Press Release – Return to Service Announced plus Crankshaft Polishing in Progress

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Waverley to Return to Service 18th August 2000

Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, the charitable company which owns Waverley, the only sea-going paddle steamer in the world, has received confirmation today of a revised redelivery date for Waverley of Friday 18th August from Great Yarmouth based George Prior Engineering Ltd.

Waverley is currently undergoing a £3.6m rebuild at the yard, which aims to restore the historic ship to her original 1947 form, whilst complying with all relevant marine safety legislation.

Ian McMillan, Project Director, Waverley Excursions Ltd, the vessel’s operators, commented:

Everyone involved in this prestigious rebuild project is, of course, disappointed at the delay in the redelivery date for Waverley, however ultimately this is a world-class maritime heritage flagship project and we are most concerned that the best possible result in terms of heritage restoration is achieved. We are certain that, once the rebuild is completed, this unique paddle-steamer will continue to delight and charm passengers for many future generations to come.

The delay has been caused by a combination of factors, including late delivery due to poor weather, emergent work, and the determination of the shipyard that this extremely complex rebuild for which no precedent exists must result in a vessel of which all concerned can be duly proud.

Waverley’s relaunch celebration cruises will take place on the Clyde in Scotland, between 18 – 28 August 2000 and passengers who have reservations or cruises booked earlier in the season are being contacted to make alternative arrangements. She will then be undertaking a number of showcase cruises in her traditional sailing areas on the South Coast, the Thames and the Bristol Channel.

Partnership funding for the rebuild comprises a £2.7million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, with significant additional funding also being provided by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, Dunbartonshire Enterprise, Enterprise Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Argyll & Bute Councils. The project is also part financed by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund, Western Scotland objective 2 programme 1997-1999.

Meanwhile in Great Yarmouth

The crankshaft and paddle shafts have now been returned to Great Yarmouth having had their coupling ends machined. The crankshaft is now being meticulously polished to a mirror finish.|Gordon Reid