The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


February 2017

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on March 17, 2017 at 2:15 PM

Firstly, apologies for the late publication of February’s News, my excuse being a busman’s holiday away from ships in Liverpool – by spending a couple of weeks on the Celebrity Eclipse in the Caribbean. This ship is a little under 122,000 tons and her three Wartsila diesel engines produce some 90,000 Horse Power, compared with Kerne’s 153 tons and our W.V.V. Lidgerwood steam engine’s output of some 300 Horse Power. This means of course that Kerne is more powerful than the Eclipse with a power to weight ratio of approx. 2 HP per ton compared with the Eclipse’s ratio of 0.74HP per ton, which only goes to prove that there are lies, damn lies and statistics!


Back aboard Kerne, work has started on the Forward Cabin floor, which is quite challenging, as without a floor you are standing (or trying to stand) on the near vertical curved hull plates as you work, holding on to the frames to stop you slipping down into the bilge. All very comical if you are not down there!

Lagging of the various steam lines has progressed, but this has not been without some difficulties due to location of pipework above the boiler and the lack of clearance between this and the Boiler Room casing, which was proving very frustrating. At one point Dave called me to have a look at a section of the main steam line, where the clearances were very tight. I duly climbed down the starboard Boiler Room skylight onto the smokebox door, which was opened to the horizontal to give us a platform to work from. As I climbed down I noticed what appeared to be a spectacle lens by my foot. I picked this up and as I turned to Dave I noticed that one of the lenses of his glasses was missing. ‘I can’t see how we are going to get the lagging in there’ says Dave. ‘Try putting this in and taking another look’ says I handing him the lens. I won’t repeat his reply.

Also down below, the Main Engine Stop Valve has been overhauled and re-fitted, Engine Room bilges have been dried out and painted and a major sort-out of the Engine Room tool cupboard is underway.

On Deck, the towing bows over the Engine Room casing have been chipped and painted, the fresh water tank located between the casing and the Aft Cabin hatch received similar treatment, but the supporting frame did not survive the hammer test. Unfortunately, the tank itself fared little better and will have to be repaired in order to remove its’ sieve-like properties. Removal of the tank did however give us access to an area of deck that is rarely seen, and this has now been chipped and painted.

Work has progressed away from the vessel on the Boiler Room vents, and the bottom cylindrical sections have had a trial fitting before the trumpet sections are fitted. So far so good with these.

Work continues as we get ever nearer to our first event of the year – Steam on the Dock, to be held in the Albert Dock, Liverpool on Saturday & Sunday 6th & 7th May 2017.




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