The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


March 2018

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on April 9, 2018 at 10:50 AM

It is fair to say that progress on the vessel during March is best described as ‘mixed’. 

At the forward end of the vessel we moved slowly towards completion of the cabin; the installation of the document cupboard is finally finished after a lot of messing around to get the thing to look right. That is the trouble with curved hull plates and benching at different angles and heights – but it now looks pretty good after final touches of paint. The boardroom table is now in-situ after some modifications to its support legs to get it on an even keel. The method of testing was to place my lunchtime apple on the table and if had not rolled off onto the deck when I finished my sandwiches it was level enough – and it was!

Some further modifications have been necessary to the steel frame for the false bulkhead as the doorframe was found to foul the lighting conduit. We are now waiting for the joiner to way up the oak facing.

Those who follow this column may be wondering what has become of Dave whose misdemeanours regularly feature. The fact is that the poor lad has been under the weather for some time, but he is now fully recovered and back in the swing. This is classed as a mixed blessing. Throughout his absence, his ‘contraption’ to which I have reported on in previous Newsletters has remained perched, unused and unloved above the low-pressure valve chest. Unfortunately, time is now not on our side to undertake the valve re-facing before the steaming season, so the contraption has now been dismantled and will in all probability, re-appear next winter.

Work in and around the boiler has been moved on apace with the installation of the scum pipe complete, shell valves overhauled and replaced, safety valves removed and checked and the boiler filled with water in readiness for steaming.

Down in the Aft Cabin, following the removal of the seating, the steelwork has been de-rusted and painted, and the seating re-upholstered. After much thought and discussion on the continuing problem of condensation in this area, we have decided to alleviate this by having a ceramic insulation coating applied to the deckhead and bulkheads. Dates were fixed with the contractor to carry out the work, but the continuing cold and wet weather has not only delayed this but has also prevented any painting of the exterior superstructure or decks. In short, a lot of work has been done, but there is little to show for it.

I referred above to progress this month being ‘mixed’. This was typified on the last day of the month when during boiler preparations we discovered two leaking boiler tubes. So we grit our teeth and add another job to the list! 

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