Photo » Patent slip railway and ship cradle at Balloch

Photo of Patent slip railway and ship cradle at Balloch
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Patent slip railway and ship cradle at Balloch
This picture shows part of the restored 'patent slip' and massive wooden ship cradle at Balloch. It was originally built to haul pleasure steamers out of Loch Lomond for maintenance. The Morton's Patent Slip is "a method of dragging ships out of the water on dry land," for repairs, and other purposes. Also known as a marine railway it was invented by Scottish shipwright Thomas Morton in 1818 as a low-cost alternative to a graving dock/dry dock. The first patent slip was built at Morton's expense at Bo'ness. The slip consists of a inclined plane with rails that extend in to and under the water. A wooden cradle running on these rails is lowered in to the water. The ship is floated in to and secured to the cradle and then the cradle plus ship is hoisted back up the slip and out of the water. The slip at Balloch was restored in 2005-2006 to assist with the restoration of the paddle steamer "Maid of the Loch". The cradle is nearly 200 feet long and runs on three rails. The cradle is hauled up the slip by a beautifully restored steam-powered cable winch that is occasionally in steam. See for more info.
Friday 04 of May, 2012 [20:08:18 UTC] by blaven
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