Eric Hume, part-owner of the Manta Ray barge.
Eric Hume, part-owner of the Manta Ray barge.

Barging back into water

A 250-TONNE barge was back on the water yesterday after having four propellers replaced, a new stuffing box installed and barnacles scraped off its hull at the Mary River Slipway.

The Manta Ray, a locally owned Fraser Island barge, was on the slips for two-and-a-half weeks, said part owner Eric Hume.

“We get it out of the water once every two years during the quieter periods,” he said.

“The slipway itself is a great facility – if it weren’t here we would have to go to Brisbane.”

Robert Olds from Olds Engineering said staff worked overtime to make the new propellers, shafts, bearings and stuffing box in time.

“It was a big job,” he said. “But we’re proud to be a part of it all. Olds Engineering has been servicing the maritime industry for more than three generations.”

Mary River Slipway manager Larry Bardsly said the barge was one of the biggest vessels they had had on the slips since the business was reopened two years ago.

“We had a lot of commercial fishing boats and yachts,” he said.

“We don’t really have any problems getting the bigger boats up the river. If we can fit them on the slips we can sit them down the river.”

The Mary River Slipway was opened more than 150 years ago. It was closed for three years before being reopened in 2007.



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