Jun 10, 2008

The 1909 Steam Dredge Te Whaka photographed in late 1975

Built by Ferguson Brothers, Port Glasgow for the Lyttelton Harbour Board and steamed out to Lyttelton via the Suez Canal, Colombo, Djakarta, Fremantle and Melbourne.

The 324 ton Te Whaka was also equipped for towing when the 1907 tug Lyttelton was not available. Chartered in 1919 to deepen berths at Nelson. Steam steering gear fitted from whale chaser Star III in 1928.

Fitted with electric light and extra cabins built forward in 1948 for a trip to Wanganui. The original Scotch boiler was replaced in December 1965 with a slightly smaller one from the Greymouth tug Kumea. The original steam driven grab crane was also replaced that year, this time by a Priestman diesel crane.

The vessel was laid up from 1987 until 1993, when she was bought by the Te Whaka Maritime Heritage Trust and towed to Dunedin in March 1994. The intention is to convert the 126 foot vessel to a passenger carrying steamer for excursions on Otago Harbour.

Te Whaka at Lyttelton, 1910.


Anonymous said...

Reported in ODT 20/9/12 that vessel had been onsold, and was now on the Dunedin slipway awaiting demolition by Everitt Enterprises.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly I can confirm the above message to be true, and at the time of writing, scrapping was well underway, with all superstructure removed, stern and bow cut off, about half the hull remains intact. An incredulous contradiction and a travesty that this should have happened, as a steam festival was held in Dunedin to mark the 100th anniversay of the TSS Earnslaw during this period, and Dunedin steam heritage, (18-22 October 2012) while this old girl was put into her death throes.
Paul Jeffery,