The Steamboat Association of Great Britain was set up to foster and encourage steam boating and the building, development, preservation and restoration of steamboats and steam machinery.
I have been a member of the above association for approximately 11 years and have gained much knowledge and met many interesting personalities with one abiding interest, the love of steam propelled launches.
The Royal Motor Yacht Club has hosted four annual rallies in Poole Harbour in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 so far. The sight of a dozen or so steam craft all lined up in the Marina, stoking their fires, ready to take to the beautiful waters of Poole Harbour, is very nostalgic. The sound of their steam whistles take members back to the age of steam. A few members get the chance to have a trip around the islands in one of these fine vessels – to see the smile on their faces as they disembark is a sight to behold!
I am a lucky enough to have owned two of these beautiful vessels. In my case my first launch was a copy of a 1914 Edwardian gentleman’s launch. The boiler is fuelled by household heating oil with a burner crafted around a design from the same era. She is capable of 5 knots with a twin cylinder-condensing engine generating the power, swinging a 16” prop of 26” inch pitch.
My current launch is named Annabelle and she is 30 feet long with a 6foot 10 inch beam fired by coal and capable of 8 knots. With cabin, cooking facilities, fridge and ceramic pedestal loo she is built with longer distance cruising in mind. She has a twin cylinder simple 12hp steam engine swinging a 26 inch prop with a 28 inch pitch.
If you would like further information on joining the Steam Boat Association of Great Britain, you don’t need to actually own a steam boat to be a member just an interest in the subject. Please contact myself Richard Knott and I will pass on the details of membership etc.