The steam tug WILLIAM C DALDY

A brief history Specification  


01 Jul 1841

Captain W.C. Daldy arrived in Auckland in his schooner SHAMROCK.

01 Mar 1935

Tender prices received for the supply of a new tug

01 Oct 1935

"William C Daldy" launched by Lobnitz, Renfrew.

29 Oct 1935

Sea trials in Gair Loch.

07 Nov 1935

Departed River Clyde for New Zealand
Delivery company was Pedder & Milchreest, and the Captain was Captain J.S. Corfe.

26 Nov 1935

Arrived Port Said

17 Dec 1935

At Colombo

14 Jan 1936

Arrived Port Bowen, Queensland

17 Jan 1936

Sailed Port Bowen, Queensland

30 Jan 1936

Arrived Auckland

17 Feb 1936

First job - helping berth the liner AORANGI

Jul 1939

Dalglish Circulation discarded from the boiler, and brick bridges built. It had given repeated problems with leaks for little gain.
(Source: Chief Engineer's Log Book 1936-1942 and AHB Engineers file at NZNMM).

15 May 1940

Agreed to have extra bollard and fittings aft for convenience when towing battle targets. The Board said they would pay for this and not charge the Navy.

19 Feb 1941

The barque LAWHILL arrived had arrived Auckland 9 Jan 1941 after having sailed in over the minefields in the Gulf. So, after discharge it was decided to tow LAWHILL well clear of the port and she left in tow of the DALDY on 19 Feb 1941 to a position north of the Poor Knights Islands. This distance of 95 miles took 14 hours 15 mins, at a speed of 6 knots. Master of tug was Captain Amos Taylor.

19 Mar 1942

Left Auckland and proceeded to North Cape to tow the disabled steamer SINGKEP back to Auckland. (Captain Wright's report of this incident is on the board in the Museum on the tug).

28 Sep 1943

Towed the disabled tanker TROCAS into Auckland, having taken over the tow off the Bay of Islands from the steamer SAMOVAR.

3 May 1944

Tug proceeded to Man O'War Bay, Waiheke Island. 08.30 log says "hit bottom sound like large shingle". Then go alongside oil barge, and tow to Viaduct.
[Barge HINUWAKA arrived Auckland this day (Auckland Shipping arrivals).]
This was to collect barge HINUWAKA which had been towed from Wellington by KAKAPO.

28 Jun 1944

Helped refloat steamer KOTOR off North Cape. (Captain Taylor's report of this incident is on the board in the Museum on the tug).

18 Aug 1948

Four masted barque PAMIR arrived in the Waitemata Harbour on 18 Aug 1948 after a voyage from Dover, England, which had occupied 107 days, having sailed 16,255 miles at an average speed of 6.3 knots.
The Daldy was dispatched to the channel to meet and assist PAMIR as required. However, the tug was not required for the run up the channel, as the sailing vessel's master, Capt. Collier (well known as "two-gun Pete" from his habit of putting his thumbs in his belt) told the Harbour Board's senior Pilot, Capt Burgess of his wish to bring his proud and beautiful ship as far as he could under sail into his home port. The hope had been to bring her right to anchor under canvas but as the barque rounded North Head a westerly squall swept down the harbour almost ahead of the ship. It was at this point that the Daldy was called in to assist to ease the PAMIR to her anchorage. After discharging her cargo, she was taken out to an anchorage to wait a favourable wind for her passage to Wellington.
Finally, on 21st September, after 8 days at anchor, the Daldy commenced the tow, at 1100 hours, the barque out to sea.
This was to be the last time a square-rigged wind-powered sailing ship was to visit the port of Auckland.
At 1300 hours the towline was cast off on PAMIR and she was on her own whilst the Daldy returned to the harbour and the ships of her own kind.

18 Jun 1957

Towed the disabled immigrant vessel CAPTAIN HOBSON into Auckland, having taken over the tow in Hauraki Gulf from PORT MACQUARIE.

01 Dec 1958

Auckland Harbour bridge under construction and in 40 knot winds a centre section becomes uncontrollable. For 36 hours the tug provided a sustained pull to hold the secion the in position.

June 1960

New 24 inch fans for boiler room and new 15 inch fans for engineroom were fitted. The 6KW Sissons/Charters dynamo was removed and transferred to the "Te Awhina". A 15KW Reader/General Electric Company dynamo was fitted, having been obtained from the Navy and formerly on HMNZS "Kiwi".

October 1960

Foremast removed and replaced with a tripod mast above the Master's cabin. A roller was fitted on starboard after bulwark to reduce wear on tow ropes.

17 Apr 1963

Extract from AHB Minutes - Works and Traffic Committee Recommended that the conversion of Tug "William C Daldy" from coal to oil firing be approved at an estimated cost of 23,000 pounds after the condition of the full is fully investigated. (wcdf3401.jpg)

18 Dec 1963

Extract from AHB Minutes - Works and Traffic Committee Proposed conversion is not to be proceeded with, as no realistic savings are likely to result.

Sep 1965

Rail and canvas surround on flying bridge to be removed and replaced with wooden dodger.

13 Dec 1966

Extract from AHB Minutes - Works and Traffic Committee Proposal received for the supply and installation of bridge controlled diesel engines, hydraulically powered auxiliaries, and hydraulic conversion of existing steering gear, tow rope winch and anchor windlass. Cost in the vicinity of 101,640. Proposal postponed until essential factors affecting the condition of the tug are determined, and that a reduced engine room manning scale is possible.

Aug 1969

Engine room telegraphs replaced with Chadburn Synchrostep Electric Telegraphs.

15 Feb 1975

0720am collided with FREMANTLE STAR while coming alongside prior to berthing at Queens West. Bow serverely damaged and both boilers moved forward 6 inches. An investigation put the cause of the mishap as a blown main fuse on the engine room telegraphs (Chadburn Synchrostep Electric Telegraphs).

9 Mar 1977

Last job for WILLIAM C DALDY, working the Russian liner FEDOR SHALYAPIN on her departure at 2005 for Sydney. However, AHB records show she also worked CAPE OTWAY leaving at 2255 for Whangarei. AHB shipping records have no record of her use after this. (Photo: wcdb601.jpg) (New Zealand Herald)

22 Mar 1977

Last day in service for WILLIAM C DALDY. (NZMN Vol.29 No.1)

Mar 1977

New tug DALDY delivered to Auckland Harbour Board and WILLIAM C DALDY retired. Last steaming of WILLIAM C DALDY for AHB, for a photograph with the new DALDY.

Oct 1978

William C Daldy Preservation Society leased the tug for two years at a peppercorn rental of $10 per year.

Oct 1979

Steam raised for first time since March 1977 and the Daldy propelled herself to the Calliope dry dock. The underwater sections were scraped clean of the 3 - 4 in mussels, the other growths and slime that had attached themselves to the hull. The propellers and shafts were removed and replaced, and the hull was tested for thickness. (From boards in the Museum on the tug) (Neil Hudson was skipper for this trip).

Anniversary Day 1980

After 14 months of hard work, plus $8,000 in debt, she sailed on her first trip. It was with children from the Wilson Home for Crippled Children in Takapuna. Steamed across harbour to pickup at Devonport. During afternoon rendezvous with pilot boat AKARANA and Bob Carr (Chairman AHB) presented the Society with an AHB flag (blue AHB in a circle)


Sold to William C Daldy Preservation Society by the Auckland Harbour Board for $1.

4-9 Feb 1990

Trip to Bay of Islands

10 Jan 1991

Towed former steam ferry TOROA from Birkenhead to Princes Wharf.

05 Nov 1998

New Home (in Devonport) for vintage tug (N.S. Times) Ports of Auckland Ltd., under pressure from reconstruction of the Viaduct Basin, are preparing a new berth of the 700 tonne ship on the south western end of Devonport Wharf.

05 Oct 2000

Replated tug to steam on (NZ Herald) Volunteers of the Society have spent 7 weeks replating and reribbing the hull as well as cutting out and repairing boiler supports. Restoration was made possible by a grant from the Lottery Grants Board.


The Society received a significant grant from the ASB Trust (for deck replacement on port and starboard sides, replating hull on port side and new funnel casing).


Slipped at Titan Marine, Auckland. Hull replating on port side along engineroom.

October 2003

Completed replacing teak deck on port side with new iroko. Steel underneath made good where necessary.
New steel deck beneath Captain's cabin.

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