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Plans are being made for a NZ $1.5 million refit for the historic 116-year-old New Zealand steam tug LYTTELTON.

LYTTELTON, built by Ferguson Bros, Port Glasgow, was working in her namesake port nearly four years before the TITANIC was launched, and she is still going strong running summer afternoon cruises for the Tug Lyttelton Preservation Society, which took her over in 1973 from the Lyttelton Harbour Board. However, necessary work on her means the coal- fired veteran will not be out on the harbour this summer.

The society has set up a Give A Little website seeking contributions towards the vessel’s overhaul.“Unfortunately, when maintaining a 116-year-old ship, you get to the point where it needs major maintenance, and we are at this point,” it says.“Our boiler tubes need to be replaced before we can sail again. This means we will not be sailing in 2023-24.
“The last time our 240 tubes were replaced was in the early 1980’s, and of course prices have gone up a little since then! “The replacement of the tubes, along with installing an electric pre-heater, which will not only reduce coal use and carbon emissions, it will also lower the workload on our sailing team and help extend the life of the boiler itself, will cost around $300,000.“

This will form part of a larger $1,500,000 planned refit which will ensure our one-of-a-kind piece of global marine history is operational for many more years to come.”The society is also seeking new members who can help do painting, varnishing, and replacing deck at its regular Thursday working bees. and – like every nautical preservation society – would welcome sponsorships, big or small.

Source: Nick Tolerton