Late today the Ironton Ferry started operating!! Final inspection was this morning and this afternoon the North guide cable was replaced. She was put in service after that and should be on her full schedule starting tomorrow morning! What a relief for all! At some point we will have a re-dedication ceremony to lead her into the next 50 years and turn the original wheelhouse over to the Flywheelers. Stay tuned for news!
We were there yesterday for the final inspection. A hydraulic fitting parted (faulty) stopping the process. The Coast Guard inspector very graciously offered to come back today, it was later decided he would come Monday morning to allow ample time to verify everything, a couple more days but its important. They did pick us up with it on the Ironton side prior to the start of the inspection process so it works and works well, minor details left! Thanks for your patience!
Ferry nearing completion of many of her upgrades. Note the new help station which will look right on to the deck allowing the operator unprecedented visibility. Note the "treadplate" paneling which will last forever and be easy to maintain. The throttle (reused) is on the left of the guage cluster with the two "go" levers to the right, side by side. The operator will push one for one direction and the other for the other direction. Many things will be wrapped up this week and with luck we will be operating!!
Hi Folks, Many things going on with the Ironton Ferry project. They have been testing the engine and hydraulics, fine tuning, found that the "charge pumps" that open and close the valves (to make it simple) for oil flow could have been a little bigger, on their way, will be installed by Friday. That will complete the hydraulic system for the most part! Welding is nearing the final stages. The house wiring is coming ahead very well and inspections were to be scheduled for Friday but the Coast Guard schedule conflicted. As you can see from Mr. Hamiltons note to Bob Pawlus yesterday we now have the final inspection scheduled for next Thursday. That should give ample time to tie in the pieces and parts. By that, if nothing else fails, the ferry should be approved and ready to operate. We can only hope so! Thanks for your patience. Please forward to anyone you feel that should be informed. Rich Gillespie
Just got finished talking to Mick. Because of the work left to be done such as the wiring, lighting,balancing the intermediate shafts, welding and all the other little things to clean up and last labut not least, the availablilty of the Coast Guard. The final inspection is scheduled for next Thursday
Even if the Coast Guard could have come earlier (which they can't) all the items to be inspected would not have been ready.
The hardest thing to do in the world is to do something for the first time. It is unfortunate, but this has been a learning curve of which we all are paying.
Here are some photos which were actually taken earlier in the week. A lot of things happening to the old girl to put her up to spec. You can see the hydraulic motors that will propel the ship in the below deck area, the engine will sit on the deck in an insulated enclosure which will be very accessible for maintenance.