Wairimu and Wairata

1st March 2008, 10:43
A blonde question but...

I came across a report (early 1950's I guess) which says that "a somewhat difficult trade bearing in mind the countries visited by “Wairimu” and “Wairata” in the course of their voyages".

Can anyone enlighten me as to where the Wairimu and Wairata travelled?

1st March 2008, 16:55
yes they both were employed in the eastern run singapore, malayasia ,ceylon and india

2nd March 2008, 08:08

I guess the difficult trade referred to was in part due to the politics prevailing in the trading area at the times - the crumbling Empire. Following from USSCo handbook of October 1964.


3rd March 2008, 00:31
Many thanks for that. I know my father-in-law was transfered off the Wairimu because of the 'difficult trade route'. I'm guessing diplomacy was not his middle name :).

Then again, after four years in Changi, I expect Singapore was the last place he wanted to visit!

Many thanks for the image. Any idea where I could a copy of the book it came from? (It'll save me asking stupid questions in the future as I have 66 USSC Ships to try and find routes for!)

J Boyde
3rd March 2008, 07:57
you can include Burma on your list of countries. Rangoon. Interesting port.
Jim B

3rd March 2008, 08:16
Neen, I would suggest you check out this site :www.oceaniashippingforum.com as its a kiwi shipping site full of NZ shipping stuff and crewed by many ussco stalwarts who loved the "slow greens" Cheers Maurie

3rd March 2008, 08:39
Thanks Maurie! I've been trying to get on to that site for the last couple of days - not sure if it's my end or theirs but I keep getting error messages. (It's the internet gods not wanting me to ask the same stupid questions over here and over there LOL).

(Once I get my act together I'll post some pictures here and there too. Mostly of the Rangatira and Maori, but a couple of the Kanna - Obviously these were Alan's favourite Ships for one reason or another.) A couple of them I'm not sure about, so in the next couple of days does anyone fancy a game of 'name that bridge'?

3rd March 2008, 08:45
And just to really show my ignorance of all things nautical... (stop rolling your eyes like that)

Can someone give me a definition of 'slow greens'?

I've guessed at the slower classes of cargo carriers - such as the Wairimu. Am I right?

Dave Edge
3rd March 2008, 21:01
I guess Wairimu would have been a 'fast green'.

4th March 2008, 00:36
Neen ,
Slow greens were the 08-11knot ships anyhting over that was quite a novelty to sale on 15.5 Knots on 'WAITAKI', on the eastern trade was fair motoring. I still have some info for you on Alan McIntyre but haven't found all I thought I had as yet so will keep looking.


4th March 2008, 08:33
Hi Neems. The slow greens as they were quaintly know as were the transtasman cargo ships mainly the k class eg, kaimiro, katea, koronui,etc. they averaged around 11-12 knots and taking about 4-5 days to get akld-sydney.

Try this site http://www.nzcoastalshipping.com/index.html and on the menu at top right click on forums it will take you to oceania shipping forum or
use this addie direct to the same site. http://www.oceaniashippingforum.com/index.php

4th March 2008, 11:46
Cheers Butters!

Ah! So no wonder they made such a big deal of the Rangatira pulling 23 knots to Picton, that must have something to see!

I've pulled Alans company file, and that has kept me amused.... I've been told "the McIntyres are a long line of deep sea navigators". This must be true, because every time they are in the shallows they either run aground or hit something.

Perhaps I am being cruel; but it does seem Captain McIntyre tried to redesign Picton on a regular basis! I wonder if they took the damages out of the Masters pay

4th March 2008, 11:57
Thanks Maurie.

I've re-jigged my hardware (its called 'kicking it' - also works on old cars) and got the web sites loading tonight... It feels like christmas, looks like a look of the information I was missing is right there. Brilliant. Thanks again.

Ronnie Williams
24th March 2008, 07:37
prior to 1959-60 most of the USSco trans/tas and coastal were black and buff the "green hullers" were the pink eye jobs, Tofua ,Matua, Waitamata,
Waitomo, Wairata and the Wairimu on the eastern, usa, islands runs etc
even some of them were lucky to do 12 knots

17th November 2009, 18:12
I've just spotted Neens interest in the Wairimu and Wairata which as Ronnie Williams pointed out, were 'green hullers'.
I served in both of them in the Fifties,Third Mate on the Wairimu and Second Mate on Wairata. Third with me on the latter was Jack Churchouse later to achieve well deserved fame for his erudite and practical contributions to the Maritime Museum in Wellington and just a great shipmate too. Incidentally if any members have news of his life and times at the Museum I would be very grateful.
Back the ships, Funnel standard USSCo, Buff masts and derricks, White superstructure and Hull mid to dark green with a gold band encircling. Service speed 12kts. Normal loading ports outward Wellington, Auckland with
cases milk powder, tallow in drums hides and some reefer cargo for our first port Singapore. (We did start a new service from Tauranga by loading a part cargo of newsprint) Thence to Port Klang in Malaysia, Colombo and Bombay. We commenced loading at Bombay for the return journey jute, piece goods then to Colombo to load tea in chests, coconut in in many guises,dessicated and drums of the oil. Lovely aromas in the holds ! Down the Malacca Straits again to load rubber,latex in drums and exotic timber at Singapore. Once after Singapore we called into Djakarta to load paraffin wax and kapok, not a happy experience we had to batten the ship down against the thieves that swarmed over merchant shipping while the 'police' turned a blind eye.
Then back along the Timor Sea to pick up our Reef Pilot at Thursday island and the glorious days of reef sailing with the prospect of going home ahead of us. Some of the best of times I ever had in my seagoing career !
Good luck with your research.