The Trust's trip boat Zachariah Keppel (ZK) cut a spectacular sight as it was lifted by crane out of the canal at Loxwood today.

ZK was lifted by a 76-tonne crane onto a waiting lorry, to be taken off to Penton Hook Marina and then floated along the River Thames to the 4 All Marine yard at Chertsey, where repair work is to be carried out.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency report late last year on the 45-year-old vessel revealed rusty steelwork and the decision was made to appoint professional boat repairers to carry out the work required to allow ZK to be deemed passenger-worthy again.

The repairers will clear off the bottom of the boat, apply a new coating of two pack epoxy and carry out a survey of hardness. The rusty plate near the boat's shaft will also be replaced. The work should give ZK another 10-15 years of life and it will be back in operation by May.

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust took ownership of the boat in 1994, and renamed it Zachariah Keppel to commemorate the contractor appointed by the Wey & Arun Junction Canal Company to construct the canal, starting in 1813.