Tag Archives: Engineering

Tall Ships perhaps not a thing of the past.

The Esmeralda is one of the largest tall ships to sail the world’s oceans.

She is a Spanish manufactured steel-hulled four-masted barquentine (manufactured and delivered as a schooner) taken into service in 1953.

She is used as a training ship of the Chilean Navy and act as a type of floating embassy for Chile.

In spite of her impressive size and a claim during her service to be in podium position for both longest and tallest ocean going sailing ship, she has been surpassed several times by even larger tall ships.

The largest square rigged ocean going tall ship is currently the 5 masted clipper ship the Royal Clipper, with 5202 square metres of sail, launched as recently as the year 2000.

Esmaralda, moored in Wellington harbour

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This two thousand year old invention will do!

In the 1950’s the late Sir William (Bill) Hamilton, high country farmer and self taught engineer, developed the water jet propulsion system that allowed motorised exploration of rivers too shallow to traverse with traditional props.

The Hamilton water jet propulsion system is used in craft all over the world and became a regular feature in the New Zealand tourism industry.

During an interview in 1962 when hailed as the “inventor” of marine jet propulsion he replied “That honour probably belongs to a gentleman named Archimedes, who lived some years ago”. A position he maintained for the remainder of his life.

Skippers Canyon Jet, Shotover River, Skippers Canyon, New Zealand.

Skippers Canyon Jet website.

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Dangerous Roads we Have!?

The Skippers Canyon road outside Queenstown in the South Island was earlier this year listed as one of the 22 most dangerous in the world. Driving Experiences, a UK based company, gave the road a fear factor of 7 out of 10.

Rental car terms and conditions specifically state that rental vehicles  are not allowed on New Zealand beaches and the Skippers Canyon Road.

View, from my passenger seat, Skippers Canyon road to river below.


Some sharp turns.

This NZ Harold article has a pretty nice photo (much better than my own).

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