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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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SeamusMartin said:
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.
Seamus

Theres a little bit of info on her on following

http://www.allatsea.co.za/steamtugs.htm

Scroll down to near bottom of page
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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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?
 

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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.
 

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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?
 

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Hi,
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.
 

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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.
Cheers
Moby
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Moby
Glad you like the photos, and you can use them on the sa-transport site, it is a great site as well.
Seamus
 

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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.
 

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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!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.
regards,
Seamus Martin.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
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?
 

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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
 
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