Catalina restoration news 2015

27th November 2015

Work progressing on hull restoration

Eco blast used to strip back paint and surface corrosion from bottom of hull.

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2015 Festival

Restored Port engine on display.



'Our Girl' port engine

‘Our Girl’ port engine

 June 2015

‘Our Girl’ relocates.

After a late night loading on Friday 29th May, & an early morning start at 5am on the 30th, ‘Our Girl’ finally reached her destination at our depot at Kilaben Bay. The last move before going to her final home at Rathmines.
This will make it easier for the restoration work, as the various parts of the plane are now at the one place.

We would never have been able to achieve this if it wasn’t for the generous support of several companies, including, ALKIRA BOATSHED (Phil & Margaret Heaney), DARACON (Dave Mingae – Peter Tighe & James), CAMERON CRANES (Rob Cameron & Scott) and NOVA TIMBER ( Chris Magin).
A big ‘thank you’  to those who also helped at the time, Terry, Ray ,Rob & Pee Wee, also our ‘film crew’, the Bates family. Big job for so few.

Please feel free to call in and have a look at the restoration work when you are in the area.

Picture below shows Rob & Penny Furner standing in front of ‘Our Girl’ fuselage at Kilaben Bay.

Fuselage at Kilaben Bay

Fuselage at Kilaben Bay


'Our Girl' fuselage at Kilaben Bay

‘Our Girl’ fuselage at Kilaben Bay

April 2015.

Progress report on “Our Girl”.

From Terry W, co-ordinator.


Work has been progressing well on “Our Girl” given our limited resources but many thanks again to those that continue to be so generous.

Kerry Vine and Warren Taylor continue to make good progress on the port engine which is still intended to be a non operational exhibit but will still be externally refurbished to a good standard. Kerry is still confident of eventually bringing the starboard engine to running condition but this is a long way off yet. Warren is paying special attention to cowlings, cylinder shrouds, the ignition harness and all the other bolt on engine accessories.

Ray Fairall has proved to be a shrewd operator shopping round for engine tools and other accessories. We have accumulated a reasonable quanity of top overhaul engine tools plus Ray has just ordered an engine lifting eye that attaches on the same thread as the propeller retaining nut. Next item is a engine turning attachment but we have to take care re the cost of ex USA freight.

Ray and myself are also still working on the fuselage at Alkira Boatyard, the aft section is starting to look quite good and the olive green primer is applying well using rollers. We are gradually keeping the elements and corrosion at bay.

Last Saturday 11th April, Rob, Penny, Ray and myself had a very busy day at the Kilaben Bay depot, supported by Warren.
Rob had previously made space for relocation of the centre wing so by 8.00am there was a 20t Franna crane complete with operator Scott on site accompanied by a DARACON tri axle extendable trailer plus operator and also the ever reliable Peter Tighe from Daracon, who always ensures everything goes smoothly. In no time, the centre wing was moved to it’s new location and the tail assembly was placed on temporary supports in a more accessible area. To their credit, Peter and Scott had all this completed by 10.00am. Great effort! Whatever these people do is always seamless and hassle free.
We then cleared a decent work area on concrete and under cover which will provide a much more comfortable work area for the engine work. This involved a lot of heavy lifting both physically and with the trusty backhoe.
We then cut timber packing to pack the port engine about 400mm off the floor in the vertical position and then placed the engine in position ready for the engine people on Wednesday. Rob has also moved the starboard engine to the same area to be worked on later.

Finally, all the recovered tarps were dried out and folded, we are hoping to carry out some basic anti corrosion work on the centre wing plus determine a more exact work scope before covering it again.
Rob and I will be organising timber to place the fuselage and shipping frame on to about ½ metre height at the previous location of the centre wing. Before this can happen, some tree trimming has to happen and the area has to be levelled and hopefully graveled. Much of this preparation will take place the next week.

The fuselage will now be moved from our ever patient friends at Alkira Boatyard. Phil and Margaret have been really wonderful.
As always, DARACON will be carrying out the move. Will be in the dark of night as there is a 5.00am curfew on such road movements.
Again, a huge ‘thank you’ to the crew from DARACON.

If you would like to add your support with your donation, please use our “PLEASE DONATE” button at the bottom of this page.
Thank you.