"Stena Challenger" for New Zealand Service

cassim
15th March 2005, 07:49
Hi there - I am a new boy on the block but I thought some of you might be interested in the fact that"Stena Challenger" ex "Pride of Cherbourg" is close to being signed up for the Cook Strait service by Toll Holdings next summer. "Aratere" is being permitted to carry passengers again from today. Her licence to carry passengers was suspended by maritime safety authorities after a rudder failure about 1 month ago. The poor old thing has been plagued by troubles ever since she was built! Rumours are that the "Lynx" fastferry is to finish shortly as local bylaws have killed the speed advantage over conventional ferries. Oh for the days when I worked for the Union Company and they had 52 ships!
Cheers
Cassim

flyer682
15th March 2005, 10:17
Interesting news indeed. A big boost for passenger capacity on Cook Strait with her being able to carry approx. 1600 pax, compared with ARAHURA'S 975 and ARATERE'S 350 (when its allowed to carry them!!).
Is this a long term thing or just a charter for the summer season?
Perhaps one of our UK-based members could put up a photo?

flyer682
15th March 2005, 10:41
Just found this - good photos and information.
http://www.ferry-site.dk/ferry.php?id=9107942&lang=en

cassim
15th March 2005, 11:06
Great site with some good photos - I feel like I already know her!
Selwyn (Cassim)

flyer682
15th March 2005, 11:29
And welcome Selwyn. (From another kiwi !!)

Jan Hendrik
16th March 2005, 00:02
Toll Holdings which bought Brambles Shipping Melbourne few years ago has some history with Stena Line.
Brambles (at the time) got a Stena vessel under b.b.c. and later purchased it for the run Melbourne-Devonport and she was called "Tasmania-B".
Remember her well from the drydockings I attended.
Toll Shipping (part of Toll Holding) now run two large Ro/Ro's between Melbourne and Devonport, built in Korea. Get you some pictures later, got a file on this.
Will then post it in the appropriate thread.
Toll Shipping indeed purchased the Interisland Ferries of Wellington, NZ some 2 years ago.

Jan Hendrik
16th March 2005, 00:12
And another ex Stena vessel used on same run was "Challenger-B'. Have to find out previous names etc as both Tasmania-B and Challenger-B must have gone for scrap, they were pretty old ships.

cassim
16th March 2005, 03:43
I didnt realise how old I was getting! In 1969 I worked for Union Stem Ship Co in George as Asst Berthing Officer for the "Empress of Australia" and "Australian Trader". The "Princess of Tasmania" operated out of Melbourne to Devonport, Bell Bay and Burnie on a fortnightly cycle as I recall. The Empress used to sail after the Syd/Hobart yacht race had departed and all the yachtsmens wives used to travel down so that they would be Hobart when the yachts arrived. We could have sold the ship (she carried 250 passengers) about three times over and, as it was the time of the stock market boom, you could almost guarantee a magnum of champagne if you could confirm somebody off the waitlist! One night I was down at the Terminal prior to sailing and some blighter pinched my telephone from right under my nose. Long before mobile phones........
Cheers
Selwyn
Cassim

cassim
16th March 2005, 08:04
Thanks for your greeting David - nice to be aboard. There must be about 6 kiwis from what I can see!
cHEERS
Selwyn
Cassim

Jan Hendrik
16th March 2005, 14:08
Selwyn, thanks for your interesting info on the Melbourne to Tassie run.
All this changed a bit when passengers were to be transported in pass. ships (ro/ro's) and cargo was transported in cargo/container ships.
Both ANL and Brambles had a run across to Tassie and as said before Brambles purchased some vessels from the Stena Group.
I attended all vessels in one form or the other (inpections/drydockings) which
Brambles operated.
They first had the Challenger-B, thereafter the "Gute" under b.b.c., then the Tasmania-B.
Finally ending up with a ship called "City of Port Melbourne" whereafter the Tasmania-B was renamed into "City of Burnie". All this at the beginning of 1990's.
In 1999 the "Tasmanian Achiever" replaced "City of Port Melbourne" and the "Victorian Reliance" replaced "City of Burnie", these two new twin vessels were built at Samsung-Korea.
Toll acquired Brambles in 2002 and same year they decided to extend both vessels which was concurrently done in Jurong Shipyard - Singapore.
The new colours are now Toll's house green.

Hereby some photos prior to the take over by Toll and prior to the 34 meter extension.
Next time I will post some photos in their new green coat (double meaning).
Jan

"antifouling is practically always required"

cassim
17th March 2005, 08:05
Hi Jan
This is a bit of a mindblower. I didnt even know that Brambles owned ships! Over here they were a road transport company. It is funny the things that go on without a person realising it! From your conversation it sounds like you were a ships surveyor or similar. Am I correct?
Cheers
Selwyn

Doug Rogers
17th March 2005, 08:48
Didnt Brambles have an interest in the company that ran TNT Challenger and Capricornia, well I think that was their second name change in the mid 80's??, cant recall the company but I think it could have had connections with Stena. I think there were two small ships that ran around the Darwin/PNG area that were associated also, afraid the respective names have vanished from the memory banks though.
Jan - does that make any sense to you or jog a few strands in that prodigious memory or record system you have??. Thinking back twenty plus years the number of ships that serviced Tassie were quite numerous but alas we are now shaving with them!!. Progress is a wonderful thing, if you survive it!!

Jan Hendrik
17th March 2005, 13:37
Cassim and Doug R.
You are right, Brambles in principle was a transport company and they also owned Chep. The latter was the world's first and still is the biggest pallet exchange player, i.e. when you receive a pallet you ask whether it is a Chep pallet or otherwise.
Those pallets are painted blue and you exchange as you receive goods.
Brambles was in opposition to TNT, the latter originally stands for Thomas Nationwide Transport but that company (incl the well known satchells...) was taken over by the Dutch Telecom Company about 7 or so years ago.
Regarding the vessels you mention Doug, I would have to do some research. TNT owned several vessels incl the ones you mention, but as far as I know those had nothing to do with the Brambles Shipping Group as they were in opposition.
You had the twin TNT towers in Redfern-Sydney and TNT buildings everywhere.
TNT also owned Ansett Airlines, Chairman at the name (and founder) was Sir Peter Abeles. Ansett (the only airline apart from Qantas at the time) went bust 5 years ago.
The name Brambles no longer exist after Toll Holdings took over the lot incl their shipping division, however, most personnel just came along of course.
And Cassim, I have been working in 3 countries for a very large marine paint company and live in Melbourne since 26 years.
I therefore attended hundreds of drydockings and did many many inspections on board vessels all over the world, travelled a lot.
All sorts of inspections but basically all to do with the paint condition of the hulls, the underwaterpart, tanks of any kinds etc etc.
Visited many shipping companies worldwide and practically all in OZ and NZ.
During those many years with the same company (39 yrs) I took thousands of photos and I only have a very small collection left which I like to share with you people as topics are being inititated.
Cheers,
Jan

"play it safe and use a proper antifouling system"

Doug Rogers
18th March 2005, 00:47
I recalled this morning that the two vessels I mentioned originally borne the first name Curtis instead of the TNT after the takeover/amalgamation!!. I agree the companies were basically in opposition but I still think that there was some form of an accommodation made between the two of them when the shipping came into it..perhaps it was a joint service or something like that but am sure there was a connection between them. Will see what else I can find!!.

Jan Hendrik
18th March 2005, 01:09
Will see one of my best friends tonight, he was resident supt engineer in Melbourne for Union Steamship NZ for many years and he knows all about TNT as well,
Further I need a bit more time later to find out more details.
I got so much stuff at home but also left a lot back at the office after my retirement, so may have to go back and go through 1000's of docking reports with photos, i.e. what there is left of it.
Jan

Doug Rogers
18th March 2005, 03:13
Yep no worries, time here is very short as well, just too much going on before we go away at Easter, compounded of course by the wife being away in Perth to do audit on the office there!!. But I shouldnt complain, she has got to work next week and its going to be four very very busy days for her..at least I have only got the domestics and routine stuff here to cope with during the week!!.
I think I will just run with Selwyn's line and put it down to getting old!!. Cheers Mate, Doug

cassim
18th March 2005, 09:07
Hi Doug and Jan,
Knew there had to be an engineer in there somewhere. When I was in late teens working in the Union Company office we used to provide a gang to work on ships in the floating dock( We had one then!). The two main jobs I can remember were the tanker "athelviscount" where I was underneath chipping and scaling the keel. I smelt of oil fuel for months after that job. The "maori" job involved crawling under the plates in the engineroom and dragging lightleads through into the tanks? Compartments between engineroom and bottom of the hull....Very low and very dark when the bulb popped. I would never be able to fit now! I recall the rats and the rust chips that got in the eyes.....aah memories!
Cheers
Selwyn

Doug Rogers
18th March 2005, 09:52
Ah wonders will never cease, lovely double bottoms, how I miss them, I would just love to fit another pitot tube or transducer...not!!

Jan Hendrik
19th March 2005, 06:15
Doug R,
Apparently the only connection between Brambles and TNT is that at one stage Brambles supplied the ship's crew for some TNT vessels.

I have no more info at the moment.
Also there was (I think no more) a Curtis Brothers in Townsville, I remember I visited them some 20 years ago.
They were looking after some barges and small ships.
Is this perhaps the company you referred to? I do not remember much more than that.

Doug Rogers
19th March 2005, 07:16
Well I guess that its possible that they were based in Townsville and it was them, the ships used to trade up the east coast certainly. After the takeover or whatever it was the ships were prefixed TNT rather than Curtis but kept the second part of their names and certainly traded further afield. On balance it probably has to be the same outfix.
Interesting the Brambles/TNT connection, it doesnt ring a bright bell but perhaps thats why I am saying there was a connection..we certainly used to handle enough crewing messages from them so its quite possible that its that that makes me think there was a connection. Well done, makes me feel much better now, another irrelevancy solved!!.
Cheers..Doug R

Jan Hendrik
9th April 2005, 08:32
In this thread I earlier posted some photos of this ro/ro cargo ferry in Brambles red, refer 16th March.
After the conversion of this vessel and her sister "Tasmanian Achiever" in Singapore (lengthened by 34 metres) then Toll Transport which bought out Brambles earlier, painted these in their green house colour.
Hereby some photos I took today.
Same ship, berthed at same spot in Port of Melbourne.
Both vessels sail Melbourne-Burnie (Tasmania) on a daily basis.

You can also see the construction of Australia's tallest building (and they claim the world's tallest apartment building) of 93 stories.....


"always use a top quality antifouling"

Jan Hendrik
9th April 2005, 22:58
You are absolutely right. Does not look good at all.
I only realised after I saw the photo back home.

I have no more A/F campaigns to do as I left the company 3 months ago and every time I have to fill out some sort of paper requiring my profession, then I mention same as you do : "retired", strange but get used to it and feeling good about it though.

One small correction on this vessel's itinery , it runs Melbourne to/from Burnie and not Devonport.

Ngaio 62
11th July 2005, 15:34
The Lynx is gone and the Purbeck will follow oncethe new ship arrives within the month.
She will either be called Challenger or Kaitaki which is the Maori equivilent.
I saw that Toll green livery and wonder that as Toll owns the servive will we see another livery change or will our ships remain white hulled?

Martin

trotterdotpom
11th July 2005, 18:09
[QUOTE=Doug Rogers]Didnt Brambles have an interest in the company that ran TNT Challenger and Capricornia, well I think that was their second name change in the mid 80's??, cant recall the company but I think it could have had connections with Stena. I think there were two small ships that ran around the Darwin/PNG area that were associated also, afraid the respective names have vanished from the memory banks though.

'TNT Carpentaria' and 'TNT Capricornia' were two of the four new breed stokerless coal burners still sailing on the Gladstone to Weipa bauxite run as far as I know (commenced about 1984) - Emmesstee is the expert on these ships.

Are the two littlees you mention, "Sid McGrath" and "John Burke", ro-ros owned by John Burke Co of Brisbane? They used to run from Brisbane to the Northern Territory and, in 'Sid's' case, Port Moresby. They also owned some sort of barge that traded between Cairns and Port Moresby. This was last century, in the '80s.

I was supposed to sail on 'Sid McGrath' and was told that my cabin, like all the others, would be filled with cartons of beer to be off loaded in Weipa, Groote Eylandt and that other joint in the Gulf of Carpentaria (Nuyimbuy, or something), fortunately the bunk was left clear. This was normal procedure for each trip and the expectation was to make a packet as beer was so expensive up there. It sounded good to me but it didn't happen as I was put on another ship at the last moment - bummer!

It turns out that the crew were making a packet and the company weren't, so, unfortunately, they folded in the late '80s. John Burke Shipping had been operating for many years and their Brisbane berth and office were down near the woolsheds at New Farm - now all flash apartments, pavement cafes and drug labs. That's progress!

John T.

flyer682
12th July 2005, 02:48
Martin, my understanding is that STENA CHALLENGER is to be renamed KAITAKI and that she will be painted in the same livery as the ARAHURA.
A pity that the "ARA" prefix is going...........

EMMESSTEE
12th July 2005, 04:42
Martin/David -

Also believe "Stena Challenger" is to be renamed "Kaitaki" - if we are allowed to refer ourselves to other sites there is a good photo at:

www.faktaomfartyg.com/challenger_1995_b_1.htm

in which the subject vessel is shown in full Interislander livery but with the name "Challenger" at her bow.

-----------------
Mike.

flyer682
12th July 2005, 06:11
Thanks for that Emmesstee, she suits the livery in my opinion. Perhaps CHALLENGER is the name for the delivery voyage and she is to be renamed on her arrival in NZ. Last I heard she is due here sometime in August.
Yes, it's okay for links such as this where it is relevant to the thread.

EMMESSTEE
12th July 2005, 10:51
David -

Thanks for your private message - she does suit the livery, I agree .... I just hope she performs as well as she looks! Maybe there's hope in someone's mind that the removal of "Ara" from the name will bring better fortune in the mechanical world of the Interislander service and its vessels!! Toll must be getting a bit frustrated with all the problems of late?

-------------------
Mike.

Ngaio 62
12th July 2005, 11:09
hey thanks Emmesstee,

Nice pic she looks as she did when she was the Isle of Innishoen.
ETA 10 Aug . anyone please confirm as I want to shoot the maiden arrival and do the tour.

thanks

Martin

trotterdotpom
12th July 2005, 13:24
I recalled this morning that the two vessels I mentioned originally borne the first name Curtis instead of the TNT after the takeover/amalgamation!!. I agree the companies were basically in opposition but I still think that there was some form of an accommodation made between the two of them when the shipping came into it..perhaps it was a joint service or something like that but am sure there was a connection between them. Will see what else I can find!!.

Doug,

The ships you are referring to are 'Curtis Oceanic' and 'Curtis Capricorn' which traded between Gladstone and Weipa (Queensland) carrying bauxite.

They were originally named 'Clutha Oceanic' and 'Clutha Capricorn' and owned by a famous American zillionaire who's name slips my mind. He reputedly paid the crew extra money and made an agreement that they didn't have to do any maintenance, only keep watches, as long as they didn't strike. I don't know if this was true or an urban myth. The 'Clutha' name seems to crop up all over the world.

The ships were eventually re-named 'Curtis' after becoming owned by Port Curtis Bulk Carriers (Port Curtis is the name on the charts for Gladstone harbour). Another ship on the scene was 'Bulknes', chartered from Jebsens and trading between Gladstone and Bluff, NZ, with alumina. She was unusual in that she had a half and half Australian/New Zealand manning.

TNT appeared on the scene when 'Bulknes' was replaced by the self discharging bulk carrier 'TNT Alltrans', the management of all three ships being conducted by Unionbulkships (by then part of the TNT empire I think).

Eventually, in the early '80s, the two 'Curtis' ships were replaced by 'TNT Carpentaria' and 'TNT Capricornia', the new breed coal burners - built to use local Gladstone coal as fuel . They were joined by the ANL coal burners 'River Boyne' and 'River Embley' which replaced 'Yarra River', a sistership of 'Curtis Oceanic'. Can't recall if ANL had another ship on the run or not.

Regards, John T. (ex 'Yarra River', 'Curtis Oceanic', 'River Embley', 'TNT Alltrans').

Jan Hendrik
12th July 2005, 14:17
The "Bulknes" from Jebsen was run by Shipping Corporation of NZ.
I attended her 5 yearly drydockings in Brisbane, first one 1980 I think .
Dark grey topsides as per Jebsen's livery.
Regretfully I have no more photos from that era.

flyer682
12th July 2005, 14:49
Black funnel (I think) with a kiwi on one side and a kangaroo on the other. SCONZ ran her in the trade from Gladstone to Bluff from 1974 until 1983.

EMMESSTEE
12th July 2005, 15:05
John T -

"Owned by a famous American zillionaire whose name slips my mind" ...... you're not thinking of Daniel K. Ludwig by any chance are you, it was he who supplied QAL with their first ship, "Ore Regent"! Universal Bulk Carriers was one of his outfits, bare essentials of everything including the funnel which was usually of stove-pipe style!

----------------------

Mike.

Tom Haywood
13th July 2005, 00:30
The company I now work for purchased the Sid Mc Grath from what was left of John Burke & Co after they fell apart, she was renamed the Bass Reefer and ran a dedicated service between Geelong and Stanley in Tasmania, we used to leave Geelong at 1700 and be alongside Stanley by 0700 the next morning to work cargo. The old ANL RO-Ro ramps were modified so we could use them. The ship was set up mainly to take reefer cargo from the Wattie factory at Smithton and timber on trailers.

Considering the ship was almost purpose built for the PNG trade she worked quite well in the Bass Strait. Used to carry about 80 teu of reefer containers. I sailed on her many times as a working passenger. She has a most unusual after deck, outside and at the "rear" of the stern vehicle deck door with container locking pins so she could carry empty containers while running in PNG.

The company in Townsville was Curtain Bros who were involved with PNG, they ran a mixture of all sorts of small coastal vessels and barges even ran a service to Guam from Townsville at one time.

Jan H, we have met several times, years ago and yes I have purchased several thousand ltrs of the best (still the best!!!!!!!!) marine paint from you.

Tom Haywood

Jan Hendrik
13th July 2005, 01:12
Earlier in this thread the name Curtis was mentioned and I referred to a possible Curtis Bros in Townsville.
Now I realise this must have been Curtain Bros in Gladstone/Townsville which had all those barges and even a Dutchman as their Tech. Manager.

Tom we met both in NZ (I think when you were with Chep?) and in OZ.

Jan

cambria49
13th July 2005, 01:17
The Challenger is indeed en route to Wellington and is expected to arrive there in August

The ship's registered name is Challenger and she will be marketed by the Maori translation which is of course Kaitaki.

The vessel remains owned by the Irish Continental Group who chartered her to P&O. They in turn sub-chartered her to Stena RoRo who, having used her for relief cover on the Karlskrona - Gdynia service as replacement for the Stena Baltica during a conversion, have now onward chartered her to Toll.

Rgds,

Justin

Doug Rogers
13th July 2005, 02:00
Doug,

The ships you are referring to are 'Curtis Oceanic' and 'Curtis Capricorn' which traded between Gladstone and Weipa (Queensland) carrying bauxite.

They were originally named 'Clutha Oceanic' and 'Clutha Capricorn' and owned by a famous American zillionaire who's name slips my mind. He reputedly paid the crew extra money and made an agreement that they didn't have to do any maintenance, only keep watches, as long as they didn't strike. I don't know if this was true or an urban myth. The 'Clutha' name seems to crop up all over the world.

The ships were eventually re-named 'Curtis' after becoming owned by Port Curtis Bulk Carriers (Port Curtis is the name on the charts for Gladstone harbour). Another ship on the scene was 'Bulknes', chartered from Jebsens and trading between Gladstone and Bluff, NZ, with alumina. She was unusual in that she had a half and half Australian/New Zealand manning.

TNT appeared on the scene when 'Bulknes' was replaced by the self discharging bulk carrier 'TNT Alltrans', the management of all three ships being conducted by Unionbulkships (by then part of the TNT empire I think).

Eventually, in the early '80s, the two 'Curtis' ships were replaced by 'TNT Carpentaria' and 'TNT Capricornia', the new breed coal burners - built to use local Gladstone coal as fuel . They were joined by the ANL coal burners 'River Boyne' and 'River Embley' which replaced 'Yarra River', a sistership of 'Curtis Oceanic'. Can't recall if ANL had another ship on the run or not.

Regards, John T. (ex 'Yarra River', 'Curtis Oceanic', 'River Embley', 'TNT Alltrans').

Many thanks for your post, yes I think that all fits together very well, shame the memory banks are fading a bit but your research has definitely hit the spot.

trotterdotpom
13th July 2005, 08:04
John T -

"Owned by a famous American zillionaire whose name slips my mind" ...... you're not thinking of Daniel K. Ludwig by any chance are you, it was he who supplied QAL with their first ship, "Ore Regent"! Universal Bulk Carriers was one of his outfits, bare essentials of everything including the funnel which was usually of stove-pipe style!

----------------------

Mike.

That's him. Thanks.
John.

cambria49
14th July 2005, 01:22
Challenger was this morning (EST) lying in Cristobal anchorage awaiting Panama Canal transit.

flyer682
14th July 2005, 03:45
Okay everyone, turn on your Panama Canal webcam!

http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html

flyer682
14th July 2005, 08:27
CHALLENGER has just passed through the Miraflores Locks - exited at 0122 (local time), 1822 New Zealand time.
Visible on her after decks was a full cargo of vehicles.

Ngaio 62
14th July 2005, 10:31
Cool link, shame it wouldn't up load.
did anyone get a cap of it going through?

Martin

flyer682
14th July 2005, 10:48
Unfortunately, the site doesn't allow you to take a "snapshot". I have however, emailed them and asked for a copy, so hopefully...........
Shame you missed it, was some great views.

cambria49
15th July 2005, 02:01
David, if they send one I wouldn't mind a copy.

J

flyer682
15th July 2005, 02:57
My pleasure but as yet I haven't had a reply.

Ngaio 62
15th July 2005, 03:25
Thanks Flyer. good luck OM.

cheers

Martin

flyer682
31st July 2005, 03:01
I've had a reply from the Panama Canal people and regrettably it's not possible to get a photo from their Webcam.
Bother! (Sad)

Edith Kern
26th August 2005, 23:43
On last nights news on TV1 the 'kaitaki 'has been clocked roaring through the Malborough sounds at a snappy 20 knots, needless to say she or at least the company are now in a spot of bother. Earlier in the week she had berthing problems so has not got off to a great start, so much for dropping the ARA prefix it does not seem to have worked re bad luck!
Must say she looks very smart in her "Interislander" livery, my partner travelled south to race our dogs last week but went via bluebridge as it is important to us that we arrive in time and at a difference in price of $35 return for vehicle/driver so it may be some time before we sample what she has to offer!

sam2182sw
20th September 2005, 15:45
intersting to see so meany stena ships on the list anyone of you out tere in contact with the stena shipper ex nestor and the stena companion [tanker]
sam

ruud
20th September 2005, 17:21
I've had a reply from the Panama Canal people and regrettably it's not possible to get a photo from their Webcam.
Bother! (Sad)
Ahoy Flyer682,
Sadly I didn't noticed this item, 'cause you can take a copy of the Panama Webcam, I just did of the 3 Cams, it's just a trick how to do it (*))
Here you are:
Gatun Locks
http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/9443/gatunlocks2wh.th.jpg (http://img100.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gatunlocks2wh.jpg)
Miraflores Locks
http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/149/mirafloreslocks7ks.th.jpg (http://img100.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mirafloreslocks7ks.jpg)
Sorry again that I didn't see this hot item.

ruud
20th September 2005, 17:22
Centenario Bridge
http://img322.imageshack.us/img322/8132/centenariobridge3br.th.jpg (http://img322.imageshack.us/my.php?image=centenariobridge3br.jpg)