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Author Topic: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug  (Read 938 times)

Steve Mahoney

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Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« on: October 30, 2020, 07:17:44 pm »

Ive been out of model making since the beginning of the year. I put it down to Covid but its really just apathy, lethargy and a massive dose of CBA

But my wishlist of tugs keeps growing and these models wont make themselves, so its time to get back to work. Besides, you guys have had enough of a break from New Zealand tugs so its time for another one.

Not sure how long this one will take. I'm hoping that I'll get my mojo back when the project actually gets off the ground.First: A little background information...1960 2000 were the heydays of tug building in New Zealand. Before that, most of the tugs had come from British makers, to a British desgn. By 1960 the local NZ yards had developed the skills and size needed to compete with their British competitors. WWII had lead to great expansion in the industry and introduced many new techniques and skills in steel boat building. It was also about this time that many Harbour Boards were replacing aging fleets. Good times for all.

By the turn of the millenium cheaper, off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter design tugs from China, Singapore, Vietnam and Turkey had taken over the market. Theres nothing wrong with Damen, Sanmar and Allen designs but they do lack a bit of individuality and character. Its like a world with only Toyotas. Now if you visit another port its: same boat, maybe different colour, same, same.

1971 however, was a particularly good year for NZ tug builders, especially for Whangarei Engineering (WECO). They had orders for 5 tugs from 3 ports: Tika from Auckland (1st and 2nd photos, my last build); Kupe, Ngahue and Toia from my hometown (photos 3 & 4); and the Maui from New Plymouth.
The Kupe class tugs were 31m and the Tika and Maui were both around 17m.

NZ made tugs had a reputation for being very well built. They were all custom made. The 5 tugs built by WECO that year were 3 totally different designs: 4 Voith & 1 twin screw; 3 different engine and towing systems. Even different galley and accomodation equipment and finishes. Even the 3 Kupe class tugs for Wellington all had different winches and fire-fighting systems. No standardisation or economies of scale. I guess thats what eventually broke the industry in NZ building a Mercedes for a Corolla price.

But in 71 things looked good and the tugs were duly delivered on time and on budget.

All 5 tugs are still working now, almost 50 years later. You dont get old by being useless.
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npomeroy

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2020, 03:20:45 am »

Great looking model!  What size or scale is it?  I'm thinking of getting into tug builds (from helicopters) and considered the new Damen one at Napier near me but it looks a bit chubby for my eye and may go for a leaner shape like the 1907 Stan tug.
Cheers
Nelson
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2020, 12:12:39 am »

Thanks Nelson,
The Tika is pretty small at 1/50 only 350mm long. A bit small for RC on a big pond.
A Damen 1907 at 1/25 would be a great model, although finding hull lines for any Damen is a difficult.
The Ahuriri from Napier is on my 'to do' list it's a long list! I've got a few other NZ tug models here: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=102411
and some of the builds are also on this forum.
Steve
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npomeroy

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2020, 12:52:59 am »

Thanks for the response Steve, and the link to the other art work.  I'm really pondering about scale:  I'd like to keep to a single scale and start with something not too ambitious in the 50 - 65cm size and later do one of the larger tugs that might be nearer a metre in length.  I like Damen because the company has scale drawings on their product sheets.  Although as you say it does not include hull section.  I actually emailed asking them but was told it was intellectual property not to be given.  But the hulls appear to be made of "flat" steel sheet in about three sections each side, so it should be possible to interpolate from the drawings approximately what the crass sections will be.  It also raises the option of making the hull from styrene sheet or ply.  And even if a fibreglass mould is made, it may be easier to mock it up from flat sheets than carving wood.
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tonyH

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2020, 09:18:11 am »

Why not 1:35 or 36 so 50cm and loads of accessories that you can get for detailing!
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npomeroy

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2020, 09:23:14 am »

Why not 1:35 or 36 so 50cm and loads of accessories that you can get for detailing!


OK.  Are you saying 1:35 is a regular scale for parts?  I looked on Cornwall models and no scales seemed to be mentioned except for kits.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2020, 09:46:14 am »

1/32 is a standard size for most UK/US fittings. A 1907 at 1/32 would be 610mm long.

You should be able to figure out basic cross sections based on the General Arrangement. I've done this for most of my builds. A hard chine hull like this wouldn't be too difficult. Let me know if you need a hand drawing it up.

Ply is definitely the way to go with a hull like that.
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tonyH

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2020, 12:06:27 pm »

Yup, 1:35 is for loads of crew/cargo such as oil drums etc/odds and sods etc. I.e. all the, generally, militaria suitably civilianised. Crew can be easily got at 1:32 but often the plastic at that scale seems to be "interesting" when you try to get paint to stick and the Mobile Marine Models kits and fittings are all at 1:32.
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npomeroy

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2020, 06:31:44 am »

1/32 is a standard size for most UK/US fittings. A 1907 at 1/32 would be 610mm long.

You should be able to figure out basic cross sections based on the General Arrangement. I've done this for most of my builds. A hard chine hull like this wouldn't be too difficult. Let me know if you need a hand drawing it up.

Ply is definitely the way to go with a hull like that.



That image was an empty frame to me - is it just me?
I'm tempted to look at styrene sheet.
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Dave

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2020, 08:00:19 am »


That image was an empty frame to me - is it just me?
I'm tempted to look at styrene sheet.

Same for me too npomeroy
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Thanks and regards

Dave

And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes...

Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2020, 08:20:02 pm »

How's that?
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Dave

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2020, 07:07:07 am »

yep that's good I can see it now
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Thanks and regards

Dave

And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes...

Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2020, 08:38:18 pm »

A bit more background:

Up until 71 the city of New Plymouth had only had a small exposed harbour, not suitable for large ships. Small rivermouth ports at nearby Patea and Waitara were being phased out and the New Plymouth Harbour Board had big plans for the future (its now a large export port and homeport for the local offshore oil industry). The little Maui was the first tug for the newly developed Port Taranaki. At only 17m shes small. How small? you ask. Check out the 1st photo. That's either a really big rubber duck or a tiny tug.

Shes still working everyday, now up north in Auckland. I went onboard a couple of years ago and shes still in good nick: solid as a rock, comfortable quarters and rides really well.

While she isnt beatiful in a classical sense, she is fit for purpose the same way a bulldog is. She looks like a strong little tug no frills, nothing fancy.

The Kupe class tugs completed at WECO that year are stereotypical NZ tugs. Many ports went on to have similar WECO tugs and they seemed to be all over the country. They are the tugs I remember as a boy. My son even got to drive the Kupe around the harbour when he was little.

That 31m hull design and Voith system used on the Kupe was refined and used on various tugs until the 1990s when ASD tugs became more popular. The Te Matua and Hauroko have identical hulls and drives systems based on the Kupe. I have a 1/50 Te Matua that I plan to rebuild at some stage. The Hauroko is very muscular looking tug and I've got to have one of those too.

Ill be attempting to make a display model of the Maui at 1/50. My usual MO: laser cut components, plank/ply on frame, with some 3D printed parts and PE brass details.

PS. Its not all bad news for boatbuilding in NZ these days: WECO are still making very good tugs (PT Mary and PT May also in the wishlist) and the industry has refocussed on high-end yachts and super yachts.
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npomeroy

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2020, 04:25:18 am »

1/32 is a standard size for most UK/US fittings. A 1907 at 1/32 would be 610mm long.

You should be able to figure out basic cross sections based on the General Arrangement. I've done this for most of my builds. A hard chine hull like this wouldn't be too difficult. Let me know if you need a hand drawing it up.

Ply is definitely the way to go with a hull like that.



Yes I have the GA drawings and intend to work from them.  Another long-time scale builder I met recently was very persuasive towards the full line drawings being essential.  But he may not have know how simple the lines were on this tug.  I'm tempted to do it in fibreglass to avoid needing space-consuming internal framework.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2020, 11:15:22 pm »

At 1/32 a 1907 would be 610 long by 240 wide with 110mm below the deck. Even with some space for hull ribs/frames you would still have plenty of room for the internals. Might need to have some of the deck removable for good access though.
Keep us posted with a build log.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2020, 07:19:35 pm »

Mauis current owners let me onboard to take a load of photos and also gave me a copy of the GA so I was able to draw up the parts for laser cutting. These slot together and then the flat sections of the hull go on. The hull is a bit tricky its like a hard chine but with curves if you know what I mean. Luckily it is very similar to the bigger WECO tug hulls, and I have a complete set of hull lines for the 31m Kupe a gift courtesy of the Wellington Harbour Board. I made a 1/50 Kupe 20 years ago and it wasnt too difficult to draw up and amend the Kupe lines to work for the smaller curvier Maui hull. This build will also be good practise for a couple of future projects: Te Matua and Hauroko.

Here are the laser-cut sheets ready for popping out and cleaning of the scorched edges. This is not the display face of the ply, thats still covered with tape.

...and in the plastic tub are all of the major components needed to build the basic carcase. Theres a tug in there somewhere, I just need to put it together.

So, out with the trusty old building board...
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2020, 07:24:12 pm »

... and a few hours and a few tubes of CA later.

The bracing is overkill but as this is a display model only I don't need any internal cavities. I'm building the hull the same way I would build a plug for a mould. Quick and easy.

Now to start packing the stern and bow sections with balsa blocks.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2020, 10:46:04 pm »

Attached the deck and packed out below it to attach the top chine sheeting. This is 1mm ply.

I haven't really attacked this build with the enthusiasm I would have liked. It is a slow and complex build and I haven't even got to the complex part yet.

So I thought that I might sideline this project for a few weeks and knock out something quick and easy to get me back into the swing of things.  I'll start another thread on this new little project. I will get back to the Maui as soon as I've got up a head of steam.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2020, 08:03:00 pm »

I have been slowly making a little bit of progress between working on the Tui and Busby builds.

The base plates are attached this is where the Voith drives will go. It's there only section of the hull that is fairly simple.

...and the bow and stern have been packed out with balsa. Some of the curves around the stern are quite complex. Haven't figured out how I'll attack those parts. The lower curved section above the base plate will be planked and hopefully I can use ply sheet for the hull sides.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: Maui: 17m 1971 Voith Harbour Tug
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2020, 07:48:34 pm »

Trying to juggle 3 builds at once is having both good and bad points. The builds are all pretty much at the same stages getting the hull sorted out, so there seems to be a never ending cycle of fill, sand, prime, repeat. On the good side, if I get bored with one build or hit a problem I can move on to the next one.

However everything seems to be progressing at a snail's pace. Christmas binge eating, maintenance work around the house and 'stuff' have cut down my time at the bench.

I managed to get a solid start on the hull. The base is 2 flat panels, the sides are very regular, smooth surfaces, the bow and stern and lower curves are quite complex. The straightforward sections are 1mm ply. The lower curved section has been planked. What a mess. I made a terrible job of it. There seemed to be no sweet plank at all, every plank needed shaping. I should have just packed it out and carved it. Luckily I could smooth/fix/hide it with filler and paint.

When the planking had reached as high as it would go I gave the interior a good coat of resin and cloth to really lock everything in place, fill any gaps, and to stiffen up the balsa. Slowly starting to get in shape now.
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