Marine Fabrication carried out this Chain Ferry Boat fabrication project. This was a ferry that was propelled across a river by cables connected to both shore. This powered cable ferry uses a hand powered wheel on board the vessel to pull itself along by the cables. The chains have to have a sufficient amount of slack to allow sinking below the surface as the ferry moves away, allowing other vessels to pass without becoming snared or trapped. So, it is cranked by a hand wheel with a windlass attached to one side and there is only one chain.
Replicating and restoring this 50yr old vessel would involve several challenging steps, including researching the original design, sourcing the right materials, and then reconstructing the vessel.
Apart from the original plans there was a reliance on photographs, measurements, and other sources of information to help recreate the vessel. At project start once the team had a good idea of the approach work began on the construction of the hull. This was the most critical component as it determines the vessels stability and buoyancy.
A key part of the challenge in the restoration of this chain powered ferry was the chain mechanism. When the chain ferry moves forward in one direction the front part of the chain is raised from the ground and passes through the boat, and is released at the back to descend again to the bottom of the river.
View the Gallery where some still images show the steps towards the full completion along with a short video.