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Seiont II in the Menai Strait

Seiont II at the quayside

The grab from the Seiont II, displayed outside the Maritime Museum, Victoria Dock, Caernarfon

in 2003

The first Seiont was built in 1901 by Lytham Engineering Co. Ltd. for the Caernarfon Harbour Trust. She was kept busy as a tug as there were still many sailing vessels to be towed in the Menai Strait. She also performed the duties as buoy tender.

In her time the mud in the harbour was dug out with shovels and spades, by a squad of workers, and loaded into boats, which were towed out into the tideway by the Seiont. She was sold for further service in 1937 and replaced by the Seiont II.

Seiont II was a steam dredger and buoy tender.
The vessel was built, on the river Weaver, by W J Yarwood of Northwich, who have built hundreds of small vessels since 1840.
It was built in yard No. 604, for its customer - Caernarfon Harbour Trust, and was launched on 17th September 1937.
Completed on 11th November of the same year.

Seiont II served the Caernarfon Harbour Trust well for 42 years, working in the Menai Strait between Caernarfon Bar and Penmon (easterly point of Anglesey) and dredging the berths alongside the Slate Quarry in Victoria Dock and at the Oil Wharf.

Taken out of service by the Harbour Trust in 1978, Seiont II was saved from the scrap yard by a local body formed for that purpose - the Seiont II Maritime Trust - who persuaded the Maritime Museum of Wales to purchase the vessel and to fund the necessary repairs. At that time there operated a scheme to employ and train young men and it was by their efforts, under the guidance of skilled supervisors, that the Seiont II was repaired and re-commissioned in March 1986. She was brought back to the Menai Strait under her own steam and was steamed 3 or 4 times each year.

In 1990 ownership was transferred to the Seiont II Maritime Trust, who then had the responsibility for the ongoing maintenance. Increasingly the costs of maintaining the engine, and particularly the boiler, became too much. In 1999 the vessel was broken up but the engine was saved, with a hope that it might one day be on display in a Caernarfon museum. This was not to be, so the engine was stored outdoors, at Port Dinorwig (Y Felinheli), until 17 April 2002, when it was delivered to Markham Grange Steam Museum, on loan for 4 years.

On 1st January 2005 the engine was back in steam.

Displacement of 108 tons
Length of 86.8 ft. (26.5 metres)
Beam of 20 ft. (6 metres)

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