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Author Topic: South African steam harbour tugs  (Read 9579 times)

RobinStobbs

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South African steam harbour tugs
« on: February 06, 2010, 01:57:02 PM »

I'd like to build up a database of modellers who have made, are making, or possess models of any South African harbours (SAR&H) steam tugs.  I have a 1:32 scale C.F. Kayser, I know of a similar model in Port Elizabeth which is probably the CFK, and another also in Port Elizabeth of the T. Eriksen which is of a slightly smaller scale.   I've heard stories of others, such as the J.R. Moore but cannot find details of builder or scale.  Please, if anyone can add to the database I'd be most grateful
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andywright

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 07:33:02 PM »

I was on a small 5000t ship in the 70's, we  called in at Capetown  for bunkers, and we had to have two tugs , they were both steam,  the two together were almost as long as our ship, taking  two tugs must have been a port rule, because the ship was all singing and dancing, bow thruster, CP prop.One could have been Hugo or something similar,  I remember they were spectacular vessels. Ashore there were still steam loco's as well, equally spectacular. I know at the time I was quite surprised at the reliance on steam, I know steam is reliable, but it seemed old fashioned, as I hadn't been on a steam train in the UK since the early to mid 60's. again in Durban there were also steam tugs, but we didn't take a tug in Durban.
Andy
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RobinStobbs

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 08:57:54 AM »

Thanks Andy.

The SAR&H harbour tugs were magnificent vessels and, yes, it was customary to assign two tugs because of the strong and often sudden winds that are a feature of the South African coast.  Your memory serves you well, the Danie Hugo, 1959-1984 - Ferguson Brothers, Port Glasgow - 812 GRT - 176,25 x 37 x 17ft;  was scrapped in Walvis Bay 1985.  The other tug could have been any one of the many in service until the mid-eighties.  Sadly, all steam tugs are now but a memory as are all those magnificent railway engines.  In case anyone reading this is also a railway steam buff they might like to know that the Railway Museum in Nairobi has a great collection of historical steam engines.

Adding to my proposed database, I have recently discovered that a  John Gray had an account of his model of the South African harbour tug  F.C. Sturrock, in the Model Boats magazine  (Building F.C. Sturrock, Model Boats Vol47 No.562 17th October 1997).   

Robin
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andywright

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 11:09:40 AM »

Robin,
Amazing what triggers your memory, that would have been correct with the winds, plus we were a container ship fully loaded with empty containers, in those days two high was full for us, the ships were built a feeder vessels for the Canadian  Great Lakes, to run from Montreal up into the lakes during the summer season, there is still no winter navigation in the lakes despite global warming!!!!  :-))
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Glyn

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 09:51:55 AM »

It would appear that the Durban Radio Boat Club operates a model of the JR More (rather appropriately!), as featured on the gallery of the Model Boats Album website, posted by a gentleman by the name of Rowan Sear. Hope this is of some assistance.
Regards, Glyn  :-)
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RobinStobbs

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 05:17:16 AM »

Thanks Glyn.  However I failed to find the pics you refer to - must be looking in the wrong place ;-(    Rob
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Glyn

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 05:48:43 AM »

Hi Robin! You'll currently find the Durban Radio Club feature on Page 18 of the Album section on the Model Boats magazine website - I've had another look, just to confirm:- http://www.modelboats.co.uk/albums/default.asp?p=18 Regards, Glyn
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RobinStobbs

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 06:06:25 AM »

Thanks again Glyn.  Gottit this time - should have been searching for keyword 'Durban' I guess  :embarrassed:  Some very fine models there. Rob
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Glyn

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 10:45:51 AM »

Hi Robin!  Here's another thought: the old SAR&H museum that used to be located within the bowels of Johannesburg Park Station had some excellent models of their steam tugs on display. Have you thought of contacting Transnet to establish their present whereabouts? I have a feeling that most of the displayed items were transferred to another museum (when the Joburg one closed down) somewhere in the Cape, possibly one of the Garden Route towns. Perhaps worth doing a bit of detective work! Regards, Glyn  :-)
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Pierre

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 09:49:16 PM »

Hi Robin

I'm a member of the Western Cape Model Boat Club -- you posted this same query on the MB site to which I replied - we have 3 members with SARH models -see the posting on MB.

As a matter of interest I am still a Tugmaster in CapeTown. After a spell at sea and having obtained my Masters Certificate I joined the SARH.
The tugs then in CT were the RB Waterston, the Rh Watermeyer and the Danie Hugo. We also had the newly arrived Voith tugs the JH Botha and the RH Tarpey. After a spell at sea and ten years as Pilot, I'm back as Tugmaster.

Far from being "magnificent machines" the old steam tugs were antiquated from the design stage - they were designed as combination deep sea towing/harbour tugs and as a result were never comfortable as either.  They were too big and clumsy for harbour work and not brawny enough for deep sea salvage. Thats not to say that they did neither, only that it took a great deal of effort to get them to perform adequately. A previous lister describes coming into CT with a small ship and having 2 steam tugs attached - most pilots had two tugs as insurance- today that job would be performed by one tug or, in  good weather, a workboat  and a launch.

The coal burners were particularly annoying - either you had not enough steam/ran out of steam at a critical stage/or had too much steam with a funnel overflow just when the pilot was talking to you!  It all depended on the mood of the stokers that particular shift! Monday mornings were particularly bad! Don't get me started on the weekly coaling days or the regular ash dumping trips or the perpetual inhaling of soot particles. I do thank my apprenticeship on the old coal burners as it developed my seamanship in ship handling and quick thinking when things went pear shaped!

I know I wasn't particularly sad to see the steam tugs go - nostalgia only goes so far and when I'm picking up a ship in CapeTown's  southeaster, blowing 45 knots I'm glad I'm on my modern Voith Schneider tug.  I can make that tug dance!!
Regards - Pierre

PS - if you check my pics on MB site you will see my model of the Seleni - the tug I'm currently on in CT.





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japottinger

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2010, 04:50:20 PM »

Model Boats magazine will have my model plan of F.C. Sturrock.  Glasgow modeller built a great model and ran a series in the magazine on her building.
Jim
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PCfix

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 11:47:52 PM »

I'd like to build up a database of modellers who have made, are making, or possess models of any South African harbours (SAR&H) steam tugs.  I have a 1:32 scale C.F. Kayser, I know of a similar model in Port Elizabeth which is probably the CFK, and another also in Port Elizabeth of the T. Eriksen which is of a slightly smaller scale.   I've heard stories of others, such as the J.R. Moore but cannot find details of builder or scale.  Please, if anyone can add to the database I'd be most grateful

Hello Robin,
Your C.F. Kayser on the internet is an amazing quality model and was the inspiration for me to build a South African steam tug. 
I am building a 1:48 scale of 'J.R. More' over the last 6 months, with the same approach as yourself, to make whatever I can, where possible. 
I am pleased to say that I have had help with very useful support from friendly South African Tug modellers and a previous tugmaster of JR and Sturrock.
I would like to be added to your database if you start one.
Regards
Ralph Wilmot.    West Sussex

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PCfix

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 12:04:59 AM »

I have put together some photographs of J.R. More which Doug and Keith have taken and kindly sent to me.  These have been very helpful to me with my model of JR

The photographs can be found at (copy and paste):-

http://picasaweb.google.com/SAtug.JRmore/JRMORESteamTugForModelBoatBuilders#

Ralph
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derekwarner

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 05:54:35 AM »

Thanks Ralph........some very interesting snaps of joggled deck planking & winches  :-))....Derek
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Derek Warner

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rathikrishna

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2010, 07:33:22 AM »

A great topic... :-))
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Tom Herman

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2011, 08:54:10 PM »

Hello all,
Would like to say that my interest has been in SAR & H STEAM TUGS!
Have placed a pic to show at what point I am with the build.
It is the F Schermbrucker in 1/48 scale.
Regards ,
Tom Herman.
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Bernhard Becker

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2011, 10:16:28 AM »

I am currently building a complete library of the plans of all the harbour craft that South Africa had until to date. I am doing this to preserve the plans of the old ships because our government does not believe in preservation of these old plans of the old tugs, pilot vessels, dredgers, floating cranes etc etc.

I am doing this so that modelers will have access to the plans for their ships of choice. Plans can be obtained from me with a copy right protection document which has to be completed before plans are printed and shipped.
 I am building the J R more on a scale of 1/32 and she will be an exact build. Once my hull is complete I will be making a mould and only a limited number will be produced.
I hope that this will help modlers in the long run. My email is brn.bernhard1@gmail.com.

Regards to all modlers, Bernhard Becker
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pugwash

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 10:41:14 AM »

Well done Bernhard.  Surprising how shortsighted some governments are - It wouldnt cost much for them to preserve these details.

Geoff
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Bernhard Becker

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2011, 08:08:44 PM »

PCfix,
I must say you have taken some great shots of the More. I was there the day they decommissioned her in 1982. I have quite a few pictures of when she was in the floating dry dock. At this time they removed all her bunkers, welded shut all openings to the sea and removed her propellers. I was fortunate enough to have met the master and the crew before they were reasigned to new vessels. Mr D Marks, the last master of the J R More contacted me this week and he is now staying in the Richards Bay area and still does some Pilotage work for the Ports Authority. I am very happy with the research so far and I expect my model which is being built on a scale of 1/32 will be very detailed when she is completed.
Regards to all
Bernhard

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dave301bounty

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2011, 08:27:36 PM »

Hi Robin

I know I wasn't particularly sad to see the steam tugs go - nostalgia only goes so far and when I'm picking up a ship in CapeTown's  southeaster, blowing 45 knots I'm glad I'm on my modern Voith Schneider tug.  I can make that tug dance!!
Regards - Pierre


Piere ,This was fascinating to read .I was in C T ,quite a lot ,you describe the scene on the coaling Great .
 Thank you for some good nostalgia .Dave .ps .all is well in Spooner st .thanks .




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Bernhard Becker

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2011, 04:18:43 PM »

Hallo Every Body,
Well as the duke of York restoration is progressing< I have taken my J R More model off the shelf Dusted her off and have started work on her again. My Model is being built on a scale of 1/32. I intend to build a very detailed and acurate model of the ship as she was in 1982 when she was decommissioned.
I recieved a set of about 400 photographs of the tug as she is today. I am very sorry to report that those who are responsible for her up keep are not doing their work. She is decaying at a very rapid pace and the wood work , not being treated the way it should is also rotting away rapidly. <:( >>:-(.
I think it is best that we remember the tug as she was when was in service.
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Channel

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Re: South African steam harbour tugs
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2011, 10:06:35 PM »

I was AB on the Ryan from West Coast Towing's fleet (later Svitzer). She worked alongside the Faris. Both were from South Africa and were built there - very similar in layout to the steam tugs. Wonder if any models of them exhist?

Chris
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