Waverley Returns to Service

After her Western Isles season, Waverley entered dry dock in Greenock on 7 May 2008 for approximately ten days for what was intended to be a routine dry docking. Unfortunately, when she entered dry dock, measurements of the clearances at the paddle shaft/paddle wheel interface indicated excessive wear.   This was unexpected and was discovered on taking routine readings at this point.   The engineers had not anticipated any work on this area and consequently it became an extremely difficult job to remove the paddle wheel and the port shaft for inspection as the ship had been centred in the dock.

It also became quickly evident that facilities for undertaking the remedial work were extremely limited and after dis-assembly only two quotations were received; one from Manchester and one from Poland. The wheel and shaft were sent by road to Manchester where, using the facilities of three companies, the shaft has been built up by spiral welding, then machined; while the hub of the wheel has been machined to match.   It is believed that the last time a paddle hub was machined in this way was probably 1952 for “Maid of the Loch” while the machine on which it is being done is believed to be older than Waverley herself.

After the remaining hull work has been completed, to allow other ships to take up their slots, the Waverley was moved out of dry dock on 16 May 2008 to be laid up in the James Watt Dock, Greenock.   Waverley re-entered dry-dock on 13 June to await the arrival of the repaired components.

The wheel arrived at the Garvel Clyde Dry Dock at 10pm Saturday 28 June 2008.   The floats were fitted overnight and the whole assembly lifted aboard on 29 June.  

Waverley seen from the Greenock Royal West Rowing Club on 2 July (Alistair Black)

The steamer left the dock around 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday 2 July and subsequently ran trials with Captain Luke Davies in command.  
She resumed service on 3 July, carrying 370 passengers in the pouring rain.

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