2009 2010 Balmoral Winter Refit

1st December 2009 - my first day back, and the guys have been busy stripping out the observation lounge. The plating and windows to the forward end of the lounge were  renewed a few years ago so this year we're working on the port and starboard sides - windows removed and boarded up.  Inside, the seats, deckhead and side panelling has been removed .  As can be seen - some of the windows were only held in place by rust and paint!

window held in by rust and paint

26th January 2010 - after a short break over Xmas and New Year we're back, the lounge wooden decking is being removed and has exposed very corroded steelwork that hasn't seen the light of day for many years.
rusted through!

9th February 2010 – 2 weeks later and part of the new steel deck has been laid in the lounge.  Outside, deck planking has been removed, again, exposing very corroded steelwork that will have to be replaced.
exterior starboard side

16th February 2010 – Preparatory work has been done in readiness for the removal of the side plating – the mesh is to keep out nocturnal visitors!

2nd March 2010 – The new steel deck is almost complete.  All of the lounge side plating  has been removed and the first new section is temporarily tacked (welded) in place.

New steel deck and spaghetti

first new side plating

23rd March 2010 – The lounge side plating at the forward end is nearly complete.  Work has started on removing the side plating at the aft (shop) end.  Mike has been busy up on the bridge deck – recaulking the deck planking to prevent leaks spoiling the new lounge.
recaulking bridge deck
 13th April 2010 - The new windows (made by volunteer Tony Horne are being fitted.

4th May 2010 - Outside, the windows are in, the doors hung and platework painted.  Inside, the metal framework (for attaching the panelling) is being fitted.  John wonders where to start with the rewiring!
Rewiring - "Now, where do I begin?"
18th May 2010 - In dry dock at Sharpness, the starboard propeller shaft being drawn for inspection.

8th June 2010 – Still in dry dock.  The hull painting has been completed.  A high pressure hose being played on the hull while MCA examiners are inside checking for damp patches.  In the observation lounge, the new fireproof panelling is being fitted.

3rd July 2010 – Back in service, pictures of the completed lounge refit.  Work was still being done on the final touches right up to the night before Bal returned to service (actually, the refit wasn’t completed until December 2010 when the deckhead was painted, the panelling painted cream, and the correct curtain rails and timber pelmets were fitted)
In addition to the Observation Lounge refit, all the other usual work went on – the starboard generator was stripped down, checked and rebuilt.  Work on the ‘holding tank’ system (under the lower bar) was completed.  Plus all the cleaning, painting and varnishing.  I’ve probably missed several other things that went on – it was 2 years ago and my memory isn’t improving!