Ships Nostalgia

Ships Nostalgia (
-   Preserved Vessels & Restoration Projects (
-   -   Alwyn Vintcent (

SeamusMartin 29th August 2006 05:09

Alwyn Vintcent
Does anybody know what is happening with the old steam pilot boat Alwyn Vintcent? She worked as a ferry to Robbin Island for a while and then had a diesel engine installed. I think she was then retired from this roll and is now a exhibit at the maritime muesum in Cape Town. I saw a picture on the internet taken last year and she looks terrible, I hope they don't scrap her.

gdynia 29th August 2006 07:42


Originally Posted by SeamusMartin
Does anybody know what is happening with the old steam pilot boat Alwyn Vintcent? She worked as a ferry to Robbin Island for a while and then had a diesel engine installed. I think she was then retired from this roll and is now a exhibit at the maritime muesum in Cape Town. I saw a picture on the internet taken last year and she looks terrible, I hope they don't scrap her.


Theres a little bit of info on her on following

Scroll down to near bottom of page

Howard 29th August 2006 11:04

Hi Seamus,
Some years ago she had a diesel ( Caterpillar ) fitted transversly and was operated during the summer months Nov / Dec / Jan / Feb to take tourists out into Table Bay and around Duncan Dock and the old Victoria Basin The trips were about one hour. Unfortunately it seems competition from newer looking boats ( she is a classic, but tourists feel safer on the modern sleek ones ) caused her downfall and I am told that she is laid up at a quay in the Museum at present. Like all the old Pilot tugs that used to serve the port, she will probably be scrapped.

SeamusMartin 30th August 2006 12:21

Thanks guys,
In Australia and New Zealand we have some very successful Maritime Museums with steam tugs still in steam. In Brisbane we have the forceful, in Auckland the have the William C Daldy, and in Sydney they have a hole fleet including the the 1902 tug Waratah. One would think there would be enough steam buffs in South Africa to get her back in steam and up to scratch? I would hate to see here scrapped, but from what I can gather the whole Museum is not in very good shape, I wonder what, if any thing can be done. It's goegraphic location it should be one of the best in the world. There doesn't even seem to be a website where you can send donations.

reklaw 18th November 2006 06:33


Originally Posted by SeamusMartin (Post 73980)
One would think there would be enough steam buffs in South Africa to get her back in steam and up to scratch? .

Personally I suspect that we dont have a "lets preserve the past" culture here, as usual preservation was left too late and we have lost most of our classic tugs. There were attampts to sail one of the old classic RA Leigh and a sister to Australia or NZ (I forget which) many many years ago, but the Leigh ended up rotting away at her berth and nothing ever happened. I do feel that soon it will be too late to do anything about anything which runs on steam as the skills to maintain the plant slowly get lost as the older generation passes on and nobody learns keep not only steamships but steamtrains running. I operate the Allatsea website as mentioned in the thread above and I deplore the loss of these vessels. The only thing that is left is to actually try to keep their memory going by photographs and active discussion (and the occasional nasty email to the powers that be). My other fear is the bureacracy that often rubber stamps projects and condemns preservation attempts.

SeamusMartin 24th December 2006 04:20

Hi Reklaw, I have seen you webpage it has some wonderful pictures on it. It inspired me to make my own one with my pictures of the South African steam tugs.

If any one is interested it is at:

I have also found the website which I saw Alwyn Vintcent looking very run down and It also has heaps of other great pictures on it.

It is at:

SAS Amatola 14th March 2007 23:11

we don't have many vintage tugs around here at present. J.R. More preserved Durban, Ulundi preserved on the hard Durban, Alwyn Vintcent at CT. The AW needs to be removed from CT as she has deterioted quite badly. Was involved in project to preserve her, but little or no interest. Any suggestions?

reklaw 17th March 2007 08:59

My feeling is the best thing that could happen to the Vincent is that she is bought by somebody outside of the country, put on a barge and taken elsewhere. From what I hear the whole V&A waterfront project has gone from being a working harbour to a yuppie city. These people are not interested in preservation, they just want really overpriced apartments with sea views, not the view of an old guano covered tug. I dont give the Somerset much longer either before she ends up being broken up. Amatola, I would like to hear more about the efforts to save her for the website, and any pics would help too. I do however think its too late for the Vintcent.

SAS Amatola 17th March 2007 10:32

SAS Somerset is safe. Went aboard her and he is immaculate inside. All machinery intact and little or no brass missing. In fact her engines could well be repaired at later stage. She will be lifted out of the water via syncrolift for scrape and paint shortly. There is a Dutch company after the Vintcent and I say they should take her. what pics do you want?

reklaw 18th March 2007 10:39

Thanks for the reply, glad to hear Somerset is safe. Hope you get some pics of her bottom for us :-) I am looking for pics of the Vintcent at the moment so I can add her to the pilot boat section of my website (which does not have any pics of her at this mo). I was contemplating doing a page on the 5 sisters but dont have the rescources to do it.

SAS Amatola 18th March 2007 11:15

have a look at and follow links to ships section. My photos are there and you may use them, just provide credit.

sa-transport 18th March 2007 20:30

I should have posted my post here re the Alwyn Vintcent, have only just seen this thread, here is a link to the other thread.

sa-transport 18th March 2007 20:34

Hi SeamusMartin
Went to your site, great photos, hopefully you will let me steal a couple for the sa-transport site, if I ever get my pc sorted out first that is. Its going into the shop again, will contact you when its back.

SeamusMartin 3rd April 2007 09:57

Hi Moby
Glad you like the photos, and you can use them on the sa-transport site, it is a great site as well.

SAS Amatola 3rd May 2007 18:49

Alwyn Vintcent
It needs to be removed from V&A Waterfront by 15 May 2007. Anyone know of any overseas group who may be keen to takeover vessel? Temp mooring being organised in Cape Town in interim.

SAS Amatola 4th August 2007 13:27

Alwyn Vintcent now laid up next to the repair quay. Has been sold to overseas interests and will be restored there. She is in fair condition having been laid up for almost 8 years.

SAS Somerset recently emerged from dry-dock. Has been repainted below the waterline and work crews busy repairing her upper decks and repainting entire ship. Really looks great!!

SeamusMartin 24th August 2007 09:09

That is great SAS Amatola, I feared the worst. Do you know where she is going? Will she be restored to original condition and put back into steam? or converted into something else? That is great news about SAS Somerset too.
Seamus Martin.

SAS Amatola 28th October 2007 17:36

No longer destined for overseas. To be retained in South Africa. Will be towed to Mossel Bay and placed undercover in a museum. This at least ensures her future has a museum ship, even though she will never steam again.

Joins the Ulundi and JR More as the last steam tugs in South Africa.

SeamusMartin 5th November 2007 11:03

That is great news, at least when I get back over that side of the world again, I may visit her. You never know maybe some day she may be put back into steam, when and if enough interest is generated, stranger things have happened. Will she be in the water or on the hard?

JeffM 17th December 2007 11:32

I have just caught up with this thread so apologies for acting as a johny come lately. I have just returned from a conference trip to Cape Town and have posted some photographs of the Alwyn Vintcent and Somerset. Have yet to learn how to connect posted photos to discussion thread, so look at my gallery in SN. Before reaching CT I knew about the AV and poked around till I found her - in a corner hidden from the eyes of non curious tourists moored alongside Somerset. The museum is in a formative stage and does not have much money - the attendant was pessimistic about the long run future of the Somerset. The docks are very touristy - no different from any where else where docklands have been "revitalized"! Expensive restaurants and shops selling imported souvenirs. Both ships were not open to the public so are not likely to attract much interest and are not signposted in any way. Thanks to Amatola, Transport and reklaw for the local info. Would have looked you up if I had read this before I went. SeamusMartin, as your first entry provides the reference point for this thread could you edit your heading to change Vincent to Vintcent. I have the same problem with old fingers that dont fit on keyboards! Cheers, Jeff

SeamusMartin 26th December 2007 10:54

G'day Jeff,
I don't seem to be able to change the heading of the thread, but have contacted SN to see if they can do it for me, sorry I never noticed that I had missed spelled her name. Did you get to go about them and look around? Did you get any pictures of the wheelhouses or engine rooms etc.
Seamus Martin.

JeffM 29th December 2007 00:00

New Year Greetings to you Seamus Martin. Thanks for chasing up SN re title spelling. I came across this problem when trying to cross reference discussion threads on the Nobska ( once a ship in the process of preservation in Boston but now dismantled) that some called the Nobsku. It would be good if SN could get a search facility like in Yellow/White pages that also gives you similar names where one letter might be missing or substituted. I tried to get on board both vessels but no in attendance and all locked up. Also some distance from the fledging museum. Attendants at the museum confirmed the story that the Alwyn Vintcent had been purchased by an overseas company but thought that it would be restored and maintained in Cape Town given its links to Nelson Mandela and the transportation of "prisoners" to Roben Island. Jeff.

SeamusMartin 14th February 2008 11:45

Thanks JeffM,
new years greetings to you to, I know I am a bit late, I have been very busy at work, but thanks a lot for the info. I hope to see some pictures of the wheelhouse, engine room and boiler room and crew accomadation.
Seamus Martin.

JeffM 15th February 2008 02:49

Seamus Martin, thanks for the New Year greetings - now a distant memory or is it a fog? If you do locate any internal photos of the Alwyn Vintcent will you post them on SN? JeffM

SAS Amatola 12th March 2008 10:03

sadly, all deals have fallen through and ship will be disposed of. Unless someone has a bright idea.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:43.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.