Hull Repainted, Wheels Removed

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

June Bushell with KC now repainted below the water line.|Pat Bushell

On the slipway with the new blocks KC was now raised sufficiently to enable better access below the hull (at low tide). Summer weather gave the opportunity to get the hull painted again. This is given first priority.

Yes, definitely more room underneath now.|Margaret Scroggs

Restoration Log Book – Saturday 9 July 1977

Delivered to ship:

  • 140 litres Navy Protective Paint in 20 and 5 litre cans.
  • 16 brushes, 5 paint kettles, wire brushes for power tool.
  • Wolf 110V drill and accessories (donated by Wolf Power Tools).

Hull painting:

  • Port – hosed, scrubbed down to frame 42, power wire brushing complete to frame 46, 1st coat Navy Protective applied as far as frame 51.
  • Stbd – hosed, scrubbed down to frame 46.

Logs for subsequent weeks record painting progress for the next gang to pick up. The objective is to get at least 2 coats on as quickly as possible. Cleaning slipway, washing hull is necessary before starting each time.

When weather and tides were unsuitable for painting work, attention was given to interior jobs, and repairing deck leaks. There was volunteer attendance every day between 29th July and 7th August, with Colin Harrison staying aboard. Wilderness School working party visits continued and work progressed in the engine room under the supervision of Ian Watson.

Dismantling the paddle wheels began in earnest. Building of new ones is planned by Lawrie Beal. Removal of the hubs has to be done while KC is on the slip, and since notice has been given to vacate the slip at the end of September, preparing for this becomes somewhat urgent. Removal of some coupling bolts proved difficult:

  • 31st July 1977 – Remainder of old wheels burnt off. All clear to start removal of the paddle shafts. Tide=20ft, mooring ropes adjusted to prevent movement up the slip.
  • 2nd August 1977 – Some nuts removed from PW boss.
  • 13th August 1977 – Could not find coupling bolt spanner…
  • 27th August 1977 – Progress on removal of bolts.
  • 3rd September 1977 – All coupling bolts undone and partly withdrawn.
  • 4th September 1977 – PW stumps hub attachment bolts very difficult to remove.
  • 11th September 1977 – 6 further bolts removed.
  • 14th September 1977- Stbd wheel, all inner bolts removed and numbered.
  • 15th September 1977 – 20 outer bolts removed.

The task of measuring up the paddle boxes and dismantling the woodwork (by now in a pretty bad state) ready for replacement was largely completed.

Paddlebox wooden decoration.|June Bushell
Pat Bushell with original paddleboxes.|June Bushell
Aidan Ridge measuring and dismantling inside the paddlebox on 2nd July 1977.|Margaret Scroggs
 |Margaret Scroggs

From Paddle Wheels No. 69

Both paddle wheels have now been cut away to make way for completely new wheels. The paddle shaft journals are to be skimmed, built up, and re-turned following the discovery of much pitting and wear. Although we did not manage to steam the boiler again before slipping, work is being pushed ahead as hard as possible in the engine room to get all the plant fully operational. No further work has been done on the decks this year, due to the bottom work although some further progress here will be required shortly, particularly alter repair of boiler room bulkhead at top where it interacts with the forward end of the coach deck. There is then, much to do. More volunteers are required, particularly skilled and semi-skilled tradesmen. Despite buying materials and services as cheaply as possible, money is running out fast.

Paint job done!|June Bushell

Twenty four visitors from West Essex Archaeological Society signed in on 24th September and on Tuesday 27th September, sponsors Wolf Power Tools paid a visit that resulted in an article in “Wolf News”.