HY Tyne Preservation Update August 2014

We have now received the survey report following the week long investigation of LV 50’s structure. During that time, the shipwrights removed both through bolts and clench pins of both copper & phosphor bronze to check the integrity of the surrounding timber and their own structural strength. This was done both above the waterline and also below the waterline. We did this with the addition of 14 water barrels weighing about 2.5 tons which listed her approximately 7 degrees to port revealing her upper underwater sections.
In general, the vessel including her fastenings remains in reasonable condition given her age and in some instances is better than first thought making her repairs easier.

As part of the survey 3 dives were undertaken to clean areas of her hull and photograph the condition. This is the area where we have a problem in that the metal sheathing on the port side around the bilge keel to the main keel is extensively damaged, we think probably from the time in the late 50’s when she was moored to the south dolphin and impacted old mooring chains lying on the sea bed attached to the shore line. Some of which are still there today. In addition their is evidence of the breakdown of underwater caulking in the forward bilge section below the forepeak leading to a slow leak. This appears to have been weeping for some years and is not considered a threat to the vessels integrity in the medium term but must be attended to.
The fastenings supporting the bilge keels have also been checked, are in a very sound condition and are made of phosphor bronze.

The survey has recommended that the vessel must be dry docked if we are to ensure the vessels preservation in line with HLF requirements, i.e. a minimum of 50 years.

The steering group are investigating what can be done in this regard now and will advise further probably in October. There will of course be some impact to the project costs but we have held a meeting today with Heritage Lottery in Newcastle and whilst concerned they have not said anything to us which would make us think the project does not remain viable.
Clearly, if we are to move the vessel, there has be a plan, both with regards to the running of the club for its members and facilities to be made available and the timing and risk assessments etc. Of course the removal of LV 50 from her present position will impact the operation of the pontoons but this will be kept to a minimum if such a move takes place to ensure we are all able to continue to enjoy the amenities available to us.

As we are collecting all the information & costs at this time, it is impossible to provide more detail presently, except to say that I believe this will not unduly impact us and will in the longer term ensure we have an even better preserved vessel as our House Yacht.
As soon as we have more detail we will of course advise you. Please feel free to speak to any of the Steering Committee who will be pleased to discuss the project with you.