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Sumava  (Motor stern paddle tug)

Operating Area : Prague, River Vltava, Czech Republic


Sumava at Prague in 2004 : Photos by Nigel Clark

Sumava is the largest vessel in the EVD fleet at Prague. A former tug with diesel power and an unusual stern paddle propulsion method, the 57.5 metre long vessel with space for 320 passengers was built in 1952 and heavily rebuilt with enclosed passenger accommodation for its new use as a cruise boat in 1993.

Sumava's unusual paddle system was devised to allow the construction of vessels with the shallow draght of paddle vessels, but the narrow lines of a screw vessel to allow access through the locks on the River Vltava. Four prototypes were built in the 1930s, and in the 1950s, eight vessels of the same design were built in Prague. Of these, Sumava survives alongside Beskydy which is available to assist shipping on the Elbe/Labe at Torgau, where strong currents often cause problems around a railway bridge. Orlik is preserved in the Netherlands, Lipno is also in passenger service in Prague now under the name "Tyrs". Kamik serves as a floating restaurant in Prague and Jesenicky a similar role in Berlin, Germany, retaining its machinery in operational condition.

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