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Repairs needed for historic ship on Okanagan Lake in Penticton

The SS Naramata was built in 1914
The SS Naramata in Penticton.

A city-owned ship built in 1914 needs some fixing, but Penticton council will have to spend up to $45,000 to know how much a full repair job would cost.

The SS Naramata vessel, located aground west of the S.S. Sicamous on Okanagan Lake, needs repairs "as soon as possible," according to a report completed by a marine surveyor in February 2024.

Municipal politicians on Tuesday, June 18, will vote on whether to transfer up to $45,000 from the Asset Emergency Reserve to complete engineering and design work to determine "the full extent of the work required along with associated costs," a staff report to council reads.

"As outlined within the report, failure to address these issues, within a maximum period of 24 months, will lead to further deterioration likely beyond repair of the vessel," it continued.

Preliminary estimates for the final repair costs, according to city staff, are thought to be between $1 million to $3 million.

The Marine Survey and Condition Report indicates that the ship body's below-ground exterior, sides, and frames show "extreme corrosion."

Its hull can't be restored in the vessel's current position, the report adds, and "must be lifted onto a land-based platform not less than one metre above the ground level."

The SS Sicamous Marine Heritage Society is the caretaker of the vessel and says it will commit $5,000 toward preliminary repairs, if council opts to move forward with investigating how much the project would cost.

"In order to properly scope and price the work required, engagement of a structural engineer, geotechnical engineer and environment biologist will be required to determine potential options for the vessel lift," city staff said.

The SS Naramata was originally built for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Commissioned on April 23, 1914, the ship's original cost was $43,000 (Canadian) and is currently a registered historic site in Penticton.

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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