Interior Fit Started, Paddle Wheel Refitted plus More

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

Home » Our Ships » Paddle Steamer Waverley » Heritage Rebuild – 2000 » Interior Fit Started, Paddle Wheel Refitted plus More
The starboard paddle wheel now ready for lifting into position. All the running gear has been added except the two floats which would otherwise have been submerged. This is for safety reasons as the river can run at approx 5 to 6 knots and would turn the wheel easily.
The port paddle wheel also ready for fitting.
The new davits are now on site and await fitting to the ship, these are almost identical to the original units except that they are powered both in terms of luffing in/out and of raising and lowering the lifeboats. They were made by Welin Lambie, the same company who made the originals and who also made the Titanic davits for the film of the same name.
This is the ‘scumbling’ work underway, the original wood grained paint finish applied to the bridge house, forward deck shelter and aft deck shelter. The finished effect should be stunning!
A view of the aft funnel fiddle or smoke box, constructed in aluminium. It is attached to the boiler crown by a TriClad strip to prevent electrolytic corrosion as per the aft deck shelter.
A view from inside the new aft deck shelter looking forward towards the new timber stair enclosure and Purser’s office (serving hatches still to be cut out). Note the timber decking underway above and the new timber windows fitted on the starboard side.
The aft deck shelter looking aft, the new tea bar yet to be fitted.
The new timber deck on top of the aft deck shelter is well under way now, this view looking aft.
The main dining saloon side cladding now complete, this is a non-combustible, lightweight board with a real birch veneer applied. It will be varnished and finished to a high standard to replicate the original styling in 1947.
The main dining saloon looking across to the rear of the shop, the birch veneered panel extend right round and out to the main entrance. New pipes for sprinklers, hot and cold water, electrical cables and telegraph wires all being fitted in parallel.
The starboard paddle shaft has now been refitted, a new bronze bearing has been cast and machined to match the previously machined bearing housing. The complete unit has been aligned with the crankshaft and is now ready to have the paddle wheel attached.
Although the forward deck shelter is not included in the reduced scope of the current rebuild, it is receiving a cosmetic refurbishment externally with preparations now well under way for the ‘scumbled’ finish to be applied.
The new landing platforms are almost complete, this is an aluminium structure with new timber decking.
The starboard paddle wheel has been lifted into place and is being pulled onto the paddle shaft.
An alternative view of the paddle wheel being fitted. A heavy lift crane was used for this purpose due to the weight and outreach required over the vessel.
The funnel fiddles are now in place and preparations being made for the funnels to be attached. Note the starboard boiler exhaust uptake in the foreground.
Paul Girling, a painting specialist based in Lowestoft is working on the ‘scumbling’ of the bridge house. When this is complete Paul and his colleague Paul Knights will continue the scumbling on the forward and aft deck shelters and new dining saloon escape enclosure on the aft promenade deck.
The starboard spring beam and Jenny Nettle are ready for lifting on board. The spring beam is the main lower support structure (12″ x 15 *” greenheart timber) that connects the sponson houses, but more importantly acts as a shock absorber when making contact with a pier or quay. The Jenny Nettle or Star Centre is the pivot point for controlling the feathering of the individual paddle floats. It is offset from the paddle wheel centre by 16″ forward and *” up.
The port paddle wheel has now been lowered into place, and fitted to the paddle shaft. Preparations are underway to fit the timber decking to the sponsons.
Reverse angle view of the port wheel.
Side view of the port wheel, it has a few inches to go until it is fully home on the paddle shaft taper to be secured with two keyways, nut and locking plate.
The aft funnel now well under way, the quality of workmanship evident here is superb. The funnels have been designed by Waverley supporter and naval architect – Bob Marshall to replicate the original funnels as closely as possible. The simulated riveted finish is obtained by the use of Huck bolts.
The aft funnel viewed from the top, the holes for the generator exhausts have still to be cut out. The bands forming the colour separation borders have yet to be fitted.
The forward funnel viewed from the base, note the complex shape using three different radii. The large holes for the boiler exhaust uptakes are still to be cut out.
Waverley’s brand new main switchboard, an absolute masterpiece by PETO Services Limited of Great Yarmouth. The switchboard has been constructed of modern materials and components but with old style fascias and meters. Along with the remote boiler panel from Cochran, sited beside the steam engine levers, the engine room will have a more authentic look than it has had in a long number of years.
The bellows set fire fighting purposes on Waverley is being checked out by Chief Engineer on the pump and a mystery crew member inside the suit???
The face is unmasked, our very own Captain Gellatly.

All photographs by Gordon Reid.