SS TOROA - 2001 to 2008

Posted by on 20 September 2013 | Comments


7 May 2001
Resource consent granted by Waitakere City Council to establish Toroa on land at Selwood Road, Henderson.

9 November 2001
Toroa slipped at Orams Marine on the ex-AHB 600-ton slip at Beaumont Street and fitted with purpose-built steel-wheeled undercarriages to the underside of the keel and two cradles so she can be hauled up the Selwood Rd ramp -- all part of an ingenious system designed by Chris Knight and implemented by Ted Scott with assistance from TPS members.

historic ferry sails into refit news article

Auckland City Harbour News, November 16, 2001

2001 15 November        
Toroa re-launched complete with cradles and berthed alongside the jetty at Orams Marine.

Toroa relaunch

Toroa fitted with steel bilge cradles to prepare her for hauling ashore at Selwood Rd. Steel trolleys, with wheels borrowed from Fletcher Cranes, are about to be fitted under the cradles and the keel for the later brief journey up the ramp on Henderson Creek.

Photo:  Toroa Collection

2001 17 November
Toroa towed up the Harbour and up Henderson Creek by two tugs and hauled out on an improvised slip ready to be moved onto the land site for hull restoration.  The boat ramp at the water’s edge had been strengthened by steel plates and a 12-ton deadman installed in the roadway to provide a towing point to winch the ferry up onto the ramp from the water -- at high water springs the forefoot just reached the bottom of the ramp.

Toroa being hauled out at Henderson Creek sml

Photo:  Toroa Collection

 22 November 2001      
Jacking of the boat 1 metre above the ramp by Tranzcarr Heavy Haulage, to be able to back their trailer underneath.

24 – 25 November 2001
Toroa moved onto to the Radio NZ hardstand beneath the radio masts. (It was from one of these these masts and the art-deco radio station in Selwood Rd that Toroa received the 1YA broadcasts in 1930.)

Toroa lowered again onto TranzCarr Heavy Haulage Ltd’s 112-wheeled trailer.  The trailer was towed by 4 trucks (2000 hp in total) off the ramp and half a kilometre up Selwood Road to the hardstand area on the Radio New Zealand land. The move took 8 hours to complete.

Toroa moved onto dry land

Two tractors only at the top of Selwood Road -- four were required on the steeper stretches.                                                                                  Photo:  Toroa Collection

2002 11 February 
Toroa lowered onto concrete plinths and levelled up in preparation for restoring the hull.
All in all, a triumph of Kiwi nautical & civil engineering and ingenuity. This work was assisted by funding from the Chisholm Whitney Family Trust.

Toroa is lowered onto concrete plinths
Photo:  Toroa Collection

Restoration site infrastructure established: security fence; power & water; workshops; site office; storage facilities; staffroom.

Measurement and draughting of the hull:  A painstaking exercise required for both statutory design approval -- out of survey since 1980, the Toroa must comply with Maritime NZ requirements as a new vessel -- and to record the arrangement and structure of the hull as a prime heritage conservation responsibility. Lines taken off by Peter McCurdy and Colin Brown; measurement & draughting of every element of the hull by Peter McCurdy; converted to CAD by George Smith. This work and the conservation plan were funded by a grant from the Scottwood Group.

MEASURI3rTaking off the lines of the Toroa's hull: marking stations and waterlines on the planking with the aid of a rotating laser level mounted on a scaffold pole. (The dayglo marks indicate the general area -- the markings are much more precise.) Photo:  P.J. McCurdy, Toroa Collection

Toroas engine, boiler and condenser lifted out of the hull and housed separately on site for restoration and to gain access to the steel frames and bulkheads.

Lifting out fiddley2Lifting off the steel fiddley and funnel base from the promenade deck                 Photo:  Edmo, Toroa Collection

Toroa engine lift 001Followed by the triple-expansion engine           Photo:  P.J. McCurdy, Toroa Collection

Toroa Conservation Plan prepared by Peter McCurdy of Maritime Heritage Preservation & Design. This conservation plan provides the philosophical and practical basis for decision making in the restoration of the Toroa, and also establishes the heritage credentials of the Toroa Preservation Society for funding agencies and sponsors.

13 tons of steel bulb angle for new hull frames -- ribs -- purchased from Dent Steel in Yorkshire, with the assistance of a grant from TTCF Waitakere Licensing Trust. An extensive search had eventually found that Dents were able to extrude new 120 x 75 bulb angle; the only other bulb angle located was in Austin Texas and much too big. The original frames were from 5" x 3" rolled bulb angle.



Successful grant applications made to the Lottery Grants Board and the ASB Community Trust to fund the first stage of renewal of the steel framing of the hull. Steelwright Andrew Macbeth of ADM Contractors of Henderson begins the repair and replacement of steel framing and bulkheads in the boiler and engine rooms, under contract to the TPS. Supervision and supplementary design by Peter McCurdy; Survey for compliance with the Maritime Regulations by Neil Hayter in association with Dunsford Marine; design & stability certification by John Harrhy.