Waimarie survey delayed yet again

By John Maslin

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Time and tide certainly aren't waiting for the PS Waimarie Restoration and Navigation Trust.

The trust is trying to get a temporary slipway in place on the banks of the Whanganui River so the historic paddle steamer can be hauled from the water for its five-yearly marine survey.

The plan was to dig out a stretch of the riverside just downstream from Dublin St Bridge, cover the area with compacted shellrock to provide a solid base and then haul the boat from the river.

But Richard Sheppard, chairman of the trust and project coordinator, said conditions on the riverbank have meant engineers have had to revise their plan.

"We need to extend the shellrock base further out into the river but to do this we're going to have to put some temporary concrete slabs in place first," Mr Sheppard said.

"We've been very lucky because Richard Emmett from Emmett Construction has offered the use of six 6-tonne concrete slabs. Emmetts use these as temporary footings for their big cranes so they should do the trick."

The plan was to slip the vessel on August 6 but high river flows compromised that programme. The next date was this weekend but now that's been put back.

Mr Sheppard says they're now looking at getting the Waimarie out of the river at the end of this month or in the first week of September.

"The point is we're running out of time to get the survey done and the boat's hull repainted because we want to be resume sailings in October," he said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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