PS Monarch changes hand again!
Yes, the worlds smallest commercial Paddle Steamer has changed ownership once again.
This time she has been bought by some enthusiasts who intend to operate her on the River Frome from Wareham.
In the last 3 years, Monarch has had 3 owners. The first was Matt O’Crowley who operated her on the River Medina on the Isle of Wight. When other commitments led to her sale, she moved to Morwellham Quay, an historical museum on the banks of the River Tamar near Plymouth. Whilst at Morwellham she made a cameo on the BBC documentary Edwardian Farm.
In 2012 she was sold yet again, this time to a group of enthusiasts based in Wareham. After not being used very much at Morwellham, she was in need of a bit of TLC.
She is Currently/Was undergoing a complete Refit in Wareham which included boiler repair and re-tube, replacement of the forward bow-thruster which was seized, a refit of the saloon, the fitting of a WC, and a re-paint!
The chance was take to make some modifications too. The main drive shaft will also power the water feed pump and air pump, replacing the need for an on-board Diesel Generator which was used previously. An alternator has been fitted that is also driven off the engine, this will provide power for the bow thrusters and interior lighting and Deck drainage has been modified to prevent water damaged inside the hull.
The rumour was she was to be relaunched in May this year (2013) but I haven’t seen any further info at this moment in time.