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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there - I am a new boy on the block but I thought some of you might be interested in the fact that"Stena Challenger" ex "Pride of Cherbourg" is close to being signed up for the Cook Strait service by Toll Holdings next summer. "Aratere" is being permitted to carry passengers again from today. Her licence to carry passengers was suspended by maritime safety authorities after a rudder failure about 1 month ago. The poor old thing has been plagued by troubles ever since she was built! Rumours are that the "Lynx" fastferry is to finish shortly as local bylaws have killed the speed advantage over conventional ferries. Oh for the days when I worked for the Union Company and they had 52 ships!
Cheers
Cassim
 

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Interesting news indeed. A big boost for passenger capacity on Cook Strait with her being able to carry approx. 1600 pax, compared with ARAHURA'S 975 and ARATERE'S 350 (when its allowed to carry them!!).
Is this a long term thing or just a charter for the summer season?
Perhaps one of our UK-based members could put up a photo?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Website

Great site with some good photos - I feel like I already know her!
Selwyn (Cassim)
 

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Toll Holdings which bought Brambles Shipping Melbourne few years ago has some history with Stena Line.
Brambles (at the time) got a Stena vessel under b.b.c. and later purchased it for the run Melbourne-Devonport and she was called "Tasmania-B".
Remember her well from the drydockings I attended.
Toll Shipping (part of Toll Holding) now run two large Ro/Ro's between Melbourne and Devonport, built in Korea. Get you some pictures later, got a file on this.
Will then post it in the appropriate thread.
Toll Shipping indeed purchased the Interisland Ferries of Wellington, NZ some 2 years ago.
 

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And another ex Stena vessel used on same run was "Challenger-B'. Have to find out previous names etc as both Tasmania-B and Challenger-B must have gone for scrap, they were pretty old ships.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Jan

I didnt realise how old I was getting! In 1969 I worked for Union Stem Ship Co in George as Asst Berthing Officer for the "Empress of Australia" and "Australian Trader". The "Princess of Tasmania" operated out of Melbourne to Devonport, Bell Bay and Burnie on a fortnightly cycle as I recall. The Empress used to sail after the Syd/Hobart yacht race had departed and all the yachtsmens wives used to travel down so that they would be Hobart when the yachts arrived. We could have sold the ship (she carried 250 passengers) about three times over and, as it was the time of the stock market boom, you could almost guarantee a magnum of champagne if you could confirm somebody off the waitlist! One night I was down at the Terminal prior to sailing and some blighter pinched my telephone from right under my nose. Long before mobile phones........
Cheers
Selwyn
Cassim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your greeting David - nice to be aboard. There must be about 6 kiwis from what I can see!
cHEERS
Selwyn
Cassim
 

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Stena - Brambles -Toll

Selwyn, thanks for your interesting info on the Melbourne to Tassie run.
All this changed a bit when passengers were to be transported in pass. ships (ro/ro's) and cargo was transported in cargo/container ships.
Both ANL and Brambles had a run across to Tassie and as said before Brambles purchased some vessels from the Stena Group.
I attended all vessels in one form or the other (inpections/drydockings) which
Brambles operated.
They first had the Challenger-B, thereafter the "Gute" under b.b.c., then the Tasmania-B.
Finally ending up with a ship called "City of Port Melbourne" whereafter the Tasmania-B was renamed into "City of Burnie". All this at the beginning of 1990's.
In 1999 the "Tasmanian Achiever" replaced "City of Port Melbourne" and the "Victorian Reliance" replaced "City of Burnie", these two new twin vessels were built at Samsung-Korea.
Toll acquired Brambles in 2002 and same year they decided to extend both vessels which was concurrently done in Jurong Shipyard - Singapore.
The new colours are now Toll's house green.

Hereby some photos prior to the take over by Toll and prior to the 34 meter extension.
Next time I will post some photos in their new green coat (double meaning).
Jan

"antifouling is practically always required"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Jan
This is a bit of a mindblower. I didnt even know that Brambles owned ships! Over here they were a road transport company. It is funny the things that go on without a person realising it! From your conversation it sounds like you were a ships surveyor or similar. Am I correct?
Cheers
Selwyn
 

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Didnt Brambles have an interest in the company that ran TNT Challenger and Capricornia, well I think that was their second name change in the mid 80's??, cant recall the company but I think it could have had connections with Stena. I think there were two small ships that ran around the Darwin/PNG area that were associated also, afraid the respective names have vanished from the memory banks though.
Jan - does that make any sense to you or jog a few strands in that prodigious memory or record system you have??. Thinking back twenty plus years the number of ships that serviced Tassie were quite numerous but alas we are now shaving with them!!. Progress is a wonderful thing, if you survive it!!
 

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Brambles

Cassim and Doug R.
You are right, Brambles in principle was a transport company and they also owned Chep. The latter was the world's first and still is the biggest pallet exchange player, i.e. when you receive a pallet you ask whether it is a Chep pallet or otherwise.
Those pallets are painted blue and you exchange as you receive goods.
Brambles was in opposition to TNT, the latter originally stands for Thomas Nationwide Transport but that company (incl the well known satchells...) was taken over by the Dutch Telecom Company about 7 or so years ago.
Regarding the vessels you mention Doug, I would have to do some research. TNT owned several vessels incl the ones you mention, but as far as I know those had nothing to do with the Brambles Shipping Group as they were in opposition.
You had the twin TNT towers in Redfern-Sydney and TNT buildings everywhere.
TNT also owned Ansett Airlines, Chairman at the name (and founder) was Sir Peter Abeles. Ansett (the only airline apart from Qantas at the time) went bust 5 years ago.
The name Brambles no longer exist after Toll Holdings took over the lot incl their shipping division, however, most personnel just came along of course.
And Cassim, I have been working in 3 countries for a very large marine paint company and live in Melbourne since 26 years.
I therefore attended hundreds of drydockings and did many many inspections on board vessels all over the world, travelled a lot.
All sorts of inspections but basically all to do with the paint condition of the hulls, the underwaterpart, tanks of any kinds etc etc.
Visited many shipping companies worldwide and practically all in OZ and NZ.
During those many years with the same company (39 yrs) I took thousands of photos and I only have a very small collection left which I like to share with you people as topics are being inititated.
Cheers,
Jan

"play it safe and use a proper antifouling system"
 

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I recalled this morning that the two vessels I mentioned originally borne the first name Curtis instead of the TNT after the takeover/amalgamation!!. I agree the companies were basically in opposition but I still think that there was some form of an accommodation made between the two of them when the shipping came into it..perhaps it was a joint service or something like that but am sure there was a connection between them. Will see what else I can find!!.
 

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Will see one of my best friends tonight, he was resident supt engineer in Melbourne for Union Steamship NZ for many years and he knows all about TNT as well,
Further I need a bit more time later to find out more details.
I got so much stuff at home but also left a lot back at the office after my retirement, so may have to go back and go through 1000's of docking reports with photos, i.e. what there is left of it.
Jan
 

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Yep no worries, time here is very short as well, just too much going on before we go away at Easter, compounded of course by the wife being away in Perth to do audit on the office there!!. But I shouldnt complain, she has got to work next week and its going to be four very very busy days for her..at least I have only got the domestics and routine stuff here to cope with during the week!!.
I think I will just run with Selwyn's line and put it down to getting old!!. Cheers Mate, Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Doug and Jan,
Knew there had to be an engineer in there somewhere. When I was in late teens working in the Union Company office we used to provide a gang to work on ships in the floating dock( We had one then!). The two main jobs I can remember were the tanker "athelviscount" where I was underneath chipping and scaling the keel. I smelt of oil fuel for months after that job. The "maori" job involved crawling under the plates in the engineroom and dragging lightleads through into the tanks? Compartments between engineroom and bottom of the hull....Very low and very dark when the bulb popped. I would never be able to fit now! I recall the rats and the rust chips that got in the eyes.....aah memories!
Cheers
Selwyn
 

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Ah wonders will never cease, lovely double bottoms, how I miss them, I would just love to fit another pitot tube or transducer...not!!
 

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Brambles Shipping

Doug R,
Apparently the only connection between Brambles and TNT is that at one stage Brambles supplied the ship's crew for some TNT vessels.

I have no more info at the moment.
Also there was (I think no more) a Curtis Brothers in Townsville, I remember I visited them some 20 years ago.
They were looking after some barges and small ships.
Is this perhaps the company you referred to? I do not remember much more than that.
 

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Well I guess that its possible that they were based in Townsville and it was them, the ships used to trade up the east coast certainly. After the takeover or whatever it was the ships were prefixed TNT rather than Curtis but kept the second part of their names and certainly traded further afield. On balance it probably has to be the same outfix.
Interesting the Brambles/TNT connection, it doesnt ring a bright bell but perhaps thats why I am saying there was a connection..we certainly used to handle enough crewing messages from them so its quite possible that its that that makes me think there was a connection. Well done, makes me feel much better now, another irrelevancy solved!!.
Cheers..Doug R
 
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