It’s that time of year when one of the canal trip boats is removed from the water for inspection. Because the trip boats Kingfisher and Richmond carry passengers they must each have an inspection every 2 years. This time it was Richmond’s turn to be lifted out of the water. It is the job of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to make sure that everything is in order.
Ian Jackson, Volunteer Director, said, ‘It was not just Richmond that was removed from the water. This year saw an extra two boats lifted; Boxer, the work boat, was was removed and inspected by Trust volunteers; it was in good shape, apart from anodes that will need to be replaced; Egremont, the Trust’s latest acquisition, was also lifted for inspection.’
Preparation for the lifts started before Christmas and there was much activity in early January with the removal of the canal’s popular Christmas lights and decorations. The lifts were performed on 5th January. Richmond was lowered on to land supported by trestles and sleepers brought up from Hunston. The lift was conducted by Coussen’s Cranes, a specialist Hampshire company. A 160-ton crane was used with an attendant lorry and Coussen’s supplied all the necessary equipment and skilled manpower.
The boat lifts created a lot of interest and members of the public stopped to watch the work as it was happening. Many took photos.
The official inspection has been completed. Once remedial work has been completed, we expect to have all the boats back on the basin by the end of January, within plenty of time for the start of the boat trips, anticipated to start again at the end of February.
Photo credit: Kate Johnson