Slipway should be ready in week or two

By John Maslin

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The Waimarie should be out of the water for its survey within a week or two. PHOT0/Stuart MUnro
The Waimarie should be out of the water for its survey within a week or two. PHOT0/Stuart MUnro

Fingers are crossed that the historic paddle steamer Waimarie will finally be taken from the Whanganui River for its marine survey early next month.

The original timetable was to slip the vessel on August 6. Since then high river flows coupled with some issues around the riverbank where the temporayr slipway was being built compromised those plans.

Now Richard Sheppard, chairman of the PS Waimarie Restoration and Navigation Trust and project overseer, said they were looking at next week or the following week to haul the Waimarie from the river and onto the riverbank downstream from Dublin St Bridge.

Mr Sheppard said conditions on the riverbank forced a change of plan and that meant extending a shellrock base further out into the river.

That meant putting some temporary concrete slabs in place with shellrock compacted on top of them.

Emmett Construction has provided six 6-tonne concrete slabs and they arrived on site on Wednesday and lowered into position.

Sections of rail line to move the cradle for the Waimarie were expected on site yesterday.

"Once these are in place the cradle will be lifted into position, and a practice run will be performed to make sure it all works according to plan," Mr Sheppard said.

"We expect the slip will be completed soon after this weekend. Then we have to work out the next suitable tide sequence, and weather permitting, this may be the first or second week in September," he said.

Once on the slipway the Waimarie will undergo its five-yearly maritime survey and the hull will be repainted.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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