Raising the SS Naramata Tug Boat

A Historic Site

The Naramata has been recognized as an historic site since 1975 and has been listed on the Canadian Register since 2006.

Heritage Value

S.S. Naramata, a steel-hulled Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) steam tugboat, is valued as an important reminder of the key role of the CPR in Canadian and British Columbian transportation and commerce in the first half of the twentieth century. Commissioned by the CPR on July 23, 1913 and built by Western Drydock and Shipbuilding Company, S.S. Naramata was launched on April 20, 1914. As a connection to rail and passenger services, this historic ship provided an integral link in the company’s transportation network, joining the communities around Okanagan Lake, and connecting this region to the rest of the province, Canada, and the world. S.S. Naramata is an important part of British Columbia’s history because the fruit shipment and transportation services she provided facilitated agricultural and industrial growth in the prosperous Okanagan Valley from 1914 until she was retired from service on August 29, 1967.

View the Canadian Heritage Register Listing

Modern History

In 1991 the Naramata was purchased by the Kettle Valley Railway Heritage Society and the City of Penticton and moved to Penticton that same year where she remained afloat beside the Sicamous. In 1993 serious corrosion was discovered in the hull and the tug had to be lifted out of the water and beached.

In 2001, the tug was taken over by the S.S. Sicamous Restoration Society, who began cleaning and carrying out repairs. This included the removal of over three tons of coal from the hull of the vessel.  In 2004, a $90,000 grant was awarded to the Society by the Western Economic Diversification Fund which allowed the society to carry out painting, and begin restoration of the pilot house, some crew cabins along with window replacements to ensure the tug remained weather tight. Since 2004 fund raising has allowed the society to maintain the tug in its present condition.

Naramata Tug Boat in the water, shortly before her journey to Penticton. With this seed funding, we can begin the process of repairing the tug, and returning her to the water where she belongs.
Naramata Tug Boat in the water, shortly before her journey to Penticton. With the new seed funding from the Provincial Government, we can now begin the process of repairing the tug, and returning her to the water where she belongs.

 

Project: Re-activate the S.S. Naramata as a floating museum

 A timely B.C. Provincial Government grant has provided seed funding of $25,000 that will allow the Society to begin the process of repairing the hull and returning the tug to the lake.  It is anticipated that the entire project will be completed over six phases and take approximately three years with the grand re-opening of the tug to the public in 2019/20.

Phase 1:

  • Carry out an inspection and testing of the hull
  • Complete a report on extent of damage and necessary repair work to re-float the tug
  • Develop options for carrying out repair work to the tug’s hull
  • Prepare provisional budgets for each of these options.
  • Confirm all engineering/regulatory requirements to re-float the tug

The completion of Phase One will provide the society with the repairs necessary to create and implement a comprehensive plan to re-float the tug, returning it to its original condition and preparation of presentation materials for the purpose of attracting additional funding to see the project through to completion.

Phase 2

  • Select repair option
  • Complete detail drawings and specifications for all work necessary to safely lift and cradle the vessel
  • Prepare request for quotations (RFQ)
  • Send out RFQ to companies capable of carrying out the work
  • Award contract

Phase 3

  • Complete work to lift and cradle the tug.
  • Confirm Phase 4 engineering and repair costs.

Phase 4

  • Complete detail drawings and specifications for all work necessary to carry out hull repairs.
  • Prepare and send out RFQ to companies capable of carrying out the work
  • Award contract

Phase 5

  • Complete hull repairs
  • Complete site selection and infrastructure planning for location of the vessel on the water
  • Install necessary piles required to moor vessel

Phase 6

  • Re-float and secure vessel to moorage
  • Complete necessary shore infrastructure to allow public access (safety, access, security)

 

The project phases are a work in progress and scope and timing of the phases can be revised as funding becomes available.  The restored Naramata will be an important addition to the marine heritage park, joining the already restored S.S. Sicamous and S.S. Okanagan stern salon along with a work in progress, Tug 6.

 

SS Naramata Penticton by Robert Turner
Plan of the Naramata Tug Boat, showing the depth of the hull now submerged in the soil – By Robert Turner

Learn More about the History of the SS Naramata


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