Thursday, 21 February 2013

Our strategy

In my last post I introduced some of the work we have done that'll help us decide what action to take. The first priority is to make sure that Peggy is properly supported so that she can't hog or sag (see below if you can't remember what these mean). MNH commissioned local firm BB Consulting Engineers Ltd. ( to design a new support cradle based upon profiles taken from the laser survey described below. The design they have come up with is based upon a load-bearing spine with ribs. The construction will be in galvanised steel, and is more elegant and less visually intrusive than the current arrangement. Here is an impression of it:

General scheme of the proposed new support cradle
 The space between the ribs and the hull will be cushioned with inert, polythene foam. Polyformes Ltd. of Leighton Buzzard ( are supplying the foam, cut precisely to the profiles and dimensions taken from the laser survey. The cradle is being fabricated right now by Galla's Foundry here in Douglas.
We'll have to lift the boat to insert the new cradle. Unfortunately, this will not be easy! This is because 1. the cellar is very cramped: at its lowest level the ceiling is only 20 cm above the boat, and there is less than one metre between the boat and the walls; 2. we can't put pressure on the hull because its too fragile, and 3. we can't lift (e.g. with jacks) from under the keel because we want to sit the boat back down on the beam, illustrated above. We do have one thing in our favour however, which is that Peggy's keel is not the original one. In fact the current keel dates from 1950. Because of this we were able to secure the permission of the Trustees of Manx National Heritage to modify it by drilling three holes through it. We'll put bars through the holes and lift the boat using the bars. We are going to contract a specialist firm to undertake the lift using computer-controlled hydraulic jacks. The work is currently scheduled for May/ June this year, so watch this space for news in due course...

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