Earnslaw faces unscheduled haul out of Lake Wakatipu

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Queenstown’s historic Earnslaw steamer is to be hauled out of Lake Wakatipu this week due to unscheduled maintenance.

The 100-year-old tourist boat had been undergoing an in-water survey by the Steamer Wharf prior to going back into service at the end of the month.

During maintenance work, however, it was discovered a piston needs to be replaced.

That requires the boat to be hauled onto its Kelvin Grove slipway.

It also means she won’t be in service till the middle of next month, though still in time for the school holidays.

“We found wear to one of the pistons and have decided to make the most of her quieter period and go ahead and take her out of the water and replace it,” Richard Lauder, chief executive of the boat’s owner, Real Journeys, says. 

“That is work that would have otherwise been scheduled for next year.”

Real Journeys earlier revealed that its using the annual maintenance check to try to reduce black smoke belched out by its coal-fired engines.