Tall ship restoration underway on Teesside

Snow did not halt restoration works on the Christian Radich, seen in drydock last month at A&P Tees. Snow did not halt restoration works on the Christian Radich, seen in drydock last month at A&P Tees.
Industry Database

The Christian Radich, winner of the Tall Ships Race and star of film and TV, is undergoing an important ‘makeover’ at A&P Tees.

The stunning looking vessel, which starred in the 1970s BBC TV series The Onedin Line and the movie Windjammer, will be in the Middlesbrough yard for six weeks undergoing work to restore it to its full glory.
 
The full rigged, three masted ship with a steel hull, was built in Norway in the 1930s and its owners, the Christian Radich Foundation, needed a company with specialist skills to ensure the restoration work was in keeping with that era.
 
A&P Tees commercial director Ian Douglas visited the ship's home port of Oslo twice to examine the vessel and price the order. He said, ‘We were one of three yards being considered for the job and the only UK yard. It came down to us and a Norwegian yard and I'm pleased to say the owners went with us.
 
‘The Christian Radich is so old it's part of Norway's national heritage so it must be kept as close to the way it was originally built as possible, which involves riveting in a lot or areas, rather than welding.
 
‘Riveting was used many years ago. Before welding came into its own, riveting was used on the Titanic and vessels of that era but it was replaced by welding more than 50 years ago.’
 
 A&P Tees sourced a specialist company in Hexham, Northumberland, to do the riveting while its own experienced workforce will carry out extensive steel renewals throughout the ship, including building support structures around the 30m high forward mast.
 
The vessel will have a new sail room tank top installed, which first requires the careful dismantling and removal of generators, sewage tanks, water purification equipment, pump filters and electrical switchboards, just to reach it to do the work.

 After the work is complete, the complex equipment has to be replaced then the hull will be repainted in white to leave the 73m long vessel, a winner in the 2010 Tall Ships Race, looking good as new.
 
 Mr Douglas added, ‘It's the first Tall Ship we've ever worked upon and everyone is really looking forward to it. We generally deal with dredgers, gas carriers and cargo vessels, so it's certainly a change from what we're used to. In a couple of weeks time there will a dredger in the dry dock alongside her, so you couldn't get a bigger contrast.
 
 ‘The Christian Radich is the sort of vessel that any shipyard would love to have in dry dock. It's something different and the interest is there from the public as well as the staff. Everyone wants to see what these old sailing ships are about. We're very pleased to have her here. She looks very nice at the moment but when she leaves, with all the renewal work done, she'll look amazing.’
 
This time last year the yard did a complete refit of the diminutive luxury liner Hebridean Princess, dubbed ‘the Queen's favourite cruiser’, so the vessel was in top condition when the Queen and her family chartered it for a two-week holiday around Scotland's Western Isles.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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