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Thordon Bearings helps to keep world's oldest steam driven tug operational

Thordon Bearings helps to keep world's oldest steam driven tug operational

After the completion of a project to add new propeller shaft bearings, one of the oldest tugboats in the world, the 117-year-old steam-driven Daniel Adamson, is expected to return to service offering short cruises along the River Weaver.

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At Birkenhead's Cammell Laird yard, the original builder of the vessel, the 1903-built steamship, rescued from scrap merchants 15 years ago, was completely restored in 2016. After rival bearings collapsed, Thordon Bearings' SXL water lubricated propeller shaft bearings were installed last year.

“We were invited to visit the yard to investigate the potential to retrofit with a Thordon bearing solution following the loss of the starboard propeller. There seemed to be a lot of damage compared to the other journal positions and it appeared the bearing had suffered from hydrolysis. I could see that some areas of the inside diameter surface had deteriorated and were missing," stated Chris Simmons, Sales Manager, Duwel Group, Thordon Bearings’ distributor for the UK.

In April 2020, Thordon SXL water lubricated bearings were supplied, but the project was postponed until November due to the COVID-19 crisis. It is expected that the coal-fired tug, currently in winter lay-up, will resume operation in the spring.

“Boarding this remarkable vessel is stepping back in time. Many of the volunteers are septuagenarians but they’re carrying out all of the tasks required to operate a steam engine, including the ‘fireman’ role, shoveling coal.  Tough work," added Simmons.

Maritime Business World 

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