Due to the Covid-19 lockdown no work is being carried out on Portwey at the moment. She is however being checked over at least once a week by a volunteer crew member.

While we are hopeful that the tail shafts and propellors can be refitted this year we recognise that due to the backlog of work at the shipyard it may not be possible until Spring 2021. This would possibly enable a short steaming programme in late Summer 2021.

We wish all our members and supporters continuing good health and look forward to welcoming you back aboard when the pandemic is over.



Portwey is now back at South Quay minus propellors and tail shafts.

The remedial work on the tail shafts and associated bearings and glands is taking much longer than anticipated. We do however expect them to be returned to us shortly.

The dry dock should be available for Portwey in late spring when the tail shafts and propellors will be refitted. The tug will then be towed back to her berth at South Quay. There will then need to be extensive testing of the re-installed equipment before steaming on the river can take place.

The hope is that Portwey can attend the Classic Boat Rally at St Katharine Docks in early September. Meanwhile a working party is aboard every Wednesday and most Saturdays.



The following photographs show the dry docking progress during 2019 up to 2 September with brief descriptions.

Portwey secure in dry dock waiting for the tide to go out.

She’s high and dry now.

Close up view from ahead.

The hull after scraping and washing.

One of several hundred ultrasound readings being taken.
The good news is that the thickness readings show that no areas are giving cause for concern.

The port propellor nut guard being removed.

Both rope guards have been removed exposing the outer seals.

Propellor with gasket, retaining nut, and split pin revealed.

Propellor with gasket, retaining nut, and split pin removed.

Puller arrangement in place and heat being applied. The initial attempt to remove the propellor was unsuccessful. Watch this space !

Paint being prepared for a fresh coat of black. There are two more guys working on the port side.

The port propellor is off! All the blades had to be removed so that a more robust puller could be used. The outer seal has gone for repair locally and the encouraging news is there is very little wear in the bearing so we will not pull the port tail shaft.

The propellor hub.

The propellor blades.

The dock yard staff have started applying new paint They are doing the black between the rubbing strake and the anti fouling.

Portwey looking resplendent with fresh paint and antifouling and also new anodes.

View of the stern showing both tail shafts removed.
They are now being refurbished at a heavy engineering firm in the Midlands.
We are trying to find new springs and sealing rings for the outer stern seals.

Portwey has to be moved to another dry dock to make way for an urgent repair job on another vessel.
This photograph shows the port stern tube sealed ready for the move.

All ready for the move with both stern tubes sealed.

Portwey is now back at South Quay minus tail shafts and propellors.

There has been a delay while the tail shafts and associated bearings and glands are
restored so as the dry dock was needed for other vessels Portwey had to be moved.

The yard is getting very busy again so it may be that Portwey will not have
the tail shafts and propellors refitted until Spring 2020.

Watch this space !


Steam Experience Days

Book a whole day on Portwey and be part of the crew, as a Steam Experience volunteer on any of our steaming days.

Join a crew member in the engine room, boiler room or on the bridge of our unique Vessel.


In the engine room you will have the opportunity to lubricate all of the seven steam engines on board, respond to telegraph instruction from the bridge to change speed or direction of the vessel and support the crew on watch.

In the boiler room you will add coal to our twin furnace boiler as directed to maintain boiler pressure between 100 and 135 psi, keep the water level within working limits by using the GS pump to add water and de-ash the grates as required.

On the Bridge

On the bridge you will be under the supervision of the skipper and will steer the ship to maintain a given course. Use the telegraph to communicate with the engine room to change speed or reverse the ship and assist in keeping a record of course and speed.

On deck, this is your opportunity to view the seascape, help the deck crew tidy away ropes etc. and maintain a tidy ship.

The day costs £250 pp including:
one years membership of the Steam Tug Portwey Trust
plus ploughmans lunch and refreshments.

See information booklet and booking form.

Information and Bookings: stportweyevents@hotmail.co.uk
07833 411160

Filming and Corporate Days Out

Portwey is available for Filming and Corporate Days out in and around Canary Wharf, London -
Information and Bookings: stportweyevents@hotmail.co.uk
07833 411160

Did you know that part of the Channel 4 series TITANIC was filmed aboard Portwey?