We made our third visit to the Medway Queen to inspect progress since she is due to leave the Albion dock at the end of April.
http://www.medwayqueen.co.uk/ gives all the details about the boat and when she will leave Bristol
The Bristol phase of the project is nearing completion. It is due to be completed by the end of April and will go shortly after. A final visit was arranged on March 21st before she goes, and 30 were eager to see progress. The hull will be painted before she goes. She will be towed since although the engines are in, the boiler is not. That will be done at Gillingham. The elm spring boards are installed. The deck has to be of original timber so is pine (douglas fir- the plans said silver pine but this is an unknown tree!). There is a gap so that it can swell and shrink (agreed after some controversy) and there was enough original timber from the boat to do the deck.
They have been waiting for the piston rings for 15 months. The slide bar has been remachined. There was some discussion about percent of originality due to having a new hull but it has been agreed that 65% is original. The boat is not fully certified due the method of construction specified, so up to 12 passengers can be carried, and later it may be possible to carry 50. This is rather a lot less than the 768 originally!