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
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.
Here are a couple of sad photos of the Rangatira being Broken Up as the Alexander The Great
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.