Flying Buzzard            Phase 1 -- Re-powering

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Phase 2 - Re-modelling
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On the scale of what most people count as possible, Mike Nelder and Julie Jessop have taken on -- and so far succeeded in achieving -- the impossible. They have, pretty much on their own, rescued an historic British ship from dereliction. With a replacement diesel engine brought from Denmark it is no longer the steamship it used to be -- but it is afloat and about to sail the oceans again. The dream is now close to reality. It's a story of breathtaking ingenuity and determination.

Nelder and Jessop, with minimal funds and help from a few friends, have rebuilt Flying Buzzard's interior and completed major mechanical and structural work.
They started in the summer of 2004 with Flying Buzzard tied up alongside in Elizabeth Dock at Maryport, Cumbria, NW England.

First, they removed the old steam condensing engine, redundant since the removal by previous owners of the Flying Buzzard's decayed boilers. No small job, this -- the steam engine weighed in at 36 tons. It was lifted out in one piece. To maximise fuel efficiency it was replaced with a Callesen 5-cylinder 575hp diesel driving a variable pitch propeller. The diesel engine was found in Denmark at a ship-breaker's yard, it was originally fitted in a Scottish trawler (Cowrie, Supreme, Morning Star).  Several trips to the yard have followed, providing much needed ancillaries.

Every effort has been made to renovate the Buzzard in a manner befitting her original glory. Mike Nelder and Julie Jessop have re-used and recycled as many original features as possible. And other features, including portholes, decklights, a glass deck in the funnel creating an atrium, have all been incorporated to give spacious living accommodation whilst letting in as much natural light as possible.

The pictures below tell the story.........

Take a gas-torch and a crane, then lift off the engine-room roof.

No worries -- I worked it all out.

Out she comes. A bit of tweaking, but no bother.

Rest her on the dock. S'easy. Who said it couldn't be done?

Get her on the wagon.

Check out the hole that's left.

Get some new engine beds in, 24 x 10" I-beams 

the diesel comes from Denmark .....

Put her down the hole....

Add a crane....

... you can always use it as a flagstaff!

Get a tow out to the hard.

... and work really begins.  The 10-inch prop-shaft was removed, along with the cast steel propellor.  A new sterntube was fitted inside the existing one and the new prop and shaft was fiitted.  All the while Flying Buzzard dried out on the mud between tides in Maryport's outer harbour -- in the middle of winter 2005.

                    The old shaft comes out.
             Getting ready for the new shaft.
                  Shaft's out, lignum vitae bearing's ok.

                  Now just need to cut a piece of  rudder to 

                  get the new shaft in.


           New shaft and prop gear are in. So is the night, 
               Easy.....nearly there.....
      She turns!






Prop on, weld the bit of rudder back in, sandblast, paint and anti-foul ... all in a month's work!

Starting to look good now.


web pages by ian laval.