Ferry maintenance on track for June finish
Published on 24 May 2023
Maintenance work is 40 per cent complete on the Hokianga Harbour vehicle ferry with the vessel expected to be back in the water by early June as planned.
The 145-tonne Kohu Ra Tuarua vehicle ferry, which usually operates between Rāwene and Kohukohu, was pulled into dry dock at the Narrows Wharf in Kohukohu on 1 May. Due to the vessel being around 25 years old, five weeks of maintenance has been scheduled to meet the water survey requirements of Maritime New Zealand.
Despite poor weather conditions and additional issues identified by the marine surveyor, the repair schedule is not expected to be extended. This is due to a fast-paced work schedule that has a number of repair activities operating at the same time.
Maintenance completed so far includes water blasting of the hull, conducting inspections, and spot abrasive blasting. This is in preparation for further repairs, including the application of a five-year protective paint system. This will be followed by hull repairs which will include recommendations from the vessel's surveyor. Additionally, sections of the deck and the vessel's storage tanks will receive protective paint.
Further repairs are being carried out in the vessel's forward and stern hull void spaces, as well as on the bulwarks and anchor winch. The anchor chain will be replaced and minor upgrades will be made to the deck fastenings and fixtures to maintain structural integrity, as identified by the surveyor. The maintenance work also extends to the vessel loading ramps, which will be refitted with a full protective paint system once they are completed.
A passenger-only service is operating to the usual schedule on the Hokianga Harbour while maintenance is carried out on the council’s vehicle ferry. The drop off and pick up point for Kohukohu passengers during this time is from the wharf in Kohukohu town.