Recent content


Current Projects

Steering Mechanisms

In recent months our repairs to the steering mechanism has been moving along quite quickly – considering our excellent volunteers work Saturdays only with a bit of extra mid week at times.

Hikitia has not steered itself or propelled itself since about 1978 and so the mechanisms that make all thishappen had not been maintained. The drive engines are good. The propeller shafts and seals, the propellers, the sea valves and underwater hull were all refurbished at Lyttelton in 2009.  The photo shows engineers watching the drive engines turn the shafts in August 2009.


Rudder Boxes

The plates forming both rudder boxes were corroded through and the rudder stocks have a large amount of wastage due to corrosion. Both boxes have had the corroded steel plating removed, the port box now has new plates and the starboard box is almost completed. Our engineers and advisors have reviewed the stocks and have determined they are OK although a strengthening modification will be carried out in the near future.


Starboard Rudder Quadrant

The above deck steering rods have been refurbished with new stainless steel axles for the rollers and new grease nipples fitted. Inspections along the steering rod led to discovering that the quadrants that hold the chain at end of the rods was badly corroded. The quadrant has been removed and will be sandblasted and repaired and refitted to the rudder stock.  The surrounding structures are now exposed and some work is needed by our volunteers to descale rust and coat the steel in proper paint systems


Gear Room

The other main project is the reconstruction of the Gear room. This is the structure at the bottom of the crane that protects the crane gear and steam engine mechanisms and operators from the weather. Our volunteers have been recladding and reroofing this since 2008. The sidewalls are complete with new H4 specially milled radiata pine fitted. The roof is also almost done with just final sealing around and inside the crane columns to complete.