The Steamboat Association
of Great Britain

to foster and encourage steam boating and the building, development, preservation and restoration of steam boats and steam machinery

to stimulate public interest
in steam boats
and steam boating

to promote high standards
of workmanship,
safety and seamanship

News

Topical notes about the SBA and the world of steamboats

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  • 14 Mar 2017 09:27 | Anonymous

    Late addition to the programme!
    Following Dan Cross' talk there will be an extended Q&A sessions and panel discussion on current steamboat and ship restoration.  Dan Cross, Sir Neil Cossons and Brian Smith will make contributions and answer your questions.  Mark Rudall will moderate.
    There will still be time thereafter to mingle before you dine or disperse.

    Roger Heise

  • 25 Feb 2017 09:35 | Anonymous

    Readers of e-bay may have noticed there is an entire steam plant up for sale in UK. This is ex. Flying Fox and would suit some one contemplating launch of 30 to 40 foot. the item has been for sale for some months now, It would be a great pity to see it go for scrap as it's price is very reasonable assuming it is in the condition described. I have no connection with the seller.
    If you have pockets deep enough to build a big boat, this could be a bargain!
    Regards John Maltby
    e-bay ref 302234301079

  • 05 Feb 2017 13:12 | Anonymous

    Registration and Refreshment bookings are now open on the website.

    Please follow this link to the event page.

    Full AGM documentation is available to members on this page, which will be updated over the next few weeks.

    I look forward to welcoming as many members and their partners as possible in Birmingham on April 1st.

    Roger Heise - Chairman

  • 24 Jan 2017 14:27 | Anonymous

    The SBA AGM and Social Event will be held on Saturday April 1st at the Think Tank, Millennium Point in Birmingham.

    The programme for the day, with the AGM Agenda and a booking form for refreshment and meals will be published this month.  You can access the information on the website here.


    The Social Event is an excellent occasion to meet up with fellow steamboats and members.  We offer good company and the inimitable SBA auction; you will also contribute to the good governance of the Association by participating in the AGM.

  • 24 Jan 2017 14:25 | Anonymous

    Rally and Event dates for 2017 are being firmed up.  Please look at the events pages and make a note in your diaries!

  • 06 Sep 2016 21:53 | Anonymous

    Our thanks to Ian Davies for flying the drone an taking these aerial videos during Windermere Week in August 2016.  The videos make Windermere look really inviting - but then, the drone could fly only on the good-weather days!  Enjoy - Roger Heise


    Copy and paste this link to your browser

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGwrZFBlVTU&list=PLEKFiIzvqG_yi2d29_05qk6G3DSRDJhVi


    or click here to open in a new browser window.

  • 30 Aug 2016 22:53 | Anonymous

    Have a look at this flickr album of ( mainly ) steam boats on Windermere from the 2016 SBA Windermere Week - and some from from earlier years.  Thanks to Robert Beale for compiling the album.

    Roger Heise


    https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertbeale/albums/72157673006102236

  • 23 Aug 2016 09:30 | Anonymous



    Further to our notice of the death on 15th August of SBA Elder Statesman, Peter Hollins MBE, we are now in a position to advise that his funeral will be on THURSDAY 8th September.


    A family Committal at Portchester Crematorium will be followed by a Memorial Celebration of Peter's life and achievements at Boathouse no 4 at Portsmouth Dockyard, where family and friends from the various areas of his life are invited to gather at 2.00pm for 2.30, with refreshments to follow.


    You are most welcome and if you would like to attend it would be helpful if you could drop a note to either Tim or Christopher Hollins (t.hollins@btopenworld.com or chollins@btinternet.com) who will be happy to answer questions and can also advise on parking and any special dietary requirements.  


    NB: For those who might wish to make a donation in memory of Peter, cheques payable to The Royal Naval Museum would be most welcome, marked S.P.199 on the reverse: these can be sent to Co-operative Funeralcare 147 Stoke Rd, Gosport PO12 1SE.                                                                                                          Mark Rudall



  • 20 Aug 2016 11:54 | Anonymous

    Medway Queen will be open to visitors on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September from 10am to 4pm as part of the national "Heritage Open Days Weekend".


    Plus the usual attractions:
    Visitor Centre presenting the Medway Queen story
    Ship open to the public
    ​Refreshments served on board, NAAFI style.
    Gift and book shop
    Sale of second hand transport related books
    "Save a Soldier" sponsorship scheme

    Films in the lower forward saloon

  • 12 Mar 2016 09:05 | Kingsley Robinson (Administrator)

    As Chantilly’s adventures at John & Françoise Tilley's hands terminated with her sale in 2015 (to France of course!) they have elected to compile their Funnel reports of her travels, hopefully as encouragement for those contemplating similar cruises or simply to while away the odd coffee break.


    Each article will be republished online throughout 2016 or you can download the full document here (10Mb).


    John & Françoise write:

    This event, as was boldly advertised in FUNNEL, was an international meeting of old or interesting power boats, which had clear requirements of venerability for the motor boats, but welcomed any steamboat made of anything!

    So, with such a warm invitation, we took Chantilly, joining Iola built by the late Richard Hayne, very attractive fitted out open F21, as the ‘G.B’ contingent and met up with Oxbird from Bordeaux Maritime Museum, Lord Byron F21 from Lake Geneva, Sarina also from Geneva, a simple, practical, and obviously satisfying paddler, built around a lake Geneva fishing skiff, another very pretty boat Scylla of Messina and Asphodel, the only resident Lac du Bourget steamer, the biggest boat , proud and purposeful, belonging to the late André Coudurier, the event organiser. An international gathering, but all ‘ex pat’ English boats! I should also mention albeit briefly, the 20 or so splendid old wooden power boats brought from all over Europe, who added at least noise and spray to this colourful gathering!




    The first phase of this meeting was based on the port of Aix-les-Bains and was arranged also as a visitor attraction, for which the town provided generous sponsorship by way of hotel accommodation, meals, coal, and endless speeches, and receptions which was a great excuse to sample the excellent Savoyard wine.

    Day one was ‘Viewing of boats on trailers’ and launching, a crowded public spectacle and a good excuse to go walking the beautiful Jura foothills surrounding the town, to avoid it.




    Day two had boating activities on the Lake, the first a manoeuvrability test around buoys, I missed whilst fighting steam raising gremlins. The second ‘regularity trials’ I also missed by steaming, with Richard and Robert, to a distant lakeside restaurant for lunch. Iola however did eventually enter the event, apparently aimed at maintaining a regular speed around a buoyed course, and concluded the
    activities by picking up a buoy line in her prop in a big way and being towed to the hoist to be fetched out and disentangled!

    The third day took us in convoy to the head of the Lake, where the Canal de Savières links it to the Rhône, pausing as we passed the strikingly majestic Abbey de Hautecombe. We moored in the delightful canal side village of Chanaz where a picnic for all 100 or so boaters and hangers-on was arranged outside a genuine working water mill, which was fully restored a year or so ago and was producing oil from walnuts and hazelnuts. We were invited simply because Edouard the mill owner liked things old and mechanical.

    That evening brought, with speeches welcomes and drinks, prize giving! Everyone was a winner of something, but particularly of note was Lord Byron as the most manoeuvrable boat of the event, and Iola as having the “best engine” with a superb Mallinson Twin.



    The second phase of the event, and perhaps more to my taste, was a three day cruise on the Rhône, taking in a mysterious ‘boat lift’ over barrages.

    On Monday, we were due to steam up the Lake again, in a party of six boats, to join the Rhône at Chanaz, but sadly a hooley blew up over night, and the Lake was impassable for small steamboats.

    After 20 or so early morning committee meetings, we all set off across the Lake in Lakshme an old Lake Geneva motor boat, which at 11m was fast and weatherly. Then to be taken by car to a little mountain town Culoz that was honouring one of its past residents the brothers: Henri (1848-1915)and Léon Serpollet (1859-1907) with an exhibition of notes and photographs of his wondrous turn of century inventions with steam powered cars, bicycles and other devices. This also occasioned speeches, welcomes and drinks.

    As the weather had not abated, I elected to return to Aix, fetch out Chantilly, re-launch on the Rhône and join up with the rest of the party in Lakshme at our evening stop.

    The Rhône at this point runs at the foot of the Jura Mountain range and varies from wide, shallow and fast flowing thro’ rolling green valleys to over 40m deep in majestic gorges. Apart from a few fishing punts, there are virtually no boats, and very few landings.

    At a number of places, the river has been left to follow its course, and huge navigable canals feed hydro-electric stations, giving a 30-50 foot barrage. No locks exist, but navigation past these dams is possible by use of a ‘portique’. This is a three wheeled self powered machine which rumbles down a wide slipway to pick up the boats-up to 5 tins-in slings, winch itself back up the slipway, casts off then trundle down the road at walking race, past the power station to re-launch in the outfall.

    ‘portique’

    One purpose of our organised passage on the river was to hopefully overwhelm the navigation and establish a case for installing locks to re-open the river to navigation but with a flotilla now only numbering two boats, the portique seemed to cope admirably. Nevertheless, like conquistadors we were greeted by hoards at the few towns en route, and subject to more speeches, welcomes and drinks. Where no town existed, the locals set up a mobile reception centre, and dispensed welcomes and drinks from the river side on folding tables-fortunately no speeches this time!

    On the Rhône!

    After 3 days of travel on this wild, remote and beautiful river known in places as the ‘Blue Valley’, we 10 or so adventurers formed quite a strong band, and many was the merry picnic lunch (no speeches, much wine) and late night revelry at the Auberge du Gland. This inn, apart from being the site of my initiation into the delights of frog legs,the only item on the menu, a ploy, I’m certain, by André to challenge the English ‘sang froid’- I beat him at his game however, by being the first, for seconds! The Auberge has a mountain stream running in the garden and the innkeeper has installed a couple of turbines in his garden shed, and produces 1000KW (yes KW, not watts, I saw the instruments) for sale to the national grid. He also drinks like a fish and drives like a Frenchman not a happy combination when chauffeuring us back to our boat late at night!

    Crêpes Chantilly!

    We parted from the group at Chanaz, as they had to leave, and we spent a couple of days exploring the Lake and its environs. The only place in the vicinity where the ‘bière pression’ was served, was the Abbey de Hautecombe, the provisions however were to be found on the opposite shore, 3 miles to buy bread and back for another beer filled in a pleasant half day’s steaming!

    A splendid event, in gorgeous surroundings, made inevitably all more fascinating by being adopted by colourful locals.

    We made the journey in one long day, and travel apart, had to spend very little. Our thanks to our friend André Coudurier, an unflappable, generous “Bon Vivant”, who managed such a cosmopolitan bunch to the total enjoyment of all.


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