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    The Coromandel
    by nasraf ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    5 months ago
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    This was the next boat I built, this time from scratch.

    In my family history search I discovered that my great grandfather had emigrated to New Zealand in 1870 when he went was as a farm worker. He ended up in a small place called Coromandel on the North Island. Auckland was across a big sea inlet and in the days before significant roads, much of the transport was by small steam ships, it was similar in the UK in the Bristol Channel and on the East coast of the USA. Somehow he improved his status by becoming part of the crew of the boat that plied between mainly Coromandel and Auckland. Unfortunately whilst in Auckland when off the boat, he fell into the harbour there and was drowned leaving a wife and by then 5 children. I do not know anything about their subsequent life in N.Z. but they all ended up in Australia and my grandfather became a ships carpenter and roamed the world. On his way he married my paternal grandmother long enough to conceive my father and the continued for a few years to travel the world, before ending up in British Columbia where he married a further two ladies, so at one time he had three wives.

    With this information I decided to see if I could build a model of the Coromandel. As it turned out there is a book on the history of steam transport in the North Island of New Zealand and there was one picture of the Coromandel in this book and after fair amount of research ( mainly in the Great Britain library here in Bristol ) I finally produced a design for the boat and covered its construction on this site.

    The model is electrically powered and radio controlled but only had a few sailings as it is more of a historic object now and the salt water in the sailing sites around Bristol does not do models with brass parts a lot of good so it now resides on brackets in my lounge.


    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    5 months ago by Nerys ( Rear Admiral)
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    Interesting story and an interesting ship.

    Nerys
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    5 months ago by jbkiwi ( Vice Admiral)
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    Was this the photo you found ?
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    5 months ago by nasraf ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Hi jbkiwi

    Thanks for the response, interested where you are sited have thought about traveling to see where the family came from, but it is a long way at my age.

    The actual picture I used to design and build the model was from a book called "Servants of the North". The copy I have was via Amazon and was evidently presented to someone from the Birmingham Chamber of Industry and Commerce on a visit to Auckland in 1982.

    I have attached the picture, sorry it is upside down, but I tried to rotate it but although I can do it on my computer for some reason when I down load it to the model boat site, it goes back to its original form perhaps it is because it comes from the other side of the world !!!!

    I am only a very occasional modeler, only three boats in my life and I doubt if there will be any more after the VALSHEDA, not like you.

    The research for the Coromandel was very interesting and I learnt a lot about the very large industry that small coastal steamers were at the end of the 19 th century. In Bristol where I live is the home to the SS Great Britain and associated with it is a very good marine library which was the source of the hull shape.

    nasraf

    P.S.

    I was once a National Service member of the Royal Air Force hence the name. The branch I served in was the marine craft station at Plymouth UK so have a particular interest in the Fireboat due to its connections. This was in 1960 when the branch was gradually fading away.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    5 months ago by jbkiwi ( Vice Admiral)
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    Hi nasraf, NZ had a big maritime history and there are still a number of wrecks remaining of old steamers in the Auckland area ( barely visible now, a few ribs here, a boiler there etc - a number of harbour paddle steamer ferry hulks were dumped at Browns Island in the Auckland harbour in the 1800s and early 1900s)
    You have probably seen in my posts that we still have the only other 64ft HSL in the world still afloat and running (albeit highly modified, more just the hull and foredeck original) and 3 different seaplane tenders, -one in use on the West coast of Auckland at Helensville, one NZ built version in the RNZAF museum in Wigram- Christchurch, and the other (the one I modeled ) in a factory in Auckland being restored (hopefully). A mention of the Coromandel here https://divenewzealand.co.nz/dive-111/
    JB
    https://divenewzealand.co.nz/dive-111/
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    4 months ago by nasraf ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Hi JB

    Your response has got me into a bit of research into your 63 ft. HSL which looks a very fine model indeed.

    I am not very well informed on the early RAF boats but have in the past been interested in T.E. Lawrence ( Lawrence of Arabia ) involvement with the development of the high speed launch, that he was intimately associated with at RAF Mountbatten.

    Do you know much about the history of the boat you have modeled, was it originally a RAF boat that got transferred to the NZ air force ?

    From what I am able to deduce your model is based on the RAF 100 HSL Type 2 that were built by the British Power Boat Company am I correct.

    Over the last 7 years I have been very involved in the development of an aerospace museum here in Bristol in particularly in the area of guided weapons, this has made me much more aware of the importance trying to record some of the history of what happened. Model makers do great deal to record history, particularly when the original items have disappeared.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    4 months ago by jbkiwi ( Vice Admiral)
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    Hi nasraf, the RNZAF 100 series, type 2 (the prototype, type 1, had a rounded wheelhouse roof but was basically the same) 64ft HSL (W1) was supposedly a special order,- no one is sure if it was included somewhere in the 100-121 boats,- (21 built) It arrived on board a ship in Feb 1940 and is the only 100 series sold outside the UK. The only other surviving is HSL102 in the UK which is operated by the Portsmouth? maritime museum.
    RNZAF W1 is the first to have a number (the W is not used on the boat just the 1 and the RNZAF roundel) W is for watercraft. Picture is on Auckland harbour around 1942. It made regular trips down to Wellington during its' service (around 400miles each way) and was involved in the rescue of the survivors of the liner Niagra which hit a mine north of Auckland, bringing about 20 back to Auckland (200mile round trip)

    Was retired in the 50s and bought by an Auckland man and converted to a private launch in the late 60s. I went on board while it was still in original condition in 1968. Had a number of owners until sold to another Auckland chap who did a 5 yr rebuild and is now fully aircond and powered by a single Detroit 8v. (See pics in my harbour)

    The other boat modelled is the 38ft BPBCo seaplane tender which is the type AC Shaw (Lawrence) was involved in testing. This particular ex privately imported (1950s by a doctor) tender was built in Hythe UK but there is no history. It was moored near my home in Auckland for years, and was recently saved from a trucking yard about 80 miles south of Auckland and is now supposedly being restored here.
    JB
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: The Coromandel
    4 months ago by nasraf ( Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    Thanks JB

    I thought you would know the details and the number on the boat is genuine.

    After doing this bit of research I came across a book " The RAF Airsea Rescue Service 1918 to 1986 " and have bought a copy via Amazon, as my detailed knowledge on the great variety of boats the RAF had, is a bit sparse.

    When I was at Mountbatten 1961 to 1962, I was an air wireless fitter, the boats were fitted with aircraft radios. We had 3 types of boats there then RTTL's, RSL's and Pinnance's the main daily task being to check the function of the VHF set. If you planned the time you did it, you could have a ride on a RSL outside of the breakwater and be a spectator of aircrew doing dingy drill.

    I only had two rides on a RTTL, once on a nuclear exercise on a MK 2 which consisted of a short trip across the sound and then to stay anchored whilst the boat rocked from side to side for about 8 hours, I managed to not be sick, but was very glad when we returned to the Cattewater.

    The second was on probably the last MK 1 RTTL still at Mount Batten, I expect the 1A which had 3 Napier Lion engines controlled by some poor soul who had to be in close proximity. It was a very nice day and we had gone for about 5 miles outside the breakwater on a flat sea, when one of the engines packed up, so we had to go back. My sea experience therefore on fast boats was very limited. I think the Mk 1A was kept at the time for historical reasons, it was never used on operations.

    In the end I became the unit electrical draughtsman, because beside being an operational station it was also the Maintenance Unit for the RAF marine craft, and we fitted equipment to the boats without contractors. The main job I had was recording the fitting of UHF radios to a RTTL for location of submarine sensing devices. It was a much more comfortable job sitting in a nice warm private office, rather than making your way round various boats anchored out in the Cattewater in the winter and trying to start the single cylinder donkey engine on the RSL's, for the radio check.
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