One Wheel On Our Paddler!! – Part 2

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

One Wheel On Our Paddler!! – Part 2

(All Photos by Iain McCorkindale)

We left this story with the paddler’s Port wheel and shaft leaving the yard of Garvel Clyde Ltd in Greenock for a specialist machine shop in Manchester to have remedial works undertaken to resolve the wear issues identified during routine inspection whilst in dry dock.

This time we pick the story up as the wheel returns to the yard at around 10pm on Saturday 28th June. The job had taken a little longer than originally anticipated but as I’m sure anyone would agree it is more important to get it right rather than hurry proceedings!!

The wheel and shaft were also re-united at the machine shop to ensure that the fit was correct and also to save time when re-installing the equipment in the ship.

The photo above shows a very relieved Chief Engineer as the low loader reverses the wheel / shaft assembly into the yard. Gordon Reid is currently Waverley’s Chief Engineer but he was also Project Manager of both phases of the paddler’s heritage rebuild (2000/2001 & 2002/2003).

The next photo shows the low loader preparing to reverse round the head of the dock to the ship. This was no easy task even with rear wheel steering but it prevented any unecessary lifting and laying of the assembly prior to refitting.

As you can see from the photo the wheel has no floats fitted. After the assembly has been removed from the low loader this was the next task. A team made up of Garvel Clyde and Waverley engineers worked through the night to refit all but the two lowermost floats – these would be fitted when the assembly was back in it’s rightful position on the ship.

The following photos show the wheel after being removed from the low loader (below) and completion of the re-fitting of the floats early the following morning (below right). The huge wing nut which is fitted to the end of the shaft can be seen clearly in the photo below – this ensures that once assembled the unit stays in position.

The following shots show the assembly being lifted back into the ship. As you will see it is not to be rushed!!

Lifting over the dock wall.

Lowering into the waiting paddle box.

Almost there!! The bright metal area is the part of the shaft that locates in the bearing housing – which can be seen at the worker’s foot in the photo below. This bearing is lubricated using tallow. One of the remaining floats and the feathering gear can be seen on the dock floor ready for refitting when the time comes.

Not far to go now! The relationship between shaft and bearing housing is clearer in this shot.

A shot of the wheel in position – rebuilding of the paddlebox facing has already begun.

The familiar wooden paddlebox facing in the yard waiting to be refitted to the ship.

Hmmm! Something not right here!! The top of Waverley’s paddlebox on the dockside waiting to be refitted. The platform and lights will be located on top of this part.

This was a heartening sight! Work continues apace.

Branch chairman Stuart Mears points to Waverley in the background – she’s on her way back to rude health once again!!

So we leave our little paddler in the dry dock – she was refloated on Wednesday 2nd July and after running trials that day returned to service with a cruise to Brodick on the Isle of Arran on Thursday 3rd July.

We’ve got two wheels on our paddler again!!!!!