THE NEW ZEALAND MARITIME RECORD
|Aramoana 1962 - 1994
in service 1962 - 1983
Preliminary artist's impression 1960
In April 1959 the New Zealand government approved the NZ$4 million purchase and Yard number 1502 was the 105th and last ship built by William Denny & Brothers Ltd at Dumbarton, Scotland. The diesel-electric vessel was launched into the River Leven on the 24th of November 1961. With a length of 112.2 metres, a beam of 18.6 metres and a maximum draft of 4.74 metres, she displaced 3,960 tons net, or 4,532 tons gross. Aramoana began her 22 year service on the Wellington - Picton run on the 13th of August, 1962, with a crew of 90 and 788 passengers.
Above: two days previously she created a stir on her berthing and loading trials at Picton, a blustery Southerly gale drifted her away from the berth and she brushed the Waitohi wharf, damaging both wharf and ship. Subsequently she bumped heavily into the link-span, shattering concrete and some of the ship's belting. Many V.I.P.s were aboard and it was not an auspicious occasion for the beginning of the service. These initial difficulties were overcome, however, and apart from the occasional problem in berthing a regular and reliable service eventuated.
The vehicle deck. The first postcard image.
Able to carry 70 cars and 30 rail wagons, she was rebuilt to carry 800 passengers at Port Chalmers, Dunedin in 1978 and eventually laid up at Wellington in March 1983. Sold to the Najd Trading & Construction Company of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in October, 1984 she was renamed the Captain Nicolas V. The following year she commenced service carrying Moslem pilgrims on the Red Sea and was renamed Najd II in 1986. August, 1992 found her at Singapore and in November she was at Mombassa. She was reputed to be involved in immigrant smuggling activities before being laid up at the United Arab Emirates port of Ajman from June 1993. In November 1994 the 32 year old vessel left Ajman towed by a tug and was broken up on Alang beach on the western shore of the Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat state, India.
Thanks to Marcus Castell
New Zealand Maritime Record
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