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Photographed in the London Docks in 1968.Built by John Brown at Clydebank in 1949 and scrapped as ORIENTAL ESMERELDA IN 1976.
 

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She went to CY Tung also and became ORIENTAL CARNIVAL but I don/t know when she was scrapped.
 

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Fairfield said:
She went to CY Tung also and became ORIENTAL CARNIVAL but I don/t know when she was scrapped.
Hi Guys,
Both ships were based mainly on the San Diego cruise trade until being laid up in late 74 in I think Hong Kong. They were both despatched to Kaohsiung Taiwan for scrapping within a month or so of one another.
FYI the Ruahine which was really a smaller variant of the others was employed on the same trade as the Oriental Rio but ended up in the same place for scrapping in late 73.
Hope that helps...Doug
 

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Thanks for that-I think it was found they were expensive to run,not a good thing for some operators.
 

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Fairfield said:
Thanks for that-I think it was found they were expensive to run,not a good thing for some operators.
Yes I am sure that they were expensive to run although they were all powered by Doxford diesels..if they had been turbine I could well have understood it. It probably came down to a number of things including crew costs and adequate passenger revenue. Certainly their convertions and upkeep could not have been cheap and although they were relatively small - I guess that could have been significant in itself!!...they were good ships for their time though and perhaps should have been able to soldier on a lot longer as many others of the era did..luck of the draw I guess.
 

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Rangitane

Sailed on Rangitane 1961. (11 Engineers, 3 Leckies, 2 Reefers) Doxford twin sixes side scavenge.
In 1962 she was at RA dock and due to take the new Governor General to NZ when she was found to have a crack in one journal on the crankshaft of the port engine.
With a certain amount of prestige hinging on this trip to get the G/G to NZ, both top and bottom pistons, side rods and crossheads were removed. A two piece steel collar was welded onto the offending journal. Preheating the journal was a whole story in itself with everything swathed in asbestos blankets (yes Asbestos) with fire hoses and extinguishers everywhere.
The bearing shells on each side hade been removed and a water sprayed onto the area to prevent too much transfer of heat.
One everything was welded up and slowlyy cooled down the cylinder liner was blanked off and Rangitane sailed to NZ with the G/G on 5 pots on the engine. It proved to be a slight problem when manouvering on occasions the engine had stopped on angle of incidence which prevented her being blown over either astern or ahead depending on the angle of rotation.
Jinxie.
 

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Hi,
My Uncle, Robert (pop ) Johnson,was In The Rangitane,until 1967,
When He Fell Between The Ship & The Quay,and Was Killed.IN EITHER KG5 OR RA DOCKS.
I Believe He Was Quartermaster But Not Certain.
Was Any Members On Board At That Time Or Remember Pop,
As He Was With Nzsc For A While.
Cheers,
Paul.
 

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Hi All,I was on the "Tane" 28th Aug 1954 till 27th Sep 1955,7th and 5th Eng.My first trip on her was Voyage 13 and it lived up to its number.I can't remember how many brake downs we had,but I do remember it was a least one a day,quite a few twice a day and not so many three times a day.The Passengers said it was the first ship that stopped on Request.Mianly water leaks in the swinging arms,in the crankcase.Whoever forge or cast them must have been an Aero Chocolate.She had just changed over or maybe the trip before to heavy Fuel Oil (Boiler Oil).She'd blow fuel lines as though they were going out of fashion.Come round between the engines and you would see a cloud of vaporised fuel.Thank God we only had a scavenge fire or two when we had no fuel leaks.The voyage after I left,some one tried to start one of the Engines with the turning gear in.Threw the turning gear over the thrust housing and twisted the crankshaft.So she came home on one engine.By this time I joined the "Holmglen" in Hoogezand Holland on Jan 2nd 1956 and we got frozen in the Canal.I was going out to get married in Wellington NZ.Wedding had to be postponed twice.We did sea trials 3rd Feb 1956 and went over to Gravesend on the Thames.Loading 500tons of Cement for NZ.The three Engineers Maurice Grant,Leon Pilon and Myself were having a cup of Coffee thinkit was about 10am 5th Feb 1956 and here's the "Tane coming up the River with 8 Tugs all with tows on her plus a couple of other tugs fussing around in case of anything else going wrong.I Managed to get up to the Royals and got on Board about an hour after she had tied up.Then I got the whole story.No Names or pack drill,but an other little event had occured.They had,had a full hold of top Quality Beef,it had been frozen solid instead of being nice and fresh,just liked it had been freshly killed.My mate was still on her and when he got back to NZ it was 3 days before they could get the first Beef carcass out.The "Tane then went up to John Browns I think for a new Crankshaft or whatever.The "Holmglen" well we left on the 6th Feb and arrived in Lyttelton on 26th May 1956.That's another story the voyage.I was offered the Chiefs Job and rang the fiancee and was told"Go to Sea and No Wedding" Very wise Lady.Declined "Holmglen" offer and swallowed the Anchor.Met the New Chief he went down with the rest of the Crew when she foundered just on two years later.Best Regards Ken B
 

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Hi Ken,

The sequence was twisting the crankshaft first, (No 1 Cyl on the Port engine) as a result of trying to compress the water between the pistons on start up. The turning gear broke as a result of trying to turn the engine over before it was realised that the crankshaft had twisted.

Regards, John
 

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I sailed on the Rangitane to the U.K. in 1962 as a passenger from Wellington N.Z. In the late 60's when i was an engineer with Shaw Savill the Rangitane went past us in the Royal Albert docks renamed the Jan. All they had done was to paint over the Rangi bit add a slash to the bottom of the T and cross out the E.
 

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I spent some two years on Rangitane between 1961 and 1963 sailing as Jnr 3rd, 3rd and snr 3rd Mate. Five voyages in all and all great times.
By the time I was there apart from the usual scavenge fire between Tahiti and NZ (always seemed to happen there!) she seemed to be running well at that stage until the previously reported saga of the port crankshaft. As far as we were concerned up top we had a 6 cyl and 5 cyl engine and although her service speed was down a little you would never have known there was anything wrong.
Mind you it was a bit interesting at around 85/95 rpm as she got a bit of a critical at that speed. It was also very interesting arriving Wellington with the GG on board. There was a bit of a southerly blowing (as it does in Wellington!) and we needed to make a brisk approach to the berth and the full astern both engines had to be timed to perfection. It was and the port engine fired up OK but the Master Comm. Bob Rees muttered a few expletives and thanked whatever God was on our side that morning! The wharf was packed with a full Guard of Honour in funny hats and full drill. Would have been front page news if the old girl had sailed into the end of the dock....
The repairs were carried out in the Wiltons Yard in Rotterdam in January/February 1963 in the middle of Winter. I always remember berthing alongside at 0800 and by 0900 they had the gangs down below and were into it.
They built a railway between the engines, stripped the aft 3 cyl of the port engine and then cut holes in the deck-heads and decks of A, B, C & D deck F&A alleyways. A floating crane was brought alongside, long strops were lowered through the holes and the whole of the aft entablature was lifted clear of the bed-plate and hung off. The aft section of crankshaft was hauled out sideways, trundled down between the engines and extracted through the funnel. As soon as it was out the new section was lowered in through the funnel, and the procedure was reversed. Amazing as it was the middle of Winter and freezing cold. They kept all the services on and heating to the accom at the same time.
She was dry-docked and back on the berth in the Albert Docks in 6 weeks! John Browns the builders had quoted 4 months......
I left her in the dry-dock almost fixed and never saw her again except once in Sydney in 1964(?)sadly. Lord knows what she was doing there at Circular Quay. She was a lovely ship and I had some very happy times on there. I sat for Mates and joined Northumberland in Montreal in the July and did 4 round voyages on the MANZ run between Australia and the USA eventually bringing her home to Hull in May 1965.
Rangitane and Rangitoto were sisters with the prettiest of them all the Ruahine was a little smaller. Same engines and she was always a little faster. That was the last time I saw NZ.......must go back soon before it is too late.
Ah sweet memories.......
 

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Spongebob
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RMS Rangitane- Collission in Panama canal

Ken Berry's story re Rangitane brings back many memories, I signed on in Auckland about June 1957 as Junior engineer for my first trip to sea. I did the round trip to the UK and back signing off in Wellington to join the Union Steamship Co. I really enjoyed my time on board but the then pay of thirty-seven pounds ten shillings a month left me lean on resources especially after being on a passenger ship where we seemed to have a very social time.
The first USSCo berth was on the little collier "Kaitangata" and accomodation, food and overall comforts at sea were a far cry from the relative luxury of a passenger ship but at about sixty pounds a month plus overtime and leave ac***ulation for Sundays at sea enabled me to start ac***ulating some assets.

A couple of memories while on the 'Tane' were;

The loss of the sailing ship 'Pamir', she sent out a distress call just when we left Southhampton enroute to Panama and I have written an account of this in the 'Tall Ships' forum.
and

The collision with another ship in the Miriflores Lakes after leaving the eastern Panama canal locks.
I was watchkeeping in the fridge engineroom as we were carrying a chilled fruit cargo of grapes to NZ and as I went below after lunch to start my afternoon watch the weather was hot,humid and very overcast with a huge black cloud front approaching from the west. After about thirty minutes below we felt a shudder ripple through the ship that lasted about a full minute or more then stopped. First thought was that we had run aground so I sent the fridge greaser up to check and he came back smartly to report that we had collided with another ship and that it was sinking!
It turned out that our ship was steaming at very low speed with the port anchor hanging out of the hawsepipe to just above the waterline as a precaution should it be needed when the rain storm struck with huge fury blotting out all vision. Our engines were stopped but with some way on when out of the gloom came the 'Hawaian Trader ' an ex wartime Liberty or Victory class tramp. The ships bows met with a glancing blow and as the Trader passed to our port side the suspended anchor hooked into its bow plates and the joint momentum of both ships saw the anchor act as a giant can opener to neatly rip the ship's side open allowing much of the cargo of pineapples destined for the American East Coast to spew out into the water. The trader then sheared off to its starboard and sank in the shallows finishing up with its superstructure safely above water.
No one was injured but the Rangitane had torn bow plates above the waterline which neccesitated spending a few days tied up at Balboa while temporary patching plates were welded on and the bow damage section filled with concrete. I understand that on arrival back in London a new bow section was fitted.
The holdup meant that there were about 450 bored passengers to entertain so the Company organised a fleet of Panama taxis to take people on short tours aroun the region. I recall that a group of off watch engineers, including me, dressed in civvies and sneaked into a cab or two to take advantage of the free tours.
I seem to recall that the 'Tane' had radar but it would of been basic by today's standards and nodoubt it was not fitted to the Hawaian Trader

The ship was then commanded by Captain Rees and the Chief Engineer was Mr Kent but most of my shipmates are only recalled by their first names.

Bob Jenkins
 

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my name is marvin barber i served on the sister ship to the rangitane the rangitoto
from royal victoria docks to new zealand i think was 1965-66 anybody out there who seved in the rangitoto i would be grateful for any replies
 

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"ruahine"

Hi Guys,
Both ships were based mainly on the San Diego cruise trade until being laid up in late 74 in I think Hong Kong. They were both despatched to Kaohsiung Taiwan for scrapping within a month or so of one another.
FYI the Ruahine which was really a smaller variant of the others was employed on the same trade as the Oriental Rio but ended up in the same place for scrapping in late 73.
Hope that helps...Doug
QUOTE=Kenny MacRitchie Hi Guys
The Ruahine was the Oriental Rio she was laid up in1968 renamed SSRuahine and placed on market to be purchased soon after by C.Y. Tung and renamed Oriental Rio to join her sisters Toto&Tane. After a refit her hull was painted grey, red boot topping and yellow funnel with the company's floral emblem she also had her foremast removed. She left on her maiden cruise from San Diego on February 26th1969 and was cruising for another 3 years before finally being broken up in Kaohsiung Tiwan in 1973
 

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I saw one of the Rangi`s leaving Wellington on her last run in the early 1960s. Whether it was to be sold or scrapped I don`t know. She was covered in bunting from stem to stern and every ship in the harbour was sounding their horns. Three of us, would be hard nuts stood and watched and we were almost in tears. Some things you never forget.
 

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In the early 60's that would very likely be either the Rangitiki or the Rangitata. They were built in the early 30's; were sisters to the Rangitane sunk off New Zealand in WW2. By the time they left for the last time thousands of people had travelled on them and the nostaglia for those two old ships was immense.
There would have been many tears that day as an era closed for ever. I recall seeing the Rangitata in the RAD when she was sold for scrap. They towed her out in the night with her name changed to Tata.
 

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Both Rangitiki and Rangitata were converted to troopers during the war and stayed in that mode for the early post war year's Britain/NZ immigration run.
My war widowed Aunt and her two teenage children arrived in Wellington on the Rangitiki late 1946 after my father wrote a personal letter to the then NZ High Commissioner in London Bill Jordan. Dad had got to know him when Jordan was a NZ Labour party politician during the pre-war years and the rules were bent to give the family an early passage.
My cousin George, then 17 years of age, was quartered in a 16 bunk cabin with men of all ages while his mother and sister were similarly quartered with a female group.
I talked to George only a couple of years ago about this trip and essentially it was a joy to arrive in NZ and disembark.

Bob
 
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