Waimarie pad­dle steamer

The Shed - - My Shed -

The morn­ing of the in­ter­view with The Shed, Ian had been work­ing on the Waimarie pad­dle steamer boiler, crawl­ing in­side to fit the face­plate and putting bolts and new cast­ings in­side. “Last week we pulled the pad­dles off to re­bush it all and see how far the en­gi­neer­ing firm had got with it.” He has been in­volved with main­te­nance of the his­toric pad­dle steamer for the past five years. “The skip­per says, ‘Ian, come here, I want you to have a look at this.’ In other words he wants me to do some­thing for him.” Last year Ian set up the cra­dle to get the

Waimarie out of the river for its five-yearly sur­vey. He had a cost-ef­fec­tive idea about get­ting it out side­ways. “They said, ‘Oh you can’t do it that way.’ Then they came back to me and adopted my idea. They got all the ex­perts in, which ended up cost­ing a lot more. We had to make a slip over by Dublin Street Bridge and one bloke came up with the idea of get­ting two trac­tion en­gines to pull it out. We laid rail­way lines down and it came out quite eas­ily.” In­stead of pulling it out bow first, the way it was pre­vi­ously set up, Ian changed the cra­dle so that the boat could be pulled out side­ways. He called on en­gi­neer­ing mates to lend him a work­shop for a cou­ple of months to do the work. “I had to turn all the wheels around and re­in­force it — two sets of rail­way lines turned side­ways and two sets of bo­geys for it to sit on. It took me about four weeks to change it all around.” But there were de­lays with floods and coun­cil per­mits, and the sand­bank kept shift­ing. “Then some­one had the bright idea of mak­ing it an event. That made the per­mit eas­ier to get. So we pulled it out, cleaned ev­ery­thing up, and it was done.” There were crowds of on­look­ers and the event was filmed and tele­vised. See this youtube clip: youtube.com/watch?v=PRPq25Ii­a3Q.

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