15 Oct Water ride refurbishment
Winter at Garmendale always brings in some of our most interesting work and for the last few years, we have completed a number of water ride refurbishment projects. The latest one to arrive at the workshop looks in a slightly sorry state but that’s more to do with the fact that it’s been sat in storage for the last four years gathering leaves and dirt than any significant wear on the tubs.
The ride itself is a mini flume and is 126 metres long, with a 4m drop into the splash tank. It was first put into operation in 2009, so with a proper refurbishment will be good for many more years happy service.
Our role will be to firstly clean all of the tubs, holding tanks and overflow tanks. Every one of them is numbered as they can only be reassembled in the order they came apart in, or it just won’t work. We will lightly shot blast everything to remove old paint and any rust that may be present. With them all clean, we’ll be able to see more clearly what structural repairs are required and carry them out. Once it’s structurally sound, we then move on to complete all of the flange repairs. This will ensure a tight seal between tubs when it is eventually put back together. There’s little point in making a water ride look good if the thing leaks at every joint.
The final job for us is to repaint every individual section to tie in with the finish of the new theming (as usual, this is still all top secret at this stage). We have the huge advantage of a gigantic spray booth on-site so we can easily paint multiple tubs sections at the same time.
Winter ride refurbishment work has always been a mainstay of the Garmendale business, as has the refurb of water rides. Here’s just a few we have worked on previously.
Dragon Falls – Chessington
One of the bigger rides we worked on was The Dragon Falls at Chessington which is a log flume style ride. With this project, we hand dug out all of the damaged troughs around the ride and refurbished them. We also replaced all of the spines underneath that supported it. This has since been re-themed again and is now known as the Tiger Rock ride. Here’s a POV video of the ride from last year. We love this as it’s so clear that the structure we rebuilt is still looking like it’s in excellent condition.
This was a project that had two purposes. To make the ride strong and reliable for its final season and prepare it for a new and rethemed future. We replaced the two lifts inside the ride and rebuilt all of the tubs throughout. This was the last season before Bubbleworks was retired and it was totally re-themed and came back as the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure. As with much of our work, what we have done is nigh on invisible to the public. The entire focus for the passenger is what goes on above the boat and the wonder of the beautiful Gruffalo story. You can see that ride in the video below or read about the original refurbishment here.
Refurbishment of boats from water rides
You’ll see from the pictures below that we have worked on many, many boats from water rides too. The level of refurbishment varies by design but we are often asked to refurbish the entire running gear on the boats. Despite being hidden from view, many have wheels hidden underneath and running in water for their entire life does put some extra demands on it.