Lyttelton’s 116-Year-Old Tug to undergo $1.5 Million Refit

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 07, 2023 |

Lyttelton’s iconic tug boat will be out of operation for the next year due to extensive maintenance needs.

The non-profit organization Tug Lyttelton Preservation Society explained that maintaining a 116-year-old ship inevitably leads to the need for major repairs.

“We’ve reached the point where major maintenance is required. Our boiler tubes must be replaced before we can sail again, meaning we will not be operational in 2023/2024.”

The 240 tubes were last replaced in the early 1980s, signifying the magnitude of the maintenance.

A spokesperson detailed the upcoming work saying “the replacement of the tubes, coupled with the installation of an electric pre-heater, will cost around $300,000.

“These changes will not only reduce coal use and carbon emissions but will also ease the workload on our sailing team and extend the life of the boiler itself.”

The spokesperson said “these efforts form part of a larger $1,500,000 planned refit, aimed at ensuring that this unique piece of global marine history remains operational for many more years.”

Maintained and operated by fully qualified Society members, the tug also offers other members the opportunity to gain experience in seafaring.

Each year, the tug must undergo a rigorous inspection by qualified surveyors to obtain the passenger certificate necessary to operate.

A fundraising page has been set up to assist with the cost of the refit, inviting supporters to contribute to the preservation of the maritime treasure.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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