferries Limited, the owners of Toroa, sell the ferry to the New Zealand Maritime Trust for the sum of one dollar.                                      The Toroa Preservation Society takes possession of the ferry by way of a perpetually renewable lease  from the New Zealand Maritime Trust and her restoration begins.                         

toroa mooredPhoto: Toroa Collection

1988 1 August     
Toroa slipped at Marine Steel slipway for hull inspection and antifouling

After the inspection, members of the Toroa Preservation Society Inc. produce a thorough schedule of the restoration work needed on the ferry and, from that, a budget for the work. Interestingly enough, once the Toroa floated off the cradle after re-launching, no water was taken in at all.

1990 25 February          
At the order of the Ports of Auckland, Toroa moved from Westhaven to settle at the Birkenhead Wharf on the North Shore.  For the first time in 10 years the steam ferry Toroa traversed the waters of the Waitemata Harbour  With no power of her own, the Toroa was towed to her berth by the 54-year-old steam tug William C Daldy. The Toroa Preservation Society continue with her restoration.

Toroa and William C Daldy

Photo: NZ Herald, 26th February 1990

Toroa a Film Set for Shortland Street

Moored at Birkenhead Wharf, Toroa  becomes a set for South Pacific Picture Serials in the television series Shortland Street.

Ferro-Cement pontoons:  The Toroa Preservation Society  planned to build eight ferro-cement pontoons, employing Task Force Green workers, to raise the ferry out of the water and onto a 'dry dock'.  Planned to commence September 1995 and expected to cost about $120,000    much cheaper than carrying out the work hauled out on a slipway.