On Monday 20 September the SWAN embarked from Aberdeen, bound for Macduff, where she is now in the Macduff Shipyard for a major refit.
As part of the refit, T.Nielsen and Co. of Gloucester, who installed the SWAN’s spars and rigging originally, will replace all the wire running rigging which, hopefully, will mean that we then have a few years of sailing with only regular seasonal maintenance of the rigging required. We have already renewed some of the sails, and had others renovated, so she will be both looking and sailing better following this.
Meanwhile, the Macduff Shipyard will carry out other maintenance aboard. A quarter of the main deck is to be re-caulked to try and stop minor leaks, which have a habit of dampening the spirits, not to mention spare clothes and bedding. The deck will also be completely oiled, which will leave her looking spick and span for the Tall Ships 2011 event. The masts will be dressed and oiled.
Another major item is the fitting of hydraulic steering gear, which will make her easier to handle, particularly for younger trainees.
Improvements to the toilet/shower floors are to be carried out to enable easier cleaning, and modifications to the location of seacocks in the toilet area is planned.
The refit will include repainting and revarnishing of several areas of the SWAN, and generally freshening her up.
We are also looking at the possibility of putting in a heating system aboard, but this may have to be carried out next year.
All this adds up to a major refit that should reduce the need for major work for the foreseeable future, and allow us to concentrate our efforts on the regular seasonal maintenance.