First New Sponson Delivered & Interesting Riveting

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

Home » Our Ships » Paddle Steamer Waverley » Heritage Rebuild – 2000 » First New Sponson Delivered & Interesting Riveting
The first sponson house arrives from George Prior Engineering’s Hull facility. This is the starboard forward unit, which will form the gents public toilet. It is being maneuvered into the fabrication shed for riveting of the shell plates to the frames.
Back to the dry dock now, and a view of the new boiler support pads being welded into position. This is the port side forward with the centre keelson visible at the bottom of the photograph. One more pair of support pads under the centre line of the port boiler are yet to be positioned between the two sets shown.
An engineer at work in the first stage of the riveting process, he is using a coal furnace with a compressed air supply for heat control, just visible on the left of the unit. The rivets are 5/8″ diameter and of varying length depending on the thickness of the structure being fastened. The rivets are heated to a bright yellow.
This is the “holder up”, Charlie Atkins, using a rivet gun to hold the back of the rivet tight to the frame while the riveting of the head is taking place at the other end.
The business end of the riveting is carried out by John Damerell who is just old enough to have experience of riveting from his younger days. He is forming the end of the rivet, such that it fills the countersink and leaves a feather edge around the perimeter with a slight dome on top. Everyone within the area is wearing ear protection.
Another view just as the rivet is inserted into the hole and held in place by the ‘holder up’.
A view of the rivet as it will be seen from within the sponson houses.
This is the ‘test’ plate, used to practise the correct method, establish the best rivet length and to select the best profile to be used on the ship. Final test samples were then sectioned and sent to the MCA Surveyor and Heritage Lottery Fund for approval. Photographs of these to follow.

All photographs by Gordon Reid.