Work to give the historic Teignmouth to Shaldon ferry service a new lease of life is in full swing, with a £40K overhaul paid for initially by Teignbridge District Council due to be completed this May.
The ferry is one of the oldest operating ferries in the country, the boat dating back to 1946 and the service to the 10th century.
The £40k of work is currently being undertaken to ensure that the much-valued ferry will be in the best possible condition when new operator Greg Allen, who has skippered the boat for the past 14 years under previous operators, takes on a 15-year lease from Teignbridge District Council this spring, ensuring a long-term future for the service.
The council has agreed an increased rent with Greg Allen to justify this further investment in the ferry.
The work is being done in Totnes at Baltic Wharf boatyard by specialist repairers R Cann and Son. Bob Cann knows the vessel from his previous work on the ferry, and has four experienced craftsmen working full time on the 35-seater vessel. It will take six weeks to replace substantial sections of the keel and hull, and to generally restore and refurbish the unusual timber vessel. The restoration also includes the installation of a brand-new engine and complete repainting of the ferry.
It is expected to be up and running again by the beginning of May, and in the meantime new operator Greg Allen has himself purchased a 12-seater backup vessel, which itself will have a few repairs made before taking to the water to provide a service as soon as possible.
(from a press release)