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The Paukan has undergone technical changes that would interest a ship buff.
The RV Paukan and other 5 similar so called "class P" design vessels was commissioned after the end of the Second World War by the Inland Water Transport Board of the government of the Union of Burma with the technical expertise of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company at that time acting as Agents to the I.W.T. Board under an agreement.
Rv Paukan was built in Scotland on the Clyde by the famous ships builder Yarrow & Co on 1947 with the same design of the pre-war Quarter Wheeler steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. After being boarded up in order to protect her from the sea waves, she left Scotland for the delivery voyage to Burma on the 1950. On the 12th January 1951 she started to serve the Inland Water Transport (Irrawaddy Flotilla was nationalized on the 1st of June 1948) on the route Mandalay- Bhamo for both cargo and passengers transportation.
In the 1998 she was hired from Inland Water Transport and converted into a 16 cabins luxurious river cruise vessel by the Historian Mr. Paul Strachan and his wife, who is also the founder of the revived Irrawaddy Flotilla Company.
After 5 successful years of cultural cruises operations in the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers of Myanmar, IFC decided to not renew the charter contract with IWT anymore because the Old Lady Rv Paukan needed some major repairs and refitting, an investment that IFC probably deemed not convenient as they have already built two bigger new Pandaw replicas with higher passenger capacity.
In the second half of the 2003 Interconnection Co. Ltd signed the charter agreement with IWT and the Paukan underwent to major renovations in the Marine Side at the Yangon Dalla Dockyards. As far as the Hotel side is concerned new furniture has been specially designed and new Food and Beverage equipment have been bought.
Historic Technical Details
The principal original dimensions of these 6 class "P" vessels were 130 feet by 34 feet and the design draft was 4 feet. The carrying capacity was 476 passengers and the cargo capacity was 210 Tons. The propulsion system was originally fitted with Quarter wheels propelled by slow speed diesel engine. The engine, reverse reduction gear box seated in forward of amid ship and worm gears box, paddle wheels fitted in extreme aft of the vessel for even keel condition. The light draft of the vessel is 2 feet only and fully loaded condition is nearly 4 feet. The hull form is box shape with round bilge, spoon bow and cut up stern for paddle wheels access. According to the spare parts scarcity, the main engine and propulsion system was reinstalled with outboard propulsion system after thirty years of service. It was over 1980 that our Rv Paukan 1947 was major repaired in Dalla Dockyard and re-engines with Hydromaster Outboard propulsion system. The main engine is a Dorman 250Hp and transmission is Hydromaster produced in UK. At that time the hull structure was renovated and the engine room converted into cargo hold and a new propulsion system was installed in the extreme aft of the vessel. The new length is now 148 Feet, breadth and width same as before. Due to the re-powering, the vessel could be able to carry more passengers and cargos due to weight saving. Seventeen years after re-powering the vessel was converted into a tourist pleasure cruise vessel in the Myanma Shipyard (Sinmalike) by the revived Irrawaddy Flotilla Company Ltd. and during their management docking was performed annually at the Dalla Dockyard. In the 2003 under the management of Interconnection Co Ltd the ship underwent a major refitting.
Rv Paukan is listed in the "The international register of Historic Ships" of the WORLD SHIP TRUST
T...Built in Scotland in 1947, the Paukan is the same design as the original shallow draft of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company paddle steamers that coped so well with the difficult conditions of Irrawaddy. In 1997 we discovered old Paukan laid-up at Mandalay. It was love at first sight. But the condition was terrible. On account of her ultra draft she had used mainly on the Mandalay-Bhamo run [...]. Pigs ran freely on the lower deck and 50 years of overloading with passengers and goods had taken his toll. Yet Yarrow built a STRONG ship and WE reckoned SHE was good for another 50 YEARS..."
A quote from the book:
PAUKAN - The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company and the rivers of Myanmar