Fitter and turner Robert Butcher, of Action Engineering,
works on the new slipway cradle for Port Otago yesterday.
In the background is the severed bow of steam dredge Te
Whaka. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A replacement lifting cradle is scheduled to be craned
into place at Port Otago's Kitchener St slipway next week.
The replacement, built by Dunedin's Action Engineering, is
the slipway's main cradle, which is supported by four others
which will be overhauled in the future, Port Otago harbour
services manager Allan Sutherland said.
The old cradle had become ''rusted and pitted'' and has
already been removed, having been in place since about 1977,
about the time the Dunedin-built tugs Rangi and
Karetai were launched.
Mr Sutherland said the job posed no technical problems, and
the slipway would be able to take vessels of about the same
size in future.
He estimated its maximum capacity was Port Otago's dredge,
New Era, which is 58m long with an 11m beam and weighs
Port Otago is due to take delivery of a new tug, the $11
million Taiaroa, from Vietnam next August, and its
dimensions had been factored into the new cradle's
construction. Costing around $80,000 and weighing about 17
tonnes, it includes use of old-fashioned riveted steel beams
salvaged from the demolition of the High St building formerly
occupied by the Otago Daily Times.
Mr Sutherland said the severed bow of the 102-year-old former
steam powered historic dredge Te Whaka would also be
moved off the adjacent wharf, while the mobile crane was in
Efforts to fund and restore the near derelict 324-tonne Te
Whaka fell flat after it spent 18 years in Dunedin's
upper harbour and it was cut up for scrap in late 2012. The
10-tonne bow section was saved to become a maritime sculpture
at the harbour basin.
- Te Whaka was built in 1910 in Glasgow for the
Lyttelton Harbour Board, where it served as dredge until 1987
and was laid up until 1993, when it was bought by the Te
Whaka Maritime Heritage Trust, in Dunedin.