The Trust's trip boat Zachariah Keppel (ZK) is looking in tip-top condition after repairs carried out at 4 All Marine yard.

ZK has been at 4 All Marine in Chertsey, Surrey, since January when it was transported by lorry to Penton Hook Marina and floated along the Thames to the repair yard.

The 45-year-old boat has now been completely stripped out and some rusty internal fittings replaced.

An ultrasonic hull test revealed some of the plates around the propeller boss cutlass bearing had wasted to unacceptable levels. The defective plates have now been cut out and re-plated and the hull buffed off internally and externally, primed and painted with black bitumastic paint.

The engine has been removed and fully serviced, while the worn prop shaft has been replaced.

The forward and after decks have been made waterproof with overside draining scuppers.

Coronavirus restrictions have meant a delay in bringing the boat back to its Loxwood home, but when ZK is allowed to be transported back to the canal volunteers will replace her ballast and floors.

The repairs should give ZK another 10 to 15 years’ life.