The Lake Thun Paddle Steamer Blumilsalp made her first visit to the new drydock facility at Thun in January. This new dry dock was opened last year having been built as part of a 12.4 million Swiss francs project financed mostly by the Canton of Bern which recognises the importance of tourism to the lake and the surrounding area.
The old boatyard hall, which was 110 years old, was no longer technically fit for purpose and needed to be replaced for safety reasons. With the newly built hall, BLS Navigation services are now able to maintain its Lake Thun fleet of vessels and their paddle steamer in the hall's dry dock in a legally compliant and efficient manner.
Undercover drydocks like this are a real boon for maintaining paddle steamers compared with the more common outdoor facilities where the progress of work can ever be held up by weather. For example if it is cold and raining you just can't apply paint to a ship's hull which is not good news when you have a specific slot at a yard and must be out by a certain date.
This was ever a problem for Kingswear Castle during all her Medway years. Now at Dartmouth she benefits from DPC's undercover slipping facilities at Old Mill Creek.