Waverley Leaves Dry Dock

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

Waverley Leaves Dry Dock

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13 May 2021 was the big day when Waverley was able to leave Dales’s dry dock at Greenock after her extensive refit. We are grateful to Paul Semple and Graeme Phanco for make their superb photos of the occasion available.

An unusual shot of Waverley’s bow from “ground” level.|Paul Semple
Waverley’s stern – note absence of propellers.|Paul Semple
On the blocks before refloating.|Paul Semple

During the annual docking six paddles were renewed, steel work was replaced in the paddlebox, the bow was repaired, and her hull was repainted.

Gradually the dock is filled up…|Paul Semple
…until she’s floating again.|Paul Semple

The paddler left dry dock under the tow of Wrestler just after midday for the short trip to Custom House Quay, where she raised steam.

Under tow for the short distance to Custom House Quay.|Paul Semple
Warming the engines alongside Custom House Quay, Greenock.|Paul Semple

She finally sailed under her own power at about two o’clock for her compass to be adjusted, a task that has to be done every year to ensure the instrument’s accuracy. This involves steaming in circles while taking bearings of known locations and took around 75 minutes.

After landing the compass adjuster back at Greenock, Waverley undertook sea trials to test the main engine. This allowed the engineers to make an assessment on whether any further maintenance work is required before she starts operating. The trials went well and a top speed of over 17 knots was achieved. The trials took the paddler down Firth, turning off Skelmorlie, before steaming back to her home berth at Pacific Quay, Glasgow just before 7 o’clock.

Steaming all the way home.|Graeme Phanco
Disappearing towards Glasgow.|Graeme Phanco
Note the bow wave.|Graeme Phanco
Arriving back at Glasgow.|Paul Semple

We are delighted to report that £350,000 has now been raised from individuals towards Waverley’s COVID-19 Relief Appeal. We send our most sincere thanks to everyone that donated and contributed to the appeal. A staggering 2,700 donations have been received, with over £138,000 coming from Society members and supporters. The generosity of so many has enabled the refit works to be carried out.

The aim is to start passenger sailings for the 2021 season around the third week in June on the Clyde. Please subscribe to Waverley’s e-newsletters to get details as soon as they are released by visiting waverleyexcursions.co.uk and filling in the box at the foot of any page or on the pop-up window.