Skip to content

Propelled closer to Relaunch

Another milestone reached with the recent installation of our magnificent new propellers. Thanks to our shipwrights and volunteers.
One more coat of anti fouling paint, some work on the sea water intake valves for engine cooling and fire fighting, and woodwork on the stem head beak will see Alma ready for the water.

Deck Beams (continued)

Looking forward from the aft deckhouse, our shipwrights have moved on to shaping and installing the shorter beams spanning from the ship side to the carlings which support the sides of the deckhouses. These smaller beams are socketed or dovetailed into the carlings and reinforced with the lodging knees seen here. Further along the deck can be seen the red painted longitudinal beam (carling) which will support the deckhouse over the engine room. That deckhouse was removed as one structure when the engines were taken out and sits in the shed awaiting reinstallation.

Deck Beam Update

Our shipwrights scarf joining and epoxy laminating sections of the next deck beam.
The fabricated beam in position under the aft end of the main deckhouse.
Here looking aft we see two beams under coated in red, installed in their final location forward of the aft deckhouse and spanning the engine room. Note the knee at each beam end strengthening the beam joint at the side of the ship. In the foreground is a beam ready for painting and final positioning over another part of the engine room.

Deck Beam Replacement

A new deck beam has been installed at the forward end of the aft deckhouse. The beam was made in the shed from laminated spotted gum boards left over from the hull planking stock. Weighing in excess of 600 kg, it was a massive task to lift the beam onto the ship and position it. Another five of these full width beams and associated smaller beams will be required in the replacement deck. Laminating the largest of these in-situ will reduce the work of transporting and lifting fully made beams from the shed.
Beams which may have looked sound from below the deck, here show significant iron degradation of the timber. The shipwrights have removed some surface material to expose the extent of damage. Where rot has not penetrated too far into the beam, a lamination of new material glued to the old may be sufficient to restore a beam. Failing this, the shipwrights will opt to install a new beam

One day in September

How will we get Alma back in the water?
A lift ship similar to this has been arranged for a day in September. Our barge where Alma has spent the last eight years will be towed downstream and Alma will be lifted by two cranes and returned to the water. A hugely exciting moment with lots of work going on in background at present to make it happen.

Deck Reconstruction

Total reconstruction of the deck has commenced with all planks being carefully removed for later reuse. The process involves using a holesaw to drill over the existing deck spikes then levering the planks from their location after having raked out the old caulking.

Where planks have been removed, the shipwrights will assess whether a deck beam needs replacement due to rot or iron degradation of the timber. The deck structure and slope will also be assessed and beams replaced as necessary to ensure drainage of the new deck. The replacement deck will consist of layers of plywood screwed and epoxied in place with an overlay of the refurbished Queensland beech planking. Not a traditional deck, some may say, but replacement beech timber is not available and this method will stop water coming through the deck and pooling in your bunk as happened in the past.

Making Alma more accessible for everyone

Boarding Alma from a dock or other boat will now be much easier as a section of the rail around the topsides has been cut and hinged. A door or other opening between the two stanchions will also be fitted into the bulwark planking. A successful grant application has provided funds to ensure a more accessible Alma. Later work will provide for deck level accessible accomodation and toilets.

More hull items complete

Fitting of the rudder is complete and the propeller shafts fully installed. Restraints have been fitted to the shafts in the engine room to ensure the shafts do not pull out of the hull after the propellers are fitted and the ship is being towed following launching. Engines will be fitted after launching.
The hull now has one complete coat of the four required coats of red antifouling paint. Timber pieces have been added on both bows just above the waterline to prevent damage from the anchor flukes. The bow thruster tunnel has been bolted into the hull around the flange plate and sealed with a welded plate on the end. This will keep the tunnel dry inside the ship so that fitting of the thruster machinery can continue after the ship is returned to the water. The tunnel projections will be cut off at a later time to allow water to flood the tunnel.

Hull finishing and antifouling.

Prime coating ( grey paint) of steelwork is being completed near the stern on the port side. Over coating with the red antifouling paint then proceeds over the steel components and hull timber.

Moving closer to Alma’s return to water.

The first layer of belting timber installed on the starboard side.
Stern tube bolted to the hull at right, stainless steel propeller shaft in final place through the A-frame and bearing. Awaiting the fitting of the propeller which will be retained by the bronze nut. Similar work proceeding on the port side.