Thursday, 23 July 2009

The Steam Tug Cervia in Ramsgate Harbour

A few pictures of the steam tug Cervia that I took today, restoration work is well underway and she should be open to the public next month as soon as she has been made safe.

I am sorry that some of them didn’t come out too well and I will endevour to delete the worse when I get time.

Do feel free to enhance any you like, let me know if you want any in high definition please quote web address as the top if the page (url) and send me the picture so I know which one it is.

No need to ask permission to use them just credit me and include this blog post address http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2009/07/steam-tug-cervia-in-ramsgate-herbour.html so people can look at the other ones.


The pictures there are about 200 of them Click here to look at them use the links at the top of the pages for more pictures.

I also took some video footage on the Cervia embed here, sorry there is no voice over, walking round the works of a steam tug while trying to see where you are going through the viewfinder of a camcorder it would have been something like this:

“Whoops I tripped over a pipe.” “Ouch my head.” So on and so on.

Sorry about the bit where the video goes all blurry for a moment, I had a senior moment with some technical part that was harder than my shin.



I gather that volunteers can get involved with this project and would recommend standing alongside and hailing ahoy Cervia would be a good starting point.

The hull doesn’t appear to be leaking, hardly a drop of water in her when I sounded the well and that tasted a little brackish but definitely not pure seawater, a bit oily too, I believe this came mostly from leaking hatches on the decks.

One has to appreciate that the hull plating of a tug is much thicker than most vessels due to the impacts they encounter when working.

From what I can see of the engine and boiler they seem to be in fairly good order.

Parts of the hull are definitely rusted and a little thinner than they should be.

I have some experience of boats and engineering so this isn’t just wild guess work.

I believe the plan is to slip her in Ramsgate next year and replace the plates that need it, by riveting not welding.

the craft of hull riveting has all but died out so this should be a major international tourist attraction.

Notes for enthusiasts:

Built 1945-6 by Alexander Hall and Co. Ltd., Aberdeen. YN709. Steel Screw Tug. Length 105.2 Ft B 27.1 Ft D 11.7 Ft 233 Grt. 900ihp 3 Cyl TE oil fired steam engine by builder. Official No.180997. Call sign GDPM. 21-1-1946 Launched as Empire Raymond for Ministry of War Transport. Foremost class. 30-4-1946 completed and handed over to Townsend Bros. Ferries Ltd. for onward delivery. 12-1946 Sold to William Watkins Ltd. for £36,000, 1947 renamed Cervia. 1-2-1950 Transferred to Ship Towage [London) Ltd. 26-10-1954 Capsized and sank whilst assisting P & 0 liner Arcadia at Tilbury. The Skipper and four crew were drowned. 28-10-1954 Raised and towed to Ramsgate for repairs. 27-1-1969 Transferred to London Tugs Limited. 1971 Sold for preservation at Medway Maritime Museum. 1973 returned to towing with International Towing Ltd., UK/Europe coastal towage and North Sea oil rig moves. Last in service as port tug at Ramsgate. July 1985 loaned to East Kent Maritime Trust's Ramsgate Maritime Museum, for preservation

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