The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


April 2018

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on May 9, 2018 at 6:10 AM

At last – a glimpse of sunshine, but only a glimpse!! However, this was enough to warm things up to enable us to complete the Aft Cabin painting and insulation. We can’t be accused of cutting corners on this, in fact so many coats have been applied that the headroom has been lowered!

Firstly, a coat of Granville Rust Cure (not to be confused with ‘Open all Hours’ although Dave does have a touch of Granville about him!), then 2 coats of epoxy primer, followed by a coat of epoxy polyurethane and finally 6 coats of Temp Coat 101 ceramic insulation, (as carried by US Warships) albeit that ours is in a rather fetching ice blue colour. The cabin now looks somewhat like a steel riveted glacier!

Following that new slatted seat-backs were installed and the seat cushions re-upholstered. This cabin is never intended to be salubrious, but it does look a whole lot better than it did. Away from the vessel, new cupboards are being manufactured, and once installed we can fit and plumb in a new sink. We also need to fit a new grate to the galley range as the original is nearing life expiration. Work in the Forward Cabin has stalled somewhat, as the joiner is now unable to do the job of manufacturing and fitting the oak bulkhead, so we will need to think again.

As reported in last months News, two boiler tubes have failed. There is never a good time for things like this to happen, but when you are readying for the years first steaming, this is definitely the wrong time! Whilst we have removed the offending tubes, there is insufficient time to effect repairs to enable us to be in steam for the forthcoming ‘Steam on the Dock’ Event on 12th & 13th May, also the work required in removing the tubes has diverted us away from other jobs we intended to finish prior to SOTD. To add to our woes, the weather has severely delayed our exterior painting program.

We are nothing if not resilient, so before the collective tears of anguish flow, we WILL be at SOTD thanks to the venerable old tug Seaport Alpha that has towed us from Sandon Dock to our position in the Albert Dock. Seaport herself is an interesting craft – built during the Second World War in 1943 as the steam tug TID 43. These vessels were deployed during the D-Day landings and were built in double-quick time in pre-fabricated sections using female factory labour. Now motorised, she is still able to do a job of work to this day on lighterage work around the docks and river.

Come and join us over the week-end – we will look forward to seeing you in the Albert Dock.


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