Project information

The hull renovation project

The project will raise funds to renovate the hull of the historic steam tug Kerne as part of the ongoing work in ensuring the long term future of the ship and keep the steam ship Kerne in fully operating condition for the next twenty years and behond.

November 2013 - November 2016

Charity information: The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Limited

The Steam Tug Kerne Preservation Society Limited logo
  • Need


    Throughout the 100 years in which the Kerne has been operational the vessels hull has been repaired and renovated. The objective is to keep the Kerne seaworthy and operational in order to continue the annual programme of sailings and public displays the vessel has undertaken in the past fourty years as a preserved historic ship.


    When the periodic inspections and survey identify any areas of the hull plating or structure that is showing signs of needing replacement the funding will finance the necessary shipyard work. If sufficient funds can be raised the managers of the Kerne plan to undertake the removal and replacement of some hull plating which will secure the operational future of the Kerne into the 2040's.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To secure the long term future of the historic steam tug Kerne


    » To organise the information necessary to monitor and plan the hull repair programmes and identify potential risks to the vessel.

    What success will look like

    Success will be clearly visible from the continued presence of the Kerne on the coastal waters and the rivers of the North west of England and Wales..

    Aim 2

    To maintain the structure of the Kerne in a seaworthy and operational condition.


    » organise the necessary repairs to the structure and plarework to ensure the seaworthyness of the vessel.

    What success will look like

    Success will be to contiue to receive approval by the Maritime Agencies which bpermit the Kerne to be used on sea routes and on inland wterways.

    Aim 3

    To replace where necessary any hull plating that is shown to be placing the vessel at future risk.


    » To raise funds to finance the necessary shipyard work.

    What success will look like

    Success will be when regular surveys clearly show the sections of the hull that have been replaced and identify the Kerne as being of sound construction.

  • Impact


    The Kerne has for the past 40 years sailed to various location in the North West of England and the Welsh Coast to be put in display to the public. The vessel has a considerable reputation and is one of the foremost vessels on the Historic Ships Register. The measures described above are intended to maintain this position for the foreseeable future and preserve the Kerne for the Nation


    The risks are that the Kerne could be out of commission for a longer period than planned if complications arise during the repair programme. Should the extent of necessary repair prove to be greater than the survey showed or the repair be more complicated than envisaged the time scale would be extended and the sailing and display programme postponed.
    We would work closely with the Surveyor and the chosen ship repairer to ensure every aspect of the repair had been thoroughly thought through.


    We will write or e mail each donor with reports on the progress of the different phases of the repair programme.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £70,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £12,000 Dry dock costs Taking the Kerne out of the water for repair
      £6,000 Survey costs Payment to the suveyor
      £45,000 Hull repair Removing overplating and replacing
      £7,000 Contingencey For any unforseen event
  • Background


    The work will be undertaken in the greater Liverpool area as the two dry dock facilities suitable to accommodate the Kerne are in Birkenhead and Bromborough, both located on the Wirral, Merseyside. The repair programmes require the specialist skills and knowledge that reside in these locations and each of these specialist companies are within sailing distance of the Kerne's base in Liverpool.


    The general public will be the principal benefactors as the Charity's ability to present the vessel for display and demonstration depend on the Kerne being maintained in a seaworthy condition and being capable of being sailed to different locations in the North West of England and the Welsh coast. Over the past 40 years in preservation the Kerne has built up a substantial following thanks mainly to the dedication of the volunteers who support the vessel.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The charity is the operator of the Kerne. The members of the charity have a vast knowledge of the working of the vessel and undertake the majority of the maintenance and repair of the Kerne with only the work requiring dry docking being contracted out to ship repairers. The charity has amongst it members nationally recognised maritime experts.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Christopher Heyes

    He is the Chief Engineer of the Kerne and has been an active member on the Kerne for 40 years. He is a Liverpool based professional Chief Engineer.

    Ole Moller

    Ole is a retired Marine Surveyor and along with the Chief Engineer determines the charity's maintenance and preservation strategies.

    Robert Adam

    Robert is a Trustee, Director and Treasurer of the charity and worked for many years in the ship servicing and repair industry.