No Waimarie Labour Weekend sailings

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The PS Waimarie was hauled out of the Whanganui River by two traction engines on a temporary slipway right next to the Dublin St Bridge. PHOTO BEVAN CONLEY
The PS Waimarie was hauled out of the Whanganui River by two traction engines on a temporary slipway right next to the Dublin St Bridge. PHOTO BEVAN CONLEY

There will be no sailings of the Waimarie at Labour Weekend.

It was hoped the paddle steamer would return to the Whanganui River in time for the public holiday but its refit won't be finished in time.

PS Waimarie manager Evert van Reenen said at a meeting on Friday morning with the out of water survey project manager Richard Sheppard and skippers of the boat it was "reluctantly decided to cancel the Labour Weekend sailings due to running out of time for refitting the vessel and gaining the required vessel and boiler certification from Maritime New Zealand."

Mr van Reenan said it was a shame the boat would not be ready in time.

"This is very disappointing as despite the huge effort by volunteers, staff and the contractors involved the weather and tides have not worked in favour of the speedy return of the vessel to the river.

"At this stage there is no date for her return to the river but it is expected to be ready for passengers on October 29" he said.

The Waimarie was taken out of the water on September 17 and placed in a special cradle at a slip on the eastern side of the river near the Dublin St Bridge. The $1.5 million, 70-tonne paddle steamer was due a thorough inspection for loose rivets and damaged plates as well as waterblasted, sandblasted, hull painted, and given a new operating certificate.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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