On Monday 6th February 1961 the tug Salvonia, which had come to Weymouth to tow Monarch to the breaker’s yard in Cork, set off without her. Salvonia had been there for nearly a week by then waiting for a break in the weather but a suitable slot had not come. The forecast was still not great. The tug was costing several arms and legs just sitting there doing nothing waiting to be used. So after discussion amongst the decision makers the tug was dismissed.
This is ever a worry for any towing contract. If all goes to plan with the tow leaving at the appointed hour and arriving at its destination in the given time then all is fine. However if the weather holds things up or forces the tug to put into somewhere else for shelter along the way then the old taximeter starts ticking away clocking up ever rising costs. That is the moment when the shipowner starts to get nervous about the towage bill rocketing to a disproportionately exotic sum.
In the end it is a balance and requires judgement to asses whether to stay with the tow and accept the gold bars exiting the bank account or if the weather continues grim cut your losses and dismiss the tug for the time being and wait for the sun to comes out and the wind to drop before you book another..
This delay to Monarch’s departure from Weymouth was reported in the Dorset Evening Echo the following day.
It was not until the beginning of March that Monarch finally left Weymouth.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.
This article was first published on 6th February 2021.