HMVS Cerberus News

Iron Preservation Study

Friends of the Cerberus is funding a study of the condition of the iron on Cerberus in order to ascertain the cost of the preservation work required should Cerberus be removed from the water and placed on land. Fortunately two specialists in this area live in Australia, albeit in West Australia.

Dr Ian MacLeod who works as the Executive Director of Collections Management and Conservation at the Western Australian Museum, is a recognised expert in corrosion and is passionate about his area of expertise. Ian has written 110 papers on conservation, chemistry and corrosion, and in March 2007 was awarded a Doctor of Science degree by the University of Melbourne for his body of work. The focus of Ian's work has been the shipwreck and rock art programs and collections of the Western Australian Museum.

Richard Garcia, Manager of Technological Materials at the Western Australia Museum, is described by Ian as "the worlds best conservator of major iron and marine iron objects and the success of the Xanthro engine project is 99% his work and efforts and guidance and wisdom." The Xanthro engine dates from 1858 and was originally fitted to a British Crimean War gunboat. Richard has conserved some other technological items ranging from pumps on the famous Kalgoorlie pipe line to making operational a WWII bren gun from Papua New Guinea. He has rehabilitated a number of vintage and veteran cars plus assorted horse-drawn vehicles. He developed and perfected the "Garcia Method" of flame deconcreting land based and marine archaeological iron.

Dr. Ian MacLeod not writing one of his 110 papers.The Xanthro engine with Richard Garcia back right.

Although the costs involved mean that the report is our most expensive self-funded undertaking to date, Friends of the Cerberus believes that it is an essential part of the process to save the Cerberus. We are grateful to Heritage Victoria for supporting us with their boat and staff.

Clearly this exercise can only proceed because of the support of our financial members. The investigation will take place on June 3.

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