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DEPV Helvetie                                                                                               Operating Area : Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Helvetie has been out of service since 2002 but has been substantially refurbished with the intention of refitting her for service in the 2020s. 

DEPV Helvetie seen on September 9th, 2000 leaving Villeneuve

Built 1926 by Sulzer Brothers at Winterthur, Switzerland
Engines: 1600 HP MAN diesel / Elin-Weicz electrical unit installed in 1975-77
originally a triple cylinder uniflow engine by Sulzer (preserved at Nyon)
Length : 73.8 metres

Entered service in 1926
Reengined 1976-77 with unit from the Danube tug Goliath (built 1914, ex-steamer dieselised in 1954) - Her original xrankshaft and connecting rods are preserved at the Musee du Leman at Nyon

Retainer her "steamer" funnel after conversion
Machinery unreliability meant that she has spent much of her life "in reserve"
Out of service since March 2002 with no sailing certificate due to electrical problems
In May 2011 she was taken into the Ouchy-Bellerive for 4-6 monyths for conservation measures including sand-blasting and repainting of her hull and the fitting of anodes to reduce further deterioration
Whilst there is no set timetable for her restoration to service, CGN are remaining optimistic that it will be undertaken as a long term project
In 2011, along with the seven other surviving paddlers in the CGN fleet, she was designated as a National Historical Monument
In 2011 Helvetie was moved to the CGN's dry-dock for a part-refurbishment to arrest decay and to ready the ship for temporary use as a floating annexe of the nearby Museum of the Olympics

In CGN's Bellerive Dry Dock in 2011
June 2011 sees DEPV Helvetie in the dry dock at Ouchy for a part-refurbishment to arrest decay in the ship which has been out of service since the end of 2002.
Photo by kind courtesy of Erhard Koller
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Helvetie 24 09 11.jpg
DEPV Helvetie is undergoing cosmetic restoration at Lausanne's Bellerive dockyard in advance of her taking up her proposed role as temporary exhibition space for the nearby Olympic Movement museum in 2012. She is expected to remain in the drydock until the end of October. The prospect of her returning to operational service is a long way off, but this refurbishment secures her structure from deterioration and promises well for the future. Many thanks to Enrico Crosti for this view taken on the ABVL visiting day on September 24th 2011. More photos

Above and below : Externally refurbished to a high level, it looks as if Helvetie is ready to cast off on a cruise. However, in June 2014, she was tied up in front of the Museum of the Olympics at Lasusanne-Ouchy where she had served as overspill exhibition space whilst the main museum underwent refurbishment.  Photos by kind courtesy of Malcolm Oliver

From the archive



Paddle Steamer helvetie 2005.JPG

In 1988, the "unreliable" Helvetie was the spare vessel and spent much of her time tied up at Geneva

Helvetie is now tied up long-term at the CGN dock at Ouchy and is seen here in September 2005.

CGN has no place for her in their timetable and any available cash is earmarked for other projects.....

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