Paddle steamer enthusiasts may be interested in reading about and supporting the ongoing restoration of PS Curlip II in Australia.
The original PS Curlip dates from 1887 and plied the coastal waters between Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmania. She was 45 feet (13m) long, 2 feet draught, powered by a 2 horsepower steam engine. She served the community for almost 30 years until 1919 when she was lost after a storm tore her from her moorings.
PS Curlip II began as a community-led project conceived in 2002. Modern regulations resulted in her length increasing by 17 feet (5m) to 62 feet (19m), allowing her to safely carry a bus-load of passengers. She was completed in 2008 after an investment of 16,000 hours of volunteer labour and operated until 2015.
Supporters have raised AUS $85,000 (approximately £43,000) to fund the first phase of restoring PS Curlip II to operating condition. More than 50% of the timbers that make up her plank carvel construction hull need to be replaced after years of feasting by Teredo Worms ('naval shipworm'). The hull rebuilding is ongoing.
PS Curlip Inc, a not for profit organisation, is now in the process of raising an additional AUS $145,000 (£73,000) to design and build a "clean green steam renewable and sustainable energy system" to propel her.
An Expression of Interest (EOI) has also been published as they seek a commercial operator for the vessel. If you fancy a life on the Gippsland Lakes email firstname.lastname@example.org before the 3rd April 2020.
You can read more about PS Curlip and Curlip II by clicking or tapping on the logo below.