Waverley made her triumphant return to service in August 2020 following her boiler refit. However Waverley is now critically short of funds to survive this winter. Without further support she can’t return to service in 2021. We are therefore asking for your help by donating to Waverley’s COVID-19 Relief Appeal.

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Waverley Boiler Refit – Progress Report – 01/02/2020


Paddle Steamer Waverley left her Glasgow berth for the first time in 9 months, in damp conditions, on Tuesday 14th January under tow to Dales Marine Services yard at the James Watt Dock in Greenock. With her arrival at Dales yard the £2.3 million boiler refit soon got underway. The full refit including dry docking will take around 4 months.

Waverley awaits the arrival of two tugs on 14th January. Note the Red Ensign on the main mast for the journey downriver. Queen Mary’s twin buff funnels can be seen in the background.

Preparations for the removal of the funnels took several days with many measurements taken to ensure that the funnels will be in perfect alignment when returned after the new boilers are installed. The sight of yard workers inside the funnels arose interest from local residents but it was on Wednesday 22nd January that both were lifted free from Waverley. The 6 lifting points on each funnel were load tested to 2 tonnes. Both funnels were installed on 24th July 2000 during the heritage rebuild.

The aft funnel was first to be removed. Part of the aft funnel base has remained in position since the fuelling station does not need to be disturbed. The fuel tanks in the boiler room will not be altered during the refit.

The aft funnel starts to lift.

The aft funnel is lifted free showing how the base was cut to allow the fuelling station to remain undisturbed by the works.

The funnel was gently turned on to its side and placed horizontally on the quayside on a cushion of wood and foam.

The aft funnel is gently lowered. The two alternator exhausts can clearly be seen – both exhausts were found to be in good condition and suitable for further use.

The fiddley deck opening after the aft funnel was removed.

Waverley with just one funnel.

There was a delay before the forward funnel was removed while the final cutting took place. It seemed for a time that Waverley wasn’t keen on losing her identity. Shortly after sunset the forward funnel was lifted off the ship and in that moment Waverley lost her colouring.

The forward funnel is slowly turned on its side.

The boiler exhausts are clearly visible as the forward funnel is lowered to the ground. Both exhausts were found to be in excellent condition. The whistle has since been removed for safe keeping.

The remains of the fiddley deck after both funnels were removed. The fiddley deck will be replaced as part of the boiler refit.

Once both funnels were removed work continued to remove the fiddley deck as well as the various pipes and other fittings positioned under the deck. Within the boiler room work progressed well with cables being removed and the dismantling of the old boiler control consoles. On Tuesday 28th January a heavy lift crane arrived to remove both boilers.

Waverley with no funnels and the heavy lift crane in position for the removal of the boilers.

In preparation for the removal of the boilers the port side boiler room bulkhead was removed. This was also removed during the heritage rebuild in 2000.

Additional supports were put in place ahead of the boiler room bulkhead being removed. Some of the deck timbers were also lifted as a small section of deck required removal.

The port boiler was first to be removed. Both boilers weighed in at just over 18 tonnes although the boiler lifting points were load tested to 25 tonnes. After removal the boilers were taken to John R Adam scrap yard at King George V dock.

The port boiler emerges from Waverley.

The starboard boiler is lifted free after being in position for almost 20 years.

Waverley drawing less draft after removal of funnels and boilers.

Work has continued apace with both alternators now removed as well as the Oily Water Separator. The sewage treatment plant has already been re-positioned on the port side of the boiler room to make way for the new 3rd alternator which will be fitted to the starboard side.

Meanwhile in Annan work is progressing on the new boilers with the first pressure test due to take place in the coming days.

One of Waverley’s new boilers being built by Cochran Ltd in Annan.

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