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Thread: First findings of inital survey

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    Member SteveA's Avatar
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    Exclamation First findings of inital survey

    An initial survey of the Freshspring took place late last year and we have to say now that his findings are not good, but at the same time are not a surprise. The surveyor found the forepeak to be tidal, which we knew about and the structure in that area to be in very poor condition. The afterpeak was in worse condition with all frames virtually wasted way and hull steelwork was holed in many places and extremely wasted throughout.

    The rest of the ship was better and frames were in generally good condition, however the hull and deck plating is very thin and is likely to be holed very soon in several places. In particular there are bad areas under the boiler.

    The position is that the afterpeak is beyond repair and needs to be rebuilt completely. This in the surveyors view is a huge job as it is the most complicated area on the ship. The forepeak also requires similar works. Extensive hull and deck plating is required throughout the ship.

    Discussions with Fred (the dock owner) who is very supportive and is still prepared to build a grid to lay her on for further survey works including thickness testing. The surveyor is doubtful that this will reveal better news.


    We must now reflect on the situation and make a final decision regarding the fate of Freshspring as time is very much against us for effecting repairs before she becomes flooded.

    The problems are not insurmountable and are not a surprise to us. The real concern is the afterpeak area which is complicated steelwork, we had not appreciated just how bad the area is. Corrosion mostly caused by water coming through the deck.


    The current proposal for the way forward is:

    1. Meet as soon as possible and agree the way forwards and if appropriate, the final sustainable use for the ship.
    2. Set up the company and agree to initial roles.
    3. Arrange to put the ship on a grid. Costs of this likely to be £15,000 for grid, £4,500 for surveyor.
    4. Work towards raising £20,000 to carry out the survey.
    5. Set up at Fred's berth/grid to continue restoration until such point as we find a more suitable location. This will require insurance and safe working policies to be in place.
    6. Form a fund raising team and apply for grants.

    There is a great deal more to do but at least this is a start.

    This is our only option as to take her to a dock would cost around £100,000 alone.


    I hope all of the above makes sense and I look forward to hearing from you if you can provide any assistance to the project. It would be good to bring in more people if we can.

    Thank you for your interest.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: First findings of inital survey

    It is a shame that there appears to be so many issues.

    Might it be an idea to make a bid on Freshwater as she is presumably seaworthy and with Freshspring's machinery, which appears to be in very good condition, you may have a winning combination

    What's the long-term plan for the ship? Presumably if she is going to make any money she is going to have to be converted into a passenger excursion ship with a capacity which will make her economic and a high level of contemporary luxury in her appointments. Steam engines would of course give her an attraction which Balmoral for one lacks .............

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    Member Dan Cross's Avatar
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    Re: First findings of inital survey

    Sorry to hear the news is not as good as you would have hoped.
    However, it sounds as if you are being relaistsic and pragmatic over this.
    Whe we dry-docked the Daniel Adamson back in 2004, we always were aware that is the ship was is terrible condition, she would be scrapped.
    Thankfully, having spent most of her life if Fresh water, this was not the case and we had the hull shot blasted and the small holes that appeared as a result, dealt with using doublers. These will be removed and crop/ inserts used as part of the major re-build.
    Corrosion under the boiler is very common.
    I think yo have been in touch with Martyn Heighton, he is a good guy and follow his advise to the letter and you will not go far wrong, regardless if it involves the evetual scrapping after machinery etc has been removed or full re-build.
    Future use and economic sustainabillity as as important as the actual restoration.

    Good luck,
    Dan Cross. Chairman. DAPS.
    PLEASE HELP US,
    DONATE TO THE ST DANIEL ADAMSON FULL STEAM AHEAD APPEAL.

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    Member SteveA's Avatar
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    Re: First findings of inital survey

    tramscape, that's an interesting idea about Freshwater, though I fear that her hull now may have been altered too much. It looks like she may have been lengthened and both the forepeak and afterpeak bear little resemblance to what she was built with.
    Long term plans, or sustainability as some people call it, is being considered with a number of ideas being talked about. Steam trips is one the suggestions and as she has six large water tanks, this could give space to convert areas into accommodation for VIC32-esque working holidays and/or museum/interpretation centre, taking her to various centres around the UK such as Bristol industrial museum to use their facilities and get people on board when static to keep some funds coming in. At this point in time all possibilities of what could be done with her once restored are being considered.

    I has been pointed out to me that Freshspring's size and layout is to her advantage, unlike a tug, there is a reasonable amount of space on board and although not particularly fast, she should be reasonably economic to steam.

    -

    Dan Cross, yes contact has been made with Martyn Heighton and this initial survey was funded by National Historic ships. Once the next meeting is out of the way I hope that a good dialogue will be opened up with National Historic ships and the Heritage Lottery Fund to guide us in the right direction and prevent us from doing anything which would get in the way of getting funding or wasting money.

    -

    Speaking with someone who has been involved with VIC32, Cervia, Brent and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the point was made that it may be a waste of time/effort putting her up on a grid if we do not plan to carry out the full restoration on her there, which is probably not practical to do. Instead we should patch/concrete the hull to keep her up on the water until she is moved elsewhere for the full restoration to take place.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: First findings of inital survey

    Thanks Steve. The problem it seems to me is that if you go for historical accuracy, you a re going for a design which is not likely to be profitable and I would be sceptical about there being sufficient interest in her for what she was or represents. The main concern has to be to work out what people are going to be prepared to pay for and make the ship the best fit.

    The ship's size (or that of Freshwater !) gives a much better chance of success than a tug, but I suspect that the attraction is going to have to be the engines and where she takes people not the fact that she is an authentic water carrier. That only has a far too limited marketing appeal, I fear

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