Flowhire and Flowquip helps keep fuel costs down on the worlds last sea-going paddle steamer

Tri-Gear Flow Meters

With the cost of fuel reaching unprecedented highs, the shipping and leisure boat industries are under pressure to maximise fuel consumption like never before.  At the beginning of the 2021 passenger season, Waverley Excursions who operate the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer were paying 39 pence per litre of marine gas oil, this year the cost has risen to £1.05 pence per litre and will probably rise even further.

To maximise efficiency the engineers at Waverley knew they needed to work out the most economic speeds the Waverley can operate at to achieve the best fuel consumption possible. To do this accurately, fuel flow meters need to be installed to measure the fuel flow to and from the steam boilers both at idle conditions and at full away conditions.

Specifiying the right size of fuel flow meters for the boiler feed and return is key. To assist with this task, Flowhire supplied the Waverley with a KATflow 200 Ultrasonic flow meter.  Simple to use and with its non-invasive clamp-on technology using the KATflow 200 negated the need for engineers to cut into existing pipework and provided them with the fuel flow rate data required for Flowquip to specify suitable fuel flow meters to monitor fuel consumption.

Based on the data provided by the KATflow, Flowquip supplied four Tri-gear Positive Displacement flow meters fitted with FQ 100 Series battery powered totalisers in aluminium enclosures selected for their simplicity and robustness.

Two of the flow meters were installed on the fuel feed lines to the ships steam boiler and two flow meters on the return fuel lines, enabling Waverley’s engineering staff to compare the displayed readings of both the flow and return lines and manually calculate the gross fuel consumption of the ships steam boiler which therefor determines Waverley’s optimum sailing and manoeuvring speeds to aid in fuel cost savings.

The Waverley has a rich history, named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, Paddle Steamer Waverley was built on the Clyde to replace the existing then HMS Waverley which was seconded into the Royal Navy at the start of WW2 and thereafter sunk by German bombers whilst rescuing British troops at Dunkirk in 1940. Waverley’s keel was laid on December 27, 1945 but due to material shortages after the war, she was not ready to launch until October 2, 1946.  It wasn’t until the following year on January 20, 1947 that she was towed to Greenock for the installation of her boiler and engines.  Finally, she made her maiden voyage on June 16, 1947 and started what was to become a very long career. The world’s last sea-going paddle steamer was famously gifted for £1 to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1975 at the end of her working life. Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, a charity registered in Scotland, was set up to operate the ship.  Waverley then began a second career as one of the country’s best-loved tourist attractions. Since she has been in operational preservation she has been awarded four stars by Visit Scotland, an engineering heritage award, and has carried over 6 million passengers from over 60 ports around the UK. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has declared Waverley to be a National Treasure. Waverley celebrated her Diamond Jubilee of 75 years on June 6th, 2022.

For more information on our flow meters for sales or rental contact: info@flowhire.co.uk sales@flowquip.co.uk