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Steam Ferry Toroa Restoration


Rebuilding from the inside out and reinventing the lost trades.

The May issue of Our West told some of the story of the restoration of the Devonport steam ferry Toroa, currently overlooking SH16. The 40m 1925 ship is being rebuilt from the inside out, much harder than building a new ship from the keel up.

But this is how it had to be done, to preserve the shape of the fragile hull during restoration. The steel ribs inside the wooden planking were badly corroded, and it was essential to provide a sound new skeleton before tackling planking, decks and superstructure.

The ribs are of 5″ x 3″ bulb-angle steel suction, common when riveted and composite-construction ships were the norm. Bulb angle is obsolete, the new rib section was extruded in England especially for the Toroa, 13 tonnes, or a kilometre’s length, with the aid of a TTCF grant.

Read more about the restoration in the September issue of Our West.