Getting to grips
Over the past weeks a considerable amount of work has been undertaken to prepare Silvery Light to be lifted ashore for survey. Most of the interior furniture and fittings such as the galley, stove, ancient hot water cylinder, heads, forward bunks and cupboards, flooring, saloon table etc, have been removed or prepared for lifting out.
An unexpected problem arose with the calculation of the overall weight of the vessel. Prior to the eventual tracking down of her stability booklet, weight was very much the subject of a 'guesstimate' at around 40 - 50 tonnes. Quite a shock to find her light ship weight noted as being 76 tonnes particulary as this means a much larger crane (350 ton capacity) is required to lift her from the water. As a result the hire of the crane increases by more than double the original forecast.
On inspection of the now more accesible interior it can be clearly seen where the weight comes from as she has a double interior skin (ceiling) from stem to stern of 2 1/4 inch thickness planking! Almost a hull withing a hull! Her frames are spaced in places at less than 6inches apart!
We have loosened off the rigging ready to lift the masts out. It is intended to hire a smaller local crane to do this whilst she is afloat and together with ballast, old tanks and other heavy items the overall weight will hopefull reduce to around 60 - 65 tonnes. (This helps with the cost of the crane hire!)
Two 40 ft shipping contaners have been secured to provide a shore working and storage facility. Eventually a small working compound will surround Silvery Light ashore providing security and weather protection.
Work is proceeding.... Come and help if you can...... or drop by again soon.
The Heritage Lottery Fund have approved our Start Up Grant Application for £10,000. The money permits us to go ahead with the initial phase of the restoration programme which is to lift Silvery Light out of the water for survey.
Prparatory work such as mast and ballast removal has started. Silvery Light is rated as a deadweight of 76 Ton which requires a large (300 ton) crane to handle her ashore. The plan is to get her weight down as far as is praciticable thus reducing the size of crane (and cost) needed.
The first round of the Hertiage Lottery funding application has been completed with the submission of a bid for a 'Start Up Grant' of £10,000. This money is earmarked to cover the costs of lifting Silvery Light out of the water in order that a 100% conditon survey can be undertaken.
With the results of the survey in hand, the conservation work and repairs required can be identified and incorporated into a schedule of works.
It is planned for the lift out to take place in late March (grant allowing).
We are grateful to Newry & Mourne District Council for granting permission for the use of a suitable site in the Albert Basin to carry out the work.
Considerable work will have to be undertaken in advance of the actual lift out to reduce the overall vessel weight. Works such as ballast,fuel & water tanks, masts, anchors/chain and general gear removal. Work party volunteer help will be much appreciated when the time comes!
Watch this space