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Piako bow view

Tom Haywood said:
I sailed on the Piako from 27/01/69 till 6/03/70 (14 mth voyage on the MANZ run) as 1st Refrig, she set a first for the NZS as with her sister ship Somerset as the first reefer ships with Freon 12 refrigeration systems, a major leap from the old CO2 units. Also the first to have the refrigeration flat and evap room in the actual engine room, and !!! they were fully air conditioned with the air conditioning plant (including the large compressor in a compartment in or near the funnel. Another unique feature for NZS when she was built was that she had Mcgreggor hydraulic hatches fitted through-out including the tween decks.

Tom Haywood
Hi Tom,

I was chief sparks on this ship, my last, from June 1962 to July 1963, voyages 2 and 3 I believe. I tried to attach a photo, but it wouldn't let me, so look in the gallery to see it. I found it a very noisy ship. The Radio Room was at the base of the funnel next to the extractor fans. Off the Radio Room opened the gyro room, the radar room and in the workshop were at least 3 different motors powering bits of equipment. Fortunately, they rarely all ran at once, but when they did the noise gave us a headache!

Voyage 2 was straightforward - U.K. to Oz via Suez, Bermuda(!), the States and Canada, Oz and Tasmania, NZ and home via Panama Canal.

Voyage 3 somewhere different - Montevideo and Buenos Aires!

When I joined her I was told that this was a party ship with a reputation to keep up. We certainly tried - especially in the Aussie ports.

A full account of both voyages appears in my book "Sydney, Sapele & St. John", which I have written, printed and published myself.


I've sent another shot of the "Piako", taken a few minutes later as we passed her bows. This proves the lads didn't leave any holidays in their paintwork. Little did I know at the time that this would be my next ship.

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