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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One Wheel On Our Paddler!! – Part 1


This post has been migrated from the Branch blog that was in use between 2008 and 2013. Consequently, there may be minor visual irregularities in how this post is displayed.


On Wednesday 7th May Waverley entered the dry dock of Garvel Clyde Ltd for her annual overhaul and survey

Amongst this year’s tasks was the re-painting of the ship’s famous red, white & black funnels and the repainting of the hull. Numerous other small tasks were also being undertaken at the same time.

During routine inspection wear was found on the port side paddle wheel and the shaft that connects it to the crankshaft of Waverley’s mighty triple expansion steam engine.

This find could not be ignored so preparations were made to remove the wheel and shaft assembly from the vessel for further inspection. When this was achieved the wear was significant enough to require the assembly to be remachined before refitting. After a great deal of searching a machine shop was found in Manchester that could undertake this exacting work.

The photo (above) shows Waverley – now out of the drydock to allow another vessel in – minus her port side paddle wheel and shaft. Concrete weights can be seen to ensure the ship remains on an even keel despite more than 11 tons having been removed from her.

Work continued within the vessel whilst she lay alongside the quay (photo right). Some of her scheduled Bristol Channel sailings were undertaken by fleetmate mv Balmoral as it was obvious at this point that Waverley would be out of service for a few weeks.

The photo (left) shows the wheel and shaft on the low loader ready for transportation to Manchester.

The paddle floats have been removed and the centre of the wheel – called the bobbin because of its shape – was dye penned to make sure there were no cracks in the casting (the white coloured piece in the photo)

So here we leave for the time being – one wheel on our paddler – the other in Manchester!!

To be continued……………….

October 2020
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