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Paddle Steamers past and present
PADDLE STEAMER REACTIVATION PROJECTS
of the Loch
looks like she is ready to cast off from Balloch Pier on Loch Lomond.
Unfortunately she has been out of service since 1981, but much work in
recent years has meant she has been open to the public for static use.
In 2015, her charity owners secured support from the UK's Heritage
Lottery Fund which could lead to finance being made available to allow
her to return to service in the near future.
Unlikely .... but true. A number of the paddle steamers now
in operation had been out of service for many years until they were restored,
often by enthusiasts' groups. The total cost of such a refurbishment is enormous,
and if undertaken by enthusiasts, has been shown to take many many years. Conditions
have to be right - enough people interested to pursue and finance the project,
a place to keep the ship safely and cheaply, and the prospect of running her
successfully once she has been restored to operational condition. So many factors
have got to be positive for there to be a reasonable prospect of a successful
outcome, but existing operators are now wise to the benefits of paddle steamers
- and the reasons for their original demise might no longer be valid. Supporters
have to rally round the most viable projects.
Click on the vessel name or underlined hyperlink for more
PADDLERS OWNED BY PRIVATE, ENTHUSIAST OR CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS
These projects really are the most problematic of all, dependent of enthusiasts supplying time, labour, money and all types of skills, often with little or no certaintly that the project will be completed and the ship operated successfully, if at all. It takes optimism, hard work and total dedication, but it has been done in the past and these projects have shown the necessary qualities to be successful.
Maid of the
After years of neglect after withdrwal from service in 1981, the last major paddler built for the UK remains moored at Balloch, Loch Lomond, but is now being restored to her former glory. Open for visitors to stroll around and relax in the cafe/bar she is also available as a function suite and with the adjacent steam powered slipway now restored and the working machinery available to view on selected wekends, there is now much to see. There is now a real chance she will return to service as the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund has given an initial indication that it could be a candidate for a substantial grant towards the renovation work required. The owners are a charity registered in Scotland
steamer built in Hungary in 1957 is under refurbishment at Gorodets,
near Nizhny Novgorod on the River Volga, by a private owner. A new
boiler has been supplied by Master-Watt who adapted a boiler from Czech
manufacturer TN for Russian conditions and the engine now works under
steam. The photos below show that the vessel has been almost completely
stripped and renewed. The official website is an excellent site
showing the search for a suitable ship and, in detail, the restoration.
It appears not to have been updated since 2010. Photographs taken in
2016 show the ship outwardly at least looking to be in good condition
at the Gorodetsky yard
Some recent photos are on this link : http://bu33er.livejournal.com/134102.html#cutid1
and more of her under restoration : http://www.infoflotforum.ru/index.php?showtopic=17564&st=155
New boiler in place : http://www.infoflotforum.ru/index.php?showtopic=17564&st=195
Video footage of vessel including engines in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l9wqjjHg5o&feature=player_embedded
Video of engines test run 4/12/2010 : http://www.dieselpunks.org/video/test-run-of-the-steamship-km
Bystryi was built in 1955 in Kiev at the Lenin Shipyard and was the last
of her type on the Volga when it was mooted in 1996 to preserve her for the
Polytechnic museum. This never happened and she was laid up at Volgoreschensk.
However she was bought by a company based in Yaroslavl in 2006 and after refurbishment
will moved there for tourist purposes as a passenger steamer. Renovation is
underway at Hlebnikovo, in the northern suburbs of Moscow.
Press report : http://news.vdv-s.ru/travel/?news=9448
Enthusist's photos of the refurbishment work : http://riverforum.ru/showthread.php?t=1712
FORMER PADDLE TUG AND RESTAURANT TO BE REBUILT FOR PASSENGER CRUISES IN WARSAW
is reported that the city authorities in Warsaw, capital of Poland,
have bought the former paddle tug Warmia (formerly Lubecki, Zimsen and
originally Poljak) which was originally built in St Petersburg, Russia,
in 1911 and reassembled in Wloclawek. She was built with
kerosene-burning engines (which are, I understand, in the Warsaw Museum
of Technology) until converted to diesel in 1964. She was in service
until 1972 and became a floating restaurant at Serock on the river
Narew, just north of Warsaw. In 2005 she was bought by the company
Hydrobudowa Wloclawec a civil engineering company and in 2009 it was
given to the Warsaw city authorities. Now in an almost derelict state,
the 50 metre long ship has been allocated to Zegluga Wroclawska
(Wroclaw Shipping Company) who are to restore her for about £ 700,000
and operate her on a 15 year lease for tourist and educational cruises
at Warsaw. Work is being undrtaken in the Malbo shipyard at Wroclaw.
Length : 49.88 m - breadth (overall) : 12.21 m
The latest information (late 2015) is that delays with the project have now been overcome and work is planned to progress with the ship expected to return to Warsaw in 2017
EARLY DIESEL-POWERED SIDEWHEELER UNDER RESTORATION IN THE U.S.A.
Lake Elsinore, CA, USA
Hauled overland in 1999 on a three-week road journey from Long Beach (where she had been moored behind RMS Queen Mary) to Lake Elsinore, California, she was originally one of a fleet of 5 ships built in 1923/4 for chewing-gum entrepreneur William Wrigley and named "Princess". Originally with a glass bottom she undertook tours around Catalina Island and was often patronised by the rich and famous. She was sold in 1959 and her glass bottom planked up as a condition of the sale. She sailed around San Pedro and Long Beach until 1994. She is now owned by the Lake Elsinore Princess Foundation but is in poor condition and land bound apparently after a fall in the level of the lake. She is of wooden construction. A designated Riverside County Historic Landmark since 2007.. News report - Jan 2010
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