An attempt to slip the paddle steamer Waimarie onto the banks of the Whanganui River for its marine survey has been delayed.

Richard Sheppard, chairman of the PS Waimarie Restoration and Navigation Trust, said higher than normal flows in the Whanganui River had delayed construction of the temporary slipway near the Dublin St Bridge.

"It means the unfortunately our big public launch set down for this Saturday has had to be delayed a couple of weeks," Mr Sheppard said.

It will now happen on Friday, August 19.

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He said even that date was not ideal in terms of the public getting to see the historic vessel winched from the river onto a temporary cradle, but that day was best in terms of tides.

"Everything was on track for this weekend but the heavy rains in the last few days had raised the river levels to the point the contractors couldn't get the job completed in time," he said.

The marine survey involves a detailed inspection of the Waimarie and repainting its hull before she is put back in the water, expected to be three weeks later.