Rebuild – News Update II

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

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Design work is now progressing well, in tandem with on-going discussions with the Marine Safety and Coastguard Agency and the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Project Monitor. Final agreement with the MCA is now close in terms of the ways in which the rebuild of Waverley will address forthcoming new regulations.

Proj-X of Glasgow have been appointed as internal design consultants. They have a great deal of experience of passenger ship work, and impressed us with their knowledge of our ship, their technical expertise and their understanding of the importance of an accurate historical approach to the work involved.

They have been provided with a brief which outlines both the design ethos to be employed and outline general arrangements to be used In each of the main passenger areas. The ethos that the ship’s passenger spaces, furniture and fittings should be returned as far as practicable to their appearance in the late 1940’s, but in such a way as to conform to the requirements of modern regulations and the demands of the modern public. The outline arrangement of the spaces will be as follows. I will start from the top and work downwards. These are at the moment proposals and may be subject to change as the detailed design work progresses.

The Forward Deck Shelter will contain a passenger lounge; the present twin stairways will be replaced by a single central stairway, the top of which will be in a cross-alleyway (as in the After Deck Shelter), and the bottom of which will be in the cross-alleyway ahead of the boiler room. A combined disabled toilet and baby room and the emergency generator room will be on either side of the stairway at the after end of the shelter. The After Deck Shelter and Pursers’ Office will be of riveted aluminum and may incorporate a snack bar aft. The deck above it will be wholly available for passengers, with no lifejacket storage or water tanks on it. The shelter will be opened up to its full original length and will not contain any toilets. All toilets other than the disabled toilet will be on the sponsons, using a vacuum system.

The Jeanie Deans Lounge will revert to being two spaces as it originally was, but without the central stairway which originally caused congestion. There will be a lounge bar at the forward end. The after end will be a lounge with space for live music, buffet food for special parties or exhibitions. With stairways and bar removed from this area, passenger facilities will be enhanced with a more spacious layout seating 112 people in bar and lounge combined.

The Dining Saloon will also be much more like it originally was, with the servery moved further aft behind a screen bulkhead and the Saloon being of or close to its original size. Table layout will be much as original, with tables athwartships, and the saloon will seat 106. The Lower Dining Saloon will be reopened and refitted for passenger use according to its original layout, with seating for 36. This will give a total of 142 seats in the dining area. The galley will be more compact than at present, and will extend further aft by taking some spare space from the steering compartment. The steam steering engine will remain. A galley store will be built into the after peak at Lower Deck level, with a stairway to it from the galley. This is currently an empty space, but was originally a store. The layout of the Lower Bar will be little changed.

It is anticipated that the design phase for the Project will be completed in July, and that a decision as to where the work will be carried out will be made in late August This will then give a six week lead-in prior to Waverley’s arrival at the selected shipyard.