Firm meets big challenge
When a Tokelau Islands chief offered Martin Douglas and Harvey Allen at Allenco Marine Ltd a challenge to build a barge bigger than anything they had ever made before, they accepted.
Now after 1000 hours of work, the 5.1 tonne barge is completed and was on its way to the Tokelau Islands last Friday.
It is one of two barges they are building for the islands.
Mr Douglas said the chief and all his government officials travelled to meet them and have a look at it when it was being built.
The barge is 10.7 metres by 5 metres and can carry 30 passengers or up to five tonnes of cargo.
It has been designed with eight separate buoyancy chambers under the deck and is powered by two small outboard motors.
‘‘We had to build and design it to full Maritime New Zealand structural standards,’’ Mr Douglas said.
‘‘It was later taken to Karapiro to test its stability and we had to alter the width slightly to give it more balance but now it is good.’’
One barge is painted with green writing and the other will be painted with blue as the two islands have separate colour schemes for all their equipment.
They expect the second one to be finished by the end of March.
Set to go: The 5.1 tonne barge is the first boat Matamata Allenco Marine has built for international waters.