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Daniel Adamson – Historic vessel relaunches

Daniel Adamson

Described as ‘absolutely stunning’, a £3.8m project to restore the UK’s last surviving steam tug-tender The Daniel Adamson will enable the historic vessel to once again carry passengers across the North West’s famous waters.

Believed to be the oldest, operational Mersey-built ship anywhere in the world, the ship has been described by leading experts as a unique example of a transatlantic liner of the 1930s – but in miniature.

The restoration project, carried out for the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, was funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant awarded over 30 years after the vessel was taken out of service, and 11 years since she was saved from the scrapyard by local campaigners and the volunteers who partially restored her over 10 years.

The project was undertaken by main contractors Camel Laird at their shipyard, and the steam ship will now offer a programme of cruises on the Mersey, Weaver and Manchester Ship Canal.

Dan Cross, Chairman of the Daniel Adamson Preservation society said: “The ship looks absolutely stunning – the level of finish is just phenomenal – for example the saloon looks perfectly in keeping with the age of the ship, rather than shiny and new. You just can’t believe what you’re seeing. The ship just looks and feels like the original – the project team have really worked wonders.

“Camel Laird were responsible for all the naval architecture work and much of the design work, as well as making sure that the restoration specification, structure and steelwork was carried out to the satisfaction of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for a Class 5 domestic passenger vessel.

“The works included removing the vessel’s approximately 20 tonne 16 ft long coal fired 3 furnace Scotch boiler for refurbishment (which also required removing a significant amount of the vessel’s structure).”

Works to the boiler included significant welding and the replacement of number of the boiler’s stays, as well as the construction of a new smoke box which had to be carried out with only a few old photographs for reference.

Other works included the replacement of all 185 of the boiler’s tubes, with Molyneux Boiler Services assisting Camel Laird with this element of the project.

Due to heavy corrosion from coal dust and ash mixed with water from the bilges, all of the hull plating under the boiler had to be replaced, together with all of the floor frames.

The works also required the replacement of another four of five large hull plates and other inserts.

Further works included the complete re-building of the funnel and the replacement or repair of all of the pipework throughout the ship (around 350 sections of pipe in all).

A new wooden 45 ft mast was hand-built and the vessel was re-decked in iroko – a sustainable version of teak.

Dan Cross continued: “Sub contractors MPE Interiors entirely restored the ship’s art deco saloons, bridge, wheelhouse and other woodwork to conservation standards, faithfully reproducing the original appearance and perfectly matching panelling that was retained. They also fitted out a new galley crew washbase and crew accommodation (all of which had been previously destroyed by vandals).

Daniel Adamson

Sea King Electrical carried out electrical works including the installation of a diesel generator and data cabling which is all well concealed, and all the painting of the vessel was carried out by H & S Barrier Coatings.”

The Daniel Adamson was built by the Tranmere Bay Development Co. (a fore-runner to the now famous Camel Laird) in 1903 for an Ellesmere Port-Liverpool passenger ferry and barge towing service, and later sold to the Manchester Ship Canal in 1921, as a tug, and with a new art deco double decker saloon, she acted as the directors’ inspection vessel.

She was renamed the Daniel Adamson in honour of the Manchester Ship Canal Company’s first chairman and continued as an inspection vessel until she was taken out of service in 1985,

From a vandalised wreck days away from the breaker’s yard, the Daniel Adamson has sailed into the elite ranks of the national historic fleet – alongside vessels of national significance such as the Cutty Sark, HMS Victory and SS Great Britain.

Now a new generation of enthusiasts will be able to marvel at her unexpected Art Deco interiors and experience the thrill of steam.

Daniel Adamson

SeaKing Group

SeaKing Electrical ltd was established 15 years ago and carries out turnkey projects for the commercial, military, marine and offshore markets. Their scope of operations includes the new build/refit or conversion of any type of vessel ranging from Ferries, Tankers, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and North Sea Oil & Gas DSV vessels to Cruise Ships and Superyachts.

Historic refit projects undertaken by the company include Tall ships,  Kathleen and May – a three masted top sail schooner and training ship built circa 1900, and the Two masted Brig Stavros S Niarchos.

The company recently worked with the Cammell Laird shipyard on the Daniel Adamson on their latest project and were responsible for the ships electrical redesign and installation whilst sympathetically maintaining the vessels traditional appearance. Installations included a new generator and 230V AC and 24V DC power distribution, internal and external deck light fittings and remanufacturing of the port and starboard wheelhouse consoles. Alarms, PA, CCTV, fire detection and navigation lighting systems were also fitted during the project.

Neil Mellenchip, Group Business Development Manager at SeaKing commented: “We have a flexible and responsive service which enables us to support both UK and Global projects. We also have a strong apprenticeship programme to train tomorrow’s marine electrical engineers to support and sustain our future company development.”

Mckennas Marine Ltd

Offering a unique understanding of the theory, design and practical installation of structural fire protection (SFP) of marine vessels and land based installations that complies with the highest standards set by SOLAS, High Speed Code (HSC) and Classification Societies, Mckennas Marine Ltd’s aim is to provide safe, innovative and intelligent solutions to all clients’ insulation needs, whilst completing projects both within budget and to time critical deadlines.

A selection of the key services offered to clients include Structural Fire Protection (SFP); high speed craft specialists; thermal insulation; acoustic insulation; A60, A30, A15 & A0 specialists; B30, B15 & B0 specialists; H120 &H60 specialists; ventilation duct cleaning provider (Ductmaster) to TR17 standard; SOLAS insulation surveys; cold room & bonded store insulation; high temperature insulation mat manufacturers & system designers; heat shield manufacture & refurbishment; sheet metal fabrication; rapid response riding crew; and flange pipe spray out prevention solutions.

A spokesperson for Mckennas Marine Ltd, said:

“We look forward to supplying our services to existing and future clients.”

For more information, please visit: www.mckennasmarine.com.

MPE Interiors Ltd

MPE Interiors Ltd specialise in bespoke furniture manufacture and installation of marine and commercial accommodation outfitting systems, materials and equipment. MPE was formed in 2001 with many of the company’s skilled tradesmen having 30+ years of experience in the industry.

A large part of MPE’s work takes place on projects within Cammell Laird Shipyard. The company also works with local building contractors such as Krol Corlett manufacturing reception counters and bespoke furniture for schools, libraries and churches.

Premier Construction caught up with John Whetnall, of MPE Interiors Ltd, to find out more on the developments with the Daniel Adamson. John commented:

“MPE are manufacturing and installing the accommodation throughout the vessel. Much of the accommodation requires the skills of tradesmen who have to manufacture bespoke items from specially veneer materials and hardwoods essential to reproduce the authenticity of such a vessel.

“Replica wheelhouse and ticket office were newly constructed from hardwood using the original steel base support. The lower saloon includes stepped veneered panelling with a curved bar beneath the entrance stairway. The upper saloon on the main deck provides a sheltered viewing area with window pelmets, balustrade and linings all being from specially manufactured and veneered panels.

“This project was important as it was an opportunity to demonstrate our flexibility and capability of providing essential skills and quality; and to contribute as part of a team with Cammell Laird and other local companies to a historical project which can be appreciated for many more years to come.”

According to John, the company prides itself on ‘being able to work together with other disciplines and offering a reliable service to customers who require cost effective and timely solutions.’

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