Thursday 15th September 2016

ss Freshspring

The historic steam powered vessel ss FRESHSPRING is due out of dock at SHARPNESS this weekend, ready for a towage survey and then will be towed to Bank End Bideford close to the floating cafe Hindostan.

The vessel was entirely steam powered and is on her way to being restored to full seagoing condition over the next 5 years or so and is working towards the input of a very large grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

She has been offered a conditional berth at Bideford with annual condition surveys so that she remains capable of sea going towage for further work at a dry dock.

The Freshspring society have worked closely with TDC and normal mooring fees will be paid, and legal re assurances through continous surveys made so that she will remain in seagoing trim at minimum for towage.

The vessel was a hive of activity at Sharpness drydock on Tuesday and has a capable and enthusiastic group of volunteers who have acheived much. There is a considerable amount to still do, but she is an attractive rare example. Length is 120 feet.

She has a fine reciprocating steam piston engine with a triple fired scotch boiler and has been converted to oil firing.

The engine which will need careful boiler testing is hand turnable and looks in good condition.

One of her first additions will be the replacement of the wheelhouse (wood).

She is bound to become a popular tourist attraction, as well as place for local groups to participate in a worthwhile heritage project. And to this end local Chairman John Puddy has worked hard for community based groups involvement, together with his society members.

She will arrive on a suitable Spring tide, which could be as early as next Tuesday subject to tug availabilty and weather conditions and to passing her towage survey on Monday at Sharpness.