The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


January 2018

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on February 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The New Year came in with work continuing down in the Forward Cabin, but now it was warm, with the new stove proving to be a very welcome and efficient addition to this refurbished area of the vessel. It is perhaps not to surprising how much easier fiddling jobs become with warm fingers, which brings us to the topic of the Forward cabin lighting. After much wasted time testing and re-testing what remained of the original 24 volt installation, a unilateral decision was taken to scrap the lot and start again. So, the conduit was cut back and all wiring within, plus that that lay behind the deckhead was either pulled out or cropped off. As we were to convert the original tungsten lighting to LED we were able to increase the number of light fittings without increasing the load on the installation, so it was decided to install two brand new lights and resurrect two of the originals. We also found in our stores a period switch that was capable of renovation. After installing new conduit, light fittings and switch, the grand ‘switch-on’ took place on 20th January.

It seems that the new stove and warm cabin had become something of a magnet as whilst the rewire was in progress, other members of our volunteer force descended forward to trial-fit the tubular steel frames which will form part of the cabin’s forward partition bulkhead and also to work upon the new cupboard which will house our various ships diagrams, surveys and other necessary documents. For a while the cabin resembled a scene from ‘It’s a Knock Out’ where the game was to see how many people you could cram into a Mini. All we were missing was Eddie Waring! All’s well that ends well, and after the trial fitting, the frame was removed and taken away for galvanising before being returned and installed in three sections, bolted together so this can easily be removed in the future if necessary.

Whilst this partition bulkhead is yet to have it’s timber facing installed, the cabin now provides a suitable space for us to relax and take lunch in relative comfort. This gave Paul Kirkbride the opportunity to set about the next major cabin job – namely the stripping out of the after cabin to enable us to scale and paint the hull plates and frames in this area and to re-model the cabin in order to maximise available space. In the blink of the eye, a pile of timber components previously forming seating and work surfaces appeared on deck. One of the problems with the below-waterline spaces is condensation, so in order to dry the area out, a de-humidifier has been installed and this is doing the trick and de-scaling has commenced.

In the Boiler Room final cleaning of the boiler, both inside and out, has been completed ahead of our annual boiler inspection, and a new scum blowdown pipe is in the course of manufacture. Unfortunately, most of the work on the latter item has to take place on deck, which has proved a very chilling experience for those concerned.

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