david smith
2nd May 2005, 14:50
The funnels of the ferry Rangatira and the cruise ship Royal Viking Sky pictured at Lyttelton

duncan montgomery
9th September 2005, 12:18
going by the house flag you must have spent time in shaw savill i live in port chalmers n z know dought you have been there i am still at sea i am an a/b sailed on shaw savill ceramic /icenic/ medic/gothic/cymric/carnatic on the japanese run /ionic/ not many off us left

6th March 2006, 02:34
I worked for three years on Rangatira after she left NZ to be a flotel in UK, at Loch Kishorn and Sullom Voe. I was on her up until she finished when was converted to a troop ship for the Falklands in 1982.

6th March 2006, 09:50
that was the ship with the billiard table ,did they ever get it level?

15th May 2006, 19:27
Would be interested to find out what happened to her after the Falklands, as I was accomodated on her for 6 months in Stanley Harbour, Falklands.


15th May 2006, 19:45

She came back to Harland and Wolff for a refit before returning to service however I think she has been scrapped now.

Hugh MacLean
15th May 2006, 19:50

I remember going aboard her in 1982.

This site tells all about the ship:


16th May 2006, 01:31
Here are a couple of sad photos of the Rangatira being Broken Up as the Alexander The Great

http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/3047/asalexanderthegreat1np.jpg (http://imageshack.us) http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/8885/alexanderthegreatb4sz.th.jpg (http://img66.imageshack.us/my.php?image=alexanderthegreatb4sz.jpg) http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/5249/alexanderthegreatc2lc.th.jpg (http://img217.imageshack.us/my.php?image=alexanderthegreatc2lc.jpg) http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/1876/asalexanderthegreat1nc.th.jpg (http://img217.imageshack.us/my.php?image=asalexanderthegreat1nc.jpg)

Source of photos unknown
I was engaged on the 21. 1 72 for the delivery Voyage of Rangatira and joined her in Southhampton. She was a beautiful ship and a good see boat. We left Southhampton but had no stabilisers and we got a bit of dusting until we cleared the Lizard Light. The Voyage was relatively uneventful had a small fire. challenged off Cuba area as the Blockade was in force at the time. Took on fuel in Panama and Tahiti. Before we went onto the run we had to have about 3 meters of the side plates renewed as the Pilot made a bit an error and we hit the wharf rather heavily. Once on the run she was okay for a few months until she cooked one of her turbines. A rag was found in the turbine and this caused the turbine blade to virtualy melt and boy was it a mess.
All in all it was a great vessel to sail on. They made a few alterations to her when being built which included open wings on the bridge as apposed to a fully enclosed wheelhouse. This was on the recommendations after the Wahine disaster.


16th May 2006, 11:55
Welcome vikingstarsaints to the site enjoy it and all it has to offer.

17th May 2006, 09:53
Gary, your photos show her at Bijela in 2004 prior to her being towed to Aliaga for scrapping.

For a history of the ship see:

For more photos of her scrapping at Aliaga, Turkey see:

17th May 2006, 10:40
A couple more shots of Rangatira.
RFA Plumleaf RAS'd her in June 1982 when she was on her way down to the
Falklands. Among her passengers were a squadron of Royal Engibneers on their way to repair the airfield at Port Stanley.
Also on board were a group of RN nurses but as we had been at sea for so long we didn't recognise them..

19th May 2006, 09:37
Rangatira in her glory. Arrival Wellington maiden voyage.

http://img114.imageshack.us/img114/1051/rangatiraarrivalmaidenvoyage0a.th.jpg (http://img114.imageshack.us/my.php?image=rangatiraarrivalmaidenvoyage0a.jpg)


Ngaio 62
19th May 2006, 23:40
A sad set of ohotos but it gives closure to the last ship of the line.

I still remember touring her on open day in Wellington when my scout troop went over her. Sadly I never got to sail on her.


Martin Cahill

John Crossland
22nd June 2007, 10:54
Only just picked up this thread. My first trip as 2/O in USSCo. Wellington to Falmouth 1976 via Tahiti & Panama. Capt. John Cleaver, C/O Malcolm MacFarland, 3/O Harry Kenny, R/O Peter Bellamy.
John Crossland

J Boyde
23rd June 2007, 09:21
I am somewhat confused by the reference to her and Cuba. I was on the Araluen during that period of history and by my records that was some 10 years before the Rangitira came out. I spent a few days of the previous Rangitira, working on the boilers. Never saw the last one but I do believe the older one was a very nice, tidy ship.
Jim B

23rd June 2007, 09:48
Hi Jim B.

I made the reference re Cuba. This was on her delivery voyage from Southampton to Wellington. At the Time the blockade was in force and the U.S.S.Navy challenged us re identification etc.

30th June 2007, 09:34
An interesting article appeared in the NZ newspaper "Dominion Post" on 27 June 2007 and was written by a Ian Stuart of NZPA.
It was titled "The ferry that sailed into military history". Amid the British celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Falkland war, one participant has been forgotten: the former inter-island ferry Rangatira.

The report says that the Rangatira, nic named the "Rangataz" by troops who sailed south in her, was not part of the main force and left the UK the day after the Argentinian land forces commander had surrendered to British forces. By the time it returned to the UK it had been at sea for 16 months and during that time it was never tied to a wharf.

When requisitioned it sailed to Plymonth where it was converted into a lightly armed merchant ship. It had four bofor guns mounted on theupper decks, a heli-pad was fitted in place of the A deck lounge, and the accomodation increased to 1300. The upper deck were converted into mess decks, a gym and drill space. Large quantitied of damage control timber were stored in the lower decks, containers were filled with enough stores for 1300 troops for 60 days and the double bottoms were converted to take etc fuel. RAS points were fitted on each side of the upper deck.

The Rangatira was the longest serving merchant ship during the Falklands war. When it sailed for the Falklands it had on board 940 troops, medical staff, RAF personnel, a naval party of 45 and a merchant navy crew of 81. The senoir RN officer on board now serves with the RNZN.


Brian Dobbie
30th June 2007, 10:08
It was nick named Rangatraz as in the prison!!!!!
She spent most of her time shackled to a buoy in Port Stanley.
One boiler with one feed pump supplying one turbo alternator.
Every six weeks or so she would flash up another boiler and steam round to the Scottish Eagle to bunker about 400tonne of fuel. The navy called this furnace fuel oil but really diesel oil.


30th June 2007, 10:26
During her four years on the 175 nautical mile Wellington to Lytteton run she made 2096 crossings and on her last crossing on Sept 14, 1976 it carried only 267 fare paying passengers and a unknown number of non paying revellers.
During its four years of service it carried 832,260 fare paying passengers and 139,656 vehicles and in its last year of service it cost nz$10 million to opperate and made only nz$6.3 million.

The last sailing ended 60 years of Wellington to Lytteton sailings.

Economics had prevailed as passengers chose rail ferries between Wellington and Piction and air transport rather than the 175 mile overnight trip between the North and South Islands.


Ngaio 62
14th July 2007, 13:06
hi Lagerstedt,
thanks for posting that aticle. there were two phots of the ship. One sad one of the R up the beach striped to the keel forard and part of the stern remaining and one of her at the overseas terminal on her maiden arrival.

It was a sad day in 1976 when she went as I would love to be able to look out my kitchen window at 8pm and see white lights and an orange funnel heading out to sea everynight.


14th July 2007, 15:24
i was on the rangatira, down the falklands, from feb to august 1983, she was a lovely looking ship, she never recieved any battle honours as the war/conflict had finished 2 weeks before she arrived in stanley,there where some tales i could tell about what the crew did on there, the crowd where all off liverpool pool, with a handfull of bluestar men, spider spinx was the bosun,i paid off before she returned to uk, on her way home she encountered a storm in the bay of biscay, and a 20 foot container broke loose on the car deck filled with canned foods, the container smashed into the osmosis plants spewing human waste onto the deck,the scary part was when the container almost hit the stern door at speed,me mates said it was a very scary night,after she drydocked in harland/wolf she was tied up alongside in falmouth cornwall for a long time. a sad set of photos where she is being broken up,i have fond momories of my time on her,

Ngaio 62
23rd July 2007, 10:30
Hi Frannysea,

It would have taken a lot to breach those doors. Not only did they hinge down into place but also interlocking steel battens would lock it in place by projecting beyond the door into recesses in the door frame.
I think the stern doors were an outcome of the Princess Victoria disaster. When the Wahine was lost here in 1968 it had nothing to do with the doors.

As for that container crashing around the vehicle deck at speed : That is scary. Especially if you had business that requires you to be there.



25th July 2007, 23:41
Hiya all, I've posted a photo of her in the Ferrys Gallery, this was when she arrived in Belfast in 1983. If the Ferry Gallery is wrong ,please advise, regards Kenny.

10th December 2007, 15:54
Re: the first photo. Royal Viking Sky sails proudly onwards as Fred Olsen's Boudicca. Saw her down at Southampton the other day and she looked lovely. Not quite the workhorse that the TEV Rangatira was.

24th February 2008, 18:25
It was nick named Rangatraz as in the prison!!!!!
She spent most of her time shackled to a buoy in Port Stanley.
One boiler with one feed pump supplying one turbo alternator.
Every six weeks or so she would flash up another boiler and steam round to the Scottish Eagle to bunker about 400tonne of fuel. The navy called this furnace fuel oil but really diesel oil.


Hi Brian

It was black oil, but IFO30/IFO40; certainly no more. The MOD referred to it as FFO, as you say. Wonderful stuff as far as we were concerned on the Scottish Eagle; only about 115-120 Deg.C for 12 cSt viscosity, as opposed to 140+ Deg.C for IFO380

I joined the Scottish Eagle one time, just after the Rangatira had managed to rip one of our fairleads out of the deck. The tank thus 'opened up' was full of gas oil...

25th March 2008, 10:19
If any one is interested; I recently found a couple of pages from her sea trials. (Basically a list of what they expected that the Master ticked off) Happy to scan them and post if you'd like to see.

25th March 2008, 10:29
I have heard that while she was running on the Wellington to Lyttelton service they lost a man overboard. Anyone care to fill us in on that?

Also, I have plenty of publicity shots from her delivery to NZ which I'll scan and post if anyone wants to see them.

Emmanuel Makarios
25th March 2008, 10:48
Neen are you sure it was the RANGATIRA that lost a passenger overboard as I don't recall ever hearing of this accident occuring on this vessel but have seen material relating to a man attempting to climb outboard from one deck to another on the WAHINE and falling overboard and lost. A lifebouy that was thrown overboard ended up washing up at the Chatham Island's with a section of it having broken away - the lifebouy is now part of the Museum of Wellington City & Sea's collection. It would be great to see some of your material posted on this site and I look forward to seeing it.

John Crossland
26th March 2008, 04:35
I have heard that while she was running on the Wellington to Lyttelton service they lost a man overboard. Anyone care to fill us in on that?

Hi Neen,

I served as 3'rd Mate in Rangatira from 22 Feb 1974 to 15 Sep 1976 and as 2nd Mate for the delivery voyage to the UK, 17 Sep 1976 to 30 Oct 1976, but I never heard of anyone being lost overboard.

26th March 2008, 05:40
one male passenger was lost overboard from the Wahine on an overnight run from Lyttelton to Wellinton,it was reported that he was trying to climb from one deck to another

26th March 2008, 09:03
Ok. Thanks guys. (I was working off a c40 year old recollection from someone who would have been about 4 at the time!) All I had to go on was "Dad was late and really angry because they'd had to go about". And that years later one of the stewards had complained that he'd dropped two trays of drinks during the maneuver!
I shan't waste any more time investigating the wrong darned shipping file!

26th March 2008, 09:47
Attached is a scan of the original spec sheet from the old girl.
And also two pages from her trials. (I find the Captains notes *most* amusing {the ship is fine - where's my ashtray?!})

25th April 2008, 05:56
Hya, did you know Noel Crawford, steward?
if so any idea whre he is?

25th April 2008, 11:57
I have a picture taken of the Rangatira laid up at Napes before she went to the breakers. Not sure how to post a thumbnail on this forum so I will post on the gallery

25th April 2008, 17:44
I watched the launch of Rangatira from the South side of the Tyne with my father while I was on leave from Botswana in June 1971. It was one of the last things we did together as Dad died later that year, so I will always remember the name.

6th May 2008, 23:21
Still rummaging through old photos...and came across these: I wondered what the heck ship it was at first...then I saw the funnel!

What was the logic behind such an odd looking funnel anyhow? Aside from making her instantly recognisable...even by me! :)

Ngaio 62
12th May 2008, 09:50
First off thanks for sharing the photos.

About the funnel. The Rangatira was largley based on the plans of the Wahine II. I dare say they dug them out and made a few changes here and there. like the after superstructure. The bridge was brought forward, I think, to give a better view of the Focsle deck.

The funnel was redesigned to prevent dierct association with an ill fated predecessor. The Wahine funnel was perfectly good as a design which was based on the Ngakuta.
Those are my thoughts on what was behind it.

12th June 2008, 16:13
Hi Neen: is that the Oriana in the second photo posted by you?

12th June 2008, 16:17
Another thing: what happened to the model of the Rangatira that used to grace the Maritime Museum in Wellington?

9th August 2008, 13:22
I was on the old Rangatira when it was taken out of mothballs when the old Maori went o/seas to get lengthened in 63 or 64.anybody else?She had the old straight bow and raking funnels. Ill try and post a photo.
Ray Lusty.

9th August 2008, 17:16
At least the accomodation was better than i had previously been used to in the navy. My 6 months in Stanley harbour running the reverse osmosis plant coulkd have been a lot worse.

12th April 2009, 23:37
Glad I found this thread. I sailed down to Stanley on her in 82 and done a second stint on her in 83, when she became an accommodation ship.(Thumb)

peter douras
13th April 2009, 08:55
I worked for three years on Rangatira after she left NZ to be a flotel in UK, at Loch Kishorn and Sullom Voe. I was on her up until she finished when was converted to a troop ship for the Falklands in 1982.
the rangatira was laid up for a year prior to requisition, after sullom voe. i joined her in falmouth to take her out of mothballs to get her ready for refit and sail her to the falklands. i do not recall anybody being on her when we joined her, that is not however to say there wasnt

4th September 2009, 17:39
I am a bit late in finding this site, but having sailed from Ascension Island to the Falkland Islands in July 1982, I just had to post a piece about my recolections.

I was with elements of the RAF's Tactical Supply Wing (TSW) from RAF Stafford en-route to RAF Stanley to set up the Station following the surrender by the Argentine forces. Life on board was an eye opener. The MOD had increased the number of berths in the Cabins by what felt like 100%, so room was tight. There was a shortage of Tea Bags and Toilet Rolls. This was compounded by hoarding by the Troops! Great sport! We did weapon practice over the stern of the vessel and used our 'slugs' (sleeping bags) to keep warm in the wardroom during the evening Video screening sessions.... it was cold!

I tried several possible solutions to overcome sea sickness. The best was sticking plaster behind the ear!!

When we arrived at Stanley, I was glad to disembark and go up to the airfield and live in a tent with the other guys of TSW who had been down there during the conflict. It was very comfortable, kitted out with camp beds, arctic heaters and lighting. However, the British daily newspapers thought it was terrible that "Our Boys" were still having to live in Tents!! So, Maggie Thatcher issued a directive that all possible personnel were to leave the Tents and live aboard the 'Accommodation Ships'. Ugh...Back to the Rangatraz!! By this time the mysteries of the reverse osmosis plant were making themselves felt...it was stinking!! All of Port Stanley could smell her!

Due to the shallow waters in Stanley harbour, the Rangatira was unable to go alongside, so daily commuting from ship to shore was a perilous activity undertaken by Tug or Landing Craft. I remember one dark and cold night in particular when the snow was falling thick and fast - we were all covered and were freezing and we lost an RAF Fireman under the snow. He had fallen off to sleep in the blanket of snow!! It was a near thing getting back to Rangatira alive!! (Thanks to the SUN for stirring it all up). Nevertheless, the Rangatira was a lovely sight on the clear days, as she lay anchored out from the shore.

As part of the additional fitting out in the UK prior to her departure, she had been fitted with a helicopter landing deck on her stern. On several occasions I was able to 'cadge' a lift in an RN Wessex back to the Rangatraz, thus saving hours of waiting around for Airfield to Jetty to ship transport! Notwithstanding all the trials and tribulations of life with Rangatraz, I have the best of memories of that 6 month period spent in her presence! The pictures of her demise are very sad!

16th September 2009, 12:42
Dear All

Would very much like to build a working model of RANGATIRA, a magnificent sight at sea. Can anyone with any drawing information especially the hull lines please contact me by private message

David Peterson ex RAN

28th February 2012, 06:15
Can't remember the amount of times I "ringbolted" on the Rangi down to Lyttelton. Great days and fond memories.

28th February 2012, 06:21
The last time I saw the Rangatira was at Kishorn in Skye 78-79. I was working on a small coaster and came round the corner and there was Ninian Central Platform with the Rangitira anchored not far off as an accomodation vessel. I was very surprised.

peter douras
18th April 2012, 00:55
what were you on there? i mean your position..i was AB at the time

tony mullen
29th April 2012, 09:49
feel like I belong to a different time as I sailed on the rangitira
in 1965 she had two funnels and loaded cars using the derricks and cargo nets.rope slings, I was in a cabin of eight. the luxury of the new rangitira
must have been good , also worked on the hinemoa 1964-65 both great ships and great times. best wishes to all that sailed in both.
tony mullen.

Laurie Brebner
7th October 2012, 20:04
I lived aboard Rangatira as part of Naval Party 1242 Falkland Islands from September 82 to march 83. She spent all her time buoyed off in Stanley Inner harbour, but would periodically go out to refuel.
We would often play darts against the civilian crew in their mess, and get completely trashed.......!! Good memories of a proud ship.
Interestingly enough, when I left the navy, I went to NZ for 8 years and would often recall the huge painting of the Maori Chief (Rangatira) hanging in the stairwell, and spoke to several who remember her when she ran between Wellington & Lytteleton.

Pat Hester
27th March 2013, 00:22
Hi I have a rangatira steam boat art that i bought back in 2005 in Nelson, New Zealand. I am curious about who the artist of this particular art and what year it was made. Hope someone will get back to me if you know anything about this. here's the link of the picture