s/s Tornator II celebrates this year her 15th year on the ground. In 1996, at the moment of purchasing she looked like this -> [Picture] At the very first stage we removed all the remaining indoor furnishings and few tons of pure dirt from keel. One suprising detail was the amount of usefull stuff found among the messy keel ... a pair of unused brass frames for windows, various tools and many empty(!) bottles. This stage was actually nothing compared to the next one. Some of the plates below waterline had almoust completely rusted out. We were also quite concerned about the rust between the fuselage frames and plate which had already broken a few rivets. The uncomfortable welding under her hull took an enormous amount of time being the largest section of work so far. -> [Picture]
Renovation continjued and sometimes it even didn't rain during painting. Our dissapoitment was indescribable when we started to look closer the engine. Probably the previous owner had very little knowhow of steam engines and specially the preparations for winter. Framework of the condenser and bottom section of the "vacuum air pump" had split apart. ->[Picture] Only reason for this is the frozen water left inside the condenser and pump. It took some serious time to decide what to do next. All in all engine and condenser are now both fixed but we even considered changing to a diesel engine. -> [Picture] Other technical problems we are facing right now is that the high pressure piston still remains jammed in cylinder. We have tried to release it by adding fuel oil continually above the piston and pushing it with 5 ton hydraulic jack without success ( your suggestions are always wellcome). April 2002 -> Finally the jammed parts are now released. It did not took any major new things or magic ... we were just more better prepared and had more know-how to do it.
In my opinion the most challenging episode was still waiting to happen. We had to add a new boiler inside the ship because for some incredible reason the previous owners had cut the original boiler to pieces. The only way was to take the upper deck including captain's cabin and smoke stack apart. -> [Picture] Then lift the boiler into the ship and weld the upper deck back to original position. Some said that the ship looked like a Giant had opened his tin.
During the summer of 2001 we achieved everything we had planned and even more. We were able to repair the fracture in condenser and pump, lift the new boiler in its place and also the whole hull sandblasted and repainted with 2 component paint. Oncoming winter forces us to stop working at the ship. For autumn and winter we have decided to find all valves for boiler, engine and auxiliary devices and make them ready for fitting them to place as soon as spring brings the warm weather back. More about the subject next spring. April 2002 -> Spring is statistically about 3 weeks ahead of awerage and so our crew is also very keen about oncoming launch. During winter period we have managed to do the estimated work. List of the work remaining before launch seems to be amazingly short ... rudder machinery, propeller shaft, intake water valves and anchor.