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Where’s Alma ….


Alma’s knees exposed ….

The deck has been lifted at the stern and this has exposed the beam shelf, the deck beams and the now much mentioned lodging knees. The purpose of some  knees can be seen from the ” above ” aspect – ie  enhancing the strength and rigidity of the hull at the junction of the beam shelf and the deck beams. Other knees are situated betweem deck beams and bulkheads.

Props completed ….

The eight new props have been completed and the barge decking modified and bolted back.

Metal knees finished ….

The 14 knees removed from the hull had the rust removed, two coats of primer and 2 final black coats of paint applied. They are to be stored in the shed ready to be refitted when needed. Another vital task completed by the volunteer group.

Decking lifted ….

Over the last few weeks the shipwrights have coded the decking planks in anticipation that some or all may need to be removed. The decision was made to lift the stern sections of the decking so that the beams below could be assessed for damage. Top 2 photos show some of the coding that indicates the position of the plank and the direction – aft or forward. The middle 2 photos show the removed decking stacked in the shed.  The last photos indicate where the decking was removed from – outboard and aft of the engine room.

Props near completion ….

Anchor points for the props have progressed from accurately cut steel to welded brackets, finally welded to the steel frame of the barge then painted for protection from the elements.

The square box sections of steel were fabricated individually as each was to custom fit the positon along port and starboard side of the ship. Each end was strengthened where a postioning pin needed to welded.

T sections of steel have had anchor point fabricated and welded to them. Two coats of primer and 2 coats of black have these 8 supports ready for fitting to the side of the hull. All primer and paint for the props has been donated by Hempel (Australia) P/L. Hempel has for many years provided all the paint requirements for the Alma Doepel restoration.

Work on the 8 props will be finished in the coming week – some welding and painting left to do. These props will allow the lower props in the bilge area to be removed. This is needed so that the lower planks and frames can be removed or inspected.  Further repairs as needed can then commence.

Mid ship deckhouse ….

During the late April Australian Heritage Festival the mid ship deckhouse or the trainee deckhouse was used to display items of furniture from the Master’s cabin. This furniture has been fastidiously restored by volunteers.  The deckhouse was removed from the hull to allow the engines and other items to be lifted out from below deck. The deckhouse will be restored in the Shed and repositioned after engines etc have been refitted below deck.