This is a brief update on recent activities at the Selwood Rd restoration site. We intend to post regular updates as well as the more formal Toroa Tales newsletter.

Steel deck beam replacement
We are back on track with this work after a delay waiting for sandblasting and epoxy-coating of a batch of new beams, caused by the sheer volume of structural steel being fabricated in Auckland at present. Beams are fabricated on site then taken over the road to Selwood Coatings who sandblast and paint them at a very favourable rate. We are grateful for their support.

Steelwright Kim Henderson is seen here fitting the gusset plate at the junction of a deck beam and a rib in the starboard wing of the fore void space in the hull. All holes are drilled before blasting and painting, and some minor but heavy-duty adjustments are sometimes needed to fit new beams into position. Aternate beams are removed and replaced with the use of the forklift and a tirfor-type winch. The next task in the fore void will be the removal and replacement of the last half-dozen deck beams.     

Timber storage   
Another project completed recently was the rail and trolley system for storing some of our kauri baulks safely in a shipping container. Using donated trailer axles, a trolley was designed and made on site to run on steel-angle rails supported by timber longitudinal sleepers bedded on concrete. After loading the trolley is winched into the container. During future timber work this will provide relatively quick and safe timber selection and storage.                  

Volunteer work
Each Wednesday a team of volunteers works on site along with our steelwork contractor. The volunteers and some committee members have made a huge effort in tidying and organising the yard. The work is ongoing and in parallel with restoration tasks, and is paying off in increased space and general appearance.                                

Safety is taken seriously—there are many differing levels to negotiate, and trip hazards abound. Maurice Forbes is attending to handrails on the temporary steps from the engine room to the aft void space. This is particularly important with some busy open days during the Auckland Heritage Festival. Also in this image is the watertight door salvaged from HMNZS Wellington.

The steam condenser purchased from Canterbury Steam Scene is being prepared for painting by Mike Walls. This item was, like the Rapaki boiler, constructed in the late 1970s and so will be an economical replacement for possibly unserviceable items from Toroa’s original machinery.

The small admin team of the TPS, with many projects and objectives, will endeavour to provide regular updates, and there will be another issue of Toroa Tales before the AGM later in the year. Assistance in any of these projects, at any skill level, is always appreciated.

Auckland Heritage Festival 2019 Journeys
The Toroa Preservation Society is staging events on the 6th and 20th of October. Called 70 Million Journeys, each event comprises a presentation on the people and times of the Toroa, followed by a tour of the restoration work. Click 70 Million Journeys: Auckland Heritage Festival to book, and please spread the word to assist public awareness of this unique piece of Auckland’s rich maritime and social heritage.