Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sailing barge Dolphin for the time being not in service.

The Dolphin is soon to be having the final stage of her restoration. That is to compleat the sailing rig etc. She will not be in regular service in the future as she is now also my cruising home.
Dolphin is now looking good.
She is back in the water after 4 years out. Launched at Ramsgate on the 24th November 2010 at 08.47hrs, her unladen weight is now only 17tons. (she has lost 3tons in refit) Built in Holland 1903. Hull L 40ft 6ins, B 11ft, D 3ft 6ins, Reg wt 36tons. Air D is only 7ft with mast down and 6ft with 4.5tons in the front as ballast, so it is possible to take her to Fordwich going under Grove Ferry bridge.[ Delivery of Caen stone was made on April 2nd 2011, believed first barge to arrive in Fordwich since 1870.] Her restoration has taken about 4 years, the top and deck have been replaced, so in profile from the side she looks clog shaped. The journey back to Sandwich was trouble free. After running the engine (120hp Ford 6cyl) for two hours waiting for the tide and checking all is well, the passage took about 90mins. At one time the Sat nav showed 9knts but that was with the tide. Tiller steering (Rib tickler) works well and is quite comfortable, with no obvious propeller osolation. The wheel steering is not yet compleat. She will also happily steer going astern with caution. I admit I still need to learn some of her ways.
During the summer of 2011 the Dolphin has had to be the most used boat as the Heron had an engine problem. She did very well with no probs. (The Heron now has a new 1.8 bmc fitted.)
2013/14 during the winter the Dolphin has been helping remove some obstructions to the flood defence works and so requires some cleaning up prior to the summer for passengers. This winter also the foam heat insulation has been sprayed on in the cabin and is now ready for the Pine lining to be fitted.

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