The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Ltd


Latest news from on board.

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February 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on March 2, 2016 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

After 265 days in dry dock, on Thursday 11th February Kerne once again took to the water.


The month started with plans afoot for the re-float to commence on 7th February, only for the weather to intervene once more, but time was not wasted as several crewmembers continued with valve and pipework refitting. The most significant event was the refitting of the funnel by the guys in the yard who craned the funnel down and tack welded it into position. What a difference – ...

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January 2016

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on February 1, 2016 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

As the New Year dawned and the mince pies and sprouts were consigned to history for another year, we optimistically looked forward to getting Kerne out on the water and refitted. Whilst the optimism remains, progress towards our goal has not been as speedy as we had hoped.

An opportune weather window allowed the hull painting to be completed, with the assistance of yard staff and a cherry-picker to reach the areas that we couldn’t reach. On completion, the access staging to Kerne ...

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December 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on January 5, 2016 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

From all at the Kerne, we wish you a Happy, Health and Prosperous New Year.


For the second month in succession, the dominant topic has been the weather. Our problems with the incessant rainfall pales into insignificance when we see the terrible scenes in the North of England and Eastern Scotland. Having witnessed and been involved in similar events professionally over the years I feel great sympathy for those affected and am only grateful that-

a) I am a RETIRED Loss ...

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November 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on December 5, 2015 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The month of November has been dominated by one thing - WEATHER!!

When it hasn’t been raining it has been throwing it down and when the wind hasn’t been blowing, it has been howling. This is all very unfortunate when the main item on our agenda has been painting.

As previously reported, the steelwork to the hull has been completed, and two coats of two-pack primer had been applied to the outer hull. The internal surfaces have been similarly treated together with a topc...

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October 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on November 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

October started with a pleasant distraction from working at the yard in the form of the annual Leigh Arms Steam Party on the weekend of the 2-3 October.

This year’s event was well attended by over 20 traction engines and steam rollers and the public attendance was probably as good as any I’ve seen. The good weather does help, but hats off to Joanne and her staff who once again did a great job. Although that wonderful old tug Kerne wasn’t there, many of the crew attende...

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September 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on September 30, 2015 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Work in replacing corroded hull steelwork continues in Cammell Laird’s yard. Apart from access holes that remain in the hull plating, the Boiler Room area is all but complete, with the new boiler seats being in the process of installation. It is a very different view from several weeks ago as the supports that spanned this area of the vessel have been removed and now lie on the quay, which allows us to appreciate the ‘new’ appearance of the interior of the hull. The focus of...

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August 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on August 31, 2015 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Progress on the hull repairs continue at a steady pace; the old steelwork being cut away in sections and the new plates welded into position. As with almost all of the functions of a shipyard, a simple phrase does not begin to give the whole story.

The removal of the wasted plates weakens the structure of the section being worked upon, hence the need to weld in supports for each section as the work progresses. It was once commented that the hull of Kerne does not contain a single flat p...

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July 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on August 6, 2015 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The work on Kerne’s steelwork continued to progress at a pace as we moved into July, and what an interesting spectacle it is.

As more of the wasted steelwork was cut away, additional supports were welded into place in order to maintain the integrity and shape of the hull as sections of framing were welded into place. These sections consist of lengths of steel angle carefully rolled to the curvature of the hull and then welded into position. It was then the turn of the newly rolled...

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June 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on July 7, 2015 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, we might have had to wait to get into the Dry-dock at Cammell Laird’s but once June came in, things moved pretty fast!

In order to carry out the essential hull repairs it was necessary to remove the Boiler to gain proper access in order to cut out and replace the corroded steelwork. This simple statement is very much an understatement as despite the considerable amount of stripping out work done by the crew prior to us moving to the yard, there was still an awful lot of prep...

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Live Webcam

Posted by Admin on June 9, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (2)

Our friends at DAPS have set up a webcam so we can watch progress on the ship as she is sitting in dry dock. And, of course, we can see ST Kerne in the background. Have a look here...

May 2015

Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on June 5, 2015 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

We are finally there. After a number of false starts Kerne was escorted from Huskisson Dock breasted alongside Mersey Tanker Lighterage’s former TID tug Seaport Alpha and towed across the river. The caisson to Cammell Laird’s No 4 Dry dock was removed and Kerne was eased into the dock on Friday afternoon 22 May. She was carefully positioned at the top of the dock to rest within a ‘cradle’. This was necessary as Kerne is too narrow in the beam to be supported by the mor...

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Posted by Allan Hickson (Mod) on May 20, 2015 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

We have been advised by Cammell Laird’s that due to yard operations our entry to No 4 Dock has now been rescheduled for 13.35hrs, Friday 22 May 2015.