Exploring Nautilus

Friday, June 5, 2015
Barry, Ian and Kevin in the workshop

By Liz Gordon

To find out what has been happening with the work on Nautilus these days, I visited the workshop at the rear of the Maritime Museum. The refurbishment of Nautilus is painstaking and slow, but is an active work in progress. Volunteers Ian Hollister, Barry  Eagland, David Blackmore and Don Liggins are the craftsmen who patiently work on her on Wednesdays. Last week I took advantage of an invitation to see what they’re doing,  both  on  the  wharf  and  in  the  workshop.

Several large copper bolts are required on the Nautilus project, which need to be made from scratch. In the work-shop,  copper  rods  are  cut  to  length,  have  heads  created by peening over the end, and have a thread cut. Kevin demonstrated the special thread cutting equipment (Imperial not metric of course ...) used in making them. 

Then down to the end of the wharf. Barry and Dave showed me what they’re working on, described their work so far and what still needs to be done – rather a lot it seemed! They are very aware and respectful of the historical significance of what they’re doing and they had placed a little poppy in one of the portholes, as a reminder of the work she did during World War I, when she was a launch for the hospital ship Marama.

It’s fascinating to see another side of the Museum’s activities and if anyone wants to check out Nautilus’ progress, the volunteers would love you to visit them any time – they’ll be very pleased to tell you all about it.


To learn more about Nautilus and book a sailing on her click here