Wherry Maud safely lifted from water in delicate operation
PUBLISHED: 11:52 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 11 August 2017
The 118-year-old Wherry Maud was successfully lifted from the water in a delicate operation lasting more than six hours.
Wherry Maud Trust trustee Linda Pargeter said it was a great relief once the wherry, which weighs about 22 tons, was safely placed on blocks in the yard at Goodchild Marine at Burgh Castle.
She said: “There is always a fear that the mast or a large piece of ballast will drop while its being lifted off because it would cause a lot of damage.
“But thankfully the staff at Goodchild know what they are doing and we’ve never had a problem before.”
Maud was taken from the water on Wednesday for three yearly maintenance and re-fit work to be carried out.
Before lifting her, work at removing the mast and ballast started.
“We arrived at 8am and had a challenge getting her into the dock because of the pushing tide and that took us longer than we thought it would,” said Mrs Pargeter.
“But once she was in, the mast, gaffe and sail were removed.”
The hatches were then taken off to allow workers into the hold to remove about three to four tons of ballast to lessen her weight.
Once that was done, Goodchild’s 32 ton boat lift was manoeuvred into place and the wherry lifted from the water.
The last time she was taken out the bill for the lift, repairs, materials, labour and storage ran up to £15,000.
Mrs Pargeter fears the cost will be similar this time around.
“We were told back then that she would need some new planking to replace some of the original 1899 planking so have had to prepare for that,” she said. “She needed about 70ft of oak planking in the bottom last time around.”
Mrs Pargeter said the Wherry Maud Trust was only formed two years ago to look after and operate Maud.
“2017 is a big year for us as it will be the first time that the trust has been responsible for the three-yearly out-of-the water maintenance and re-fit.”
She said an inspection of the hull would start next week and they should get feedback “immediately” on what work needed to be done.
Maud was originally built to carry timber from Great Yarmouth to Norwich and could haul a load of 40 tons.
For more information visit www.wherrymaudtrust.org.