Chester’s iconic passenger boats will be handed over to River Dee after passing inspection

RESIDENTS heading to the riverside in Chester tomorrow (Friday) will be treated to a rare treat as ChesterBoat’s fleet of passenger boats are brought back into the River Dee.

The fleet of boats, including Lady Diana and Mark Twain, will be lifted from the Sandy Lane car park using a 300 tonne crane.

The ChesterBoat fleet is taken out of the River Dee for inspection and a fresh coat of paint.

The biennial boat lift takes place every two months of January and gives the team the opportunity to carry out maintenance on parts of the boat that are normally underwater, including replacing the propeller shafts of the boats and hull anti-fouling.

The last time the process was carried out was in January 2020, shortly before the Covid pandemic hit the UK.

The fleet also received a fresh coat of paint in its recognizable red, white and blue colors.

Lady Diana is taken out of the River Dee for the Biennial Inspection.

Lady Diana is taken out of the River Dee for the Biennial Inspection.

Before relaunching, the MCA (Maritime and Coast Guard Agency) carries out thorough inspections to check that the boats are safe to carry passengers.

The boats successfully passed their MCA ‘out of the water’ inspection on Tuesday, and the MCA will return in a fortnight to carry out rolling tests on the water.

ChesterBoat’s flagship, the Lady Diana, celebrated her 40th birthday on the River Dee last year, so good maintenance and care is essential to keep the vessel in good condition.

The ChesterBoat fleet is taken out of the River Dee for inspection and a fresh coat of paint.

The ChesterBoat fleet is taken out of the River Dee for inspection and a fresh coat of paint.

Managing Director Brian Clarke said: “After two busy seasons and intermittent lockdowns since we last took the boats out of the water, it’s great to see the fleet freshly painted and in excellent condition, ready for the day. coming year.

“We have been doing everything we can to ensure that 2022 is a ‘normal’ year for leisure and hospitality, and that the continued interest in staycations benefits Chester’s visitor economy.”

For anyone interested in watching the boats being launched, the lift is due to start around 10am on Friday January 28 and can be watched from the Sandy Lane car park or from the Meadows opposite.

After completing all MCA inspections, the fleet will be back in daily service starting Saturday, February 19, ready for February midterm.

ChesterBoat’s passenger fleet includes Lady Diana, which joined as a brand new boat in 1981, the year Prince Charles and Lady Diana married, and has been modernized over the past four decades.

Mark Twain joined the Thames and initially looked like a Mississippi steamer, complete with a paddle wheel and funnels.

The Jackie is named for Jackie Leech MBE, the ‘Swan Lady’ who protected Chester’s swan population.

Molaise is a newcomer to the fleet, arriving from Loch Inch in Scotland in the summer of 2021.

And the Bonkie open-top boat, the smallest boat in the fleet, can carry up to five passengers and a skipper.

For more information visit https://www.chesterboat.co.uk/

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