98-year-old River Dart paddler

Posted by Chris Graham on 8th June 2022

An appeal has been launched to raise funds for the essential repairs needed to keep a 98-year-old River Dart paddler afloat. Can you help?

98-year-old River Dart paddler

Can you help with raising funds for the essential repair work needed to ensure the future of the 98-year-old River Dart paddler, Kingswear Castle?

The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust, owners of the 98-year-old River Dart paddler, have launched an appeal to raise the £1 million needed to carry out a major rebuild and ensure the vessel’s long-term future on the river.

It is almost 30 years since any major work was carried out, and it’s now necessary to carry out renewals to the hull and decks. The work, needed in areas mostly below decks and hidden from public view, will include re-plating sections of the hull, replacement of frames, bulkheads and sponson supports as required, and re-decking. The work will also ensure that Kingswear Castle will be ready to comply with any future MCA regulations regarding safety. 

The work is planned to take place over three winters. The first phase, the rebuilding of the ship from the engine room bulkhead to the stern, will have been completed by July. Subject to funding, the forward third of the ship will be rebuilt during the winter of 2022‑23, and the engine/boiler room during the winter of 2023-24. The plan is to have the ship finished in time to celebrate her centenary in the summer of 2024. Meanwhile, she will operate her usual public cruises on the river each summer. 

Kingswear Castle is maintained and operated on long-term charter by the Dartmouth Steam Railway & Riverboat Company, but the charitable trust is responsible for funding the Centenary Rebuild and is appealing for readers’ support. 

Donations can be made online at kingswearcastle.org (where further details and updates can also be seen), or by posting your contribution to: PSKC Trust Fund Raising, PO Box 9565, Weymouth DT4 4HT.

This news item comes from the latest edition of Ships Monthly, and you can get a brilliant, money-saving subscription to the magazine simply by clicking HERE

 

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