Saturday, 12 December 2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

New Wye Invader photos

3 new photos of Wye Invader on her return back down the Wye in 2012 / 2013 have been sent in by Shane Moses - Thanks Shane
Wye Invader at Monmouth, 6th Feb 2103
Wye Invader at Monmouth, 6th Feb 2103
Wye Invader at Monmouth, 7th Feb 2103

Friday, 4 December 2015

Wye Invader DVD now available

A DVD (PAL) is now available of Wye Invader The Impossible Journey, The Return and Wye Invader Two from the Wye Invader website for just £11.95 including UK p&p - an ideal stocking filler!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wye Invader Two - Winter maintenance

The summer finished for Wye Invader Two on Friday 30th October 2015 when she was lifted out on to the hard standing at Sharpness Dry Dock. On average she clocked up about 80 miles a week in addition to two outings on the River Severn - See the video on our website

The plan for the Winter is to remove the Engine and Gearbox, clean and paint the engine bay and varnish as much of the interior as time allows.

On the 14th and 15th of November we spent 3 hours removing the engine and gearbox from the boat, and on the weekend of 21st and 22nd November the gearbox was separated from the engine. On further inspection the clutch plate was found to be worn and in need of a replacement, the gearbox oil seals were worn and leaking oil so replacement parts are being sort.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Song of the Paddle

Wye Invader at Symonds Yat in October 1989
It's amazing what you find on the Web these days. While doing a little search engine optimisation for I came across a forum post on a strangely named forum SongofthePaddle, a site and forum dedicated to those with a love of, or an interest in, open canoes and canoeing.

Looking through the post a canoeist in November 2012 on a 3 day, 2 night canoeing trip had spotted a large 'ship/boat' named Wye something just outside Hereford and was asking for information about it. Several posters had given information about the Wye Invader and the last post, in February 2013 was by someone who spotted Wye Invader in Monmouth and again asking what had happened to her.

Joining the forum I was able to add some information about the website but, as a new poster I wasn't allowed to post any links to the site, very kindly a regular forum member posted the direct website link for me and in just 2 days the website had over 200 page views just from the single post and many views on the Wye Invader YouTube website!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Wye Invader 2 Video goes LIVE 11/11/2015

Wye Invader 2 - Video is now ready - Check out the website on 11th November 2015 - The 26th Anniversary of the arrival of Wye Invader at Hereford City Limits in 1989.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wye Invader 2 - Sharpness to Brockweir to Sharpness coming soon!

Coming soon,  Wye Invader 2 video.

Sharpness to Brockweir to Sharpness. A re-creation with Narrowboat Wye Invader 2, of part of the (in)famous run of the Original Wye Invader, a 38m Dutch barge which sailed from Chepstow to Hereford in 1989 and returned back down the River Wye in 2012 / 2013

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Clements Engineering help barge down river

Clements Engineering has many unusual calls from clients with specific questions on various propellers and propeller related equipment.   A call last year however was slightly more unusual than most.   The call was to help provide a propulsion solution for a 38m long Dutch barge, some 230 tonnes, that had to negotiate the difficult River Wye from its resting place of the last 25 years. The barge was fitted with a 1957 Volvo Engine 96hp@2200 rpm with a gear ratio 3:1.  An additional challenge was to drive the vessel and bring it safely to a stop whilst a percentage of the propeller was out of the water.

The ‘Wye Invader’ needed to get down the River Wye from Hereford to a boat yard on the Severn River and is the largest vessel known to have navigated the many twists, turns and bridges along the way. The owner, Mr Frank Barton, explained about the vessel and how it was essential to maintain as much control over steerage as possible to Clements Managing Director Paul Williams.  Two weeks later after some calculations and drawing on extensive experience a special propeller was provided which had a greater pitch than normal for such a vessel.  The special propeller would help give very precise steerage with the limited water flow.

There were many bridges along the river, which had to be carefully negotiated especially in a river that has previously seen quite a lot of flooding, and was still quite high. In November the Wye Invader set off on its journey, often having to do almost a 3 point turn to negotiate some of the tightest parts of the river or tricky bridges.  On a couple of occasions the cabin on top had to be removed to enable the barge to pass under bridges. After much effort and several stops along the way, the barge emerged at Chepstow and was free from the river and able to continue on to its destination.

Paul Williams stated, “The Wye Invader was certainly an unusual project for us, but as with all enquiries we took in to account the conditions the vessel would have to face and based on that we proposed a propeller to deal with the unusual circumstances of the propellers being partly out of the water.  We produced an oversized propeller to cope which was almost twice the size we would have otherwise used.  We also advised on some rudder modifications which helped to make the Wye Invader steer more easily.

Reproduced with permission from

Can you help?

Since 1989 many photos and video clips have been taken of the Wye Invader either coming up the Wye, moored in Hereford or returning back down the Wye in 2013. We would love to include as many of these as possible on the website. If you have any photographs, either printed or digital or video clips you would like to see on the site please contact the Webmaster via the Wye Invader website - Printed photographs would be scanned and returned and any material used would be credited with your name.

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Impossible Journey?

First built in Holland in 1930, the Wye Invader was originally named “Luctor”. There is some evidence (undocumented) she had an extra section fitted and was seconded by the German Army to become part of ‘Operation Sea Lion’, the German plan to invade Britain by sea that was scrapped in 1940.

In 1970 she was owned by the Hooiveld family who re-named her “Zwerver” and the family lived on board for several years. The Barge had several more owners in the years that followed and was finally bought as “Zilvermeeuw” by Frank Barton, a garage owner from Hereford who re-named her “Wye Invader” and who had plans to turn her into a floating restaurant moored in Hereford, UK.

The Barge crossed the Channel, rounded the South Coast and turned into the River Severn Estuary. At Chepstow she joined the River Wye, navigating several tight, well known bridges and then the famous Symonds Yat Rapids. The journey to Hereford of 75 miles was to take longer than planned due to low river levels that summer and she reached her final mooring just above the Old Wye Bridge, Hereford in November 1989, the actual journey time was 20 hours spread over the 6 month period. The magazine Waterways World published 2 articles about the Wye Invader in 1989 and again in 1990.

See the FULL story of Wye Invader on the website -