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


Topical notes about the SBA and the world of steamboats

  • 07 Jul 2015 23:14 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On the evening of Monday August 10th Mr Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of the Lakeland Arts Trust, will talk to us after dinner about the status of the 'Windermere Jetty' project - previously know to us as the Steamboat Museum.  SBA Members are encouraged to come and book dinner for Monday night.

  • 05 Jul 2015 18:52 | Deleted user

    During 2015 Philip Webster will be giving us a monthly update on his adventures in Banjo:

    May certainly left us with a roar, setting a bad example to June. Hopefully she will not continue in the same vogue for too long.  Our last trip up to Norwich tested the 'righting reflexes' of the three ex dinghy sailors aboard.  Banjo is fairly tender, and a savage gust amidships on the rigid super structure can feel a bit 'hairy'. We have never actually shipped any water but have experienced some uncomfortable seating.


     Our 'Steamy weak end' turned into an interesting experiment. My 'new trailer' idea proved to be impractical. I had hoped to use one trailer for my two boats, but I was wrong in my assumptions, further thought required. A few little improvements to Banjo in preparation for next Friday's trip( 12th.) to the Museum of the Broads at Stalham, an eight hour trip, including Breydon Water.  Looking forward to a Christopher curry en route.

    'We are enriched by our experiences', a reality often seen in adventure books. Our trip across Breydon Water was truly exciting and educational. When about half way towards Great Yarmouth the wind freshened and backed ten degrees. The water responded with a sharp chop, pushing green water over the fore deck and through the galley window! When the bell joined in the malaise with a 'ding  ding ding dong dong dong ding ding ding, prudence forced a bit of left hand down to travel on the other half, in smoother water on the windward side of the channel. A few cruisers looked a bit baffled at us steaming on the wrong side but suitable evasive action avoided any unpleasantness. The remainder of the trip was a delightful experience of steaming perfection, i.e. no breakdowns and a wonderful Chris curry of sausage and egg washed down with home brew IPA. Forty miles in nine hours including two stops, bliss.

    On Sunday (14th.) our haven for the week came to life with their 'Steam Day'. Cars, lorries, traction engines, and stationary models, complemented with the steam launches Banjo, Falcon, Garlandene, Lollipop and Ursula, . A great time was had by all, especially those on the steam bus ride to the pub  Saturday night !


    The trip home was equally delightful, but the tides could have been a bit more helpful. Our slightly longer passage, including an extended lunch saw us back with just enough light, steam and water, the latter going smooth and still on the last two miles. The longer lunch was due, not to over imbibing, but an adventurous search up a 'new' creek. Half a mile up this very narrow channel we saw a notice, 'pub 5 mins. Walk. It took ten, but was worth it. Upton Red Lion gets full marks for ale and food.

    The tide, weather and time was right , project for the last Friday in June was to wish Lydia Eva a happy birthday. At 85, she deserved a treat, we sang 'Happy Birthday' , much to the amusement of the crew. I knew the brass megaphone would come in handy !

  • 20 Jun 2015 11:30 | Deleted user

    The Canal & River Trust is calling on people to stand for election to the charity’s governing Council, with nominations opening on 11 September, before voting in November.

    The Council is made up of 40 nominated, co-opted or elected members as well as the Chairs of the waterway partnerships. Together they reflect the wide appeal of the waterways – from boating and angling through to walking and conservation. The Council is responsible for the appointment of Trustees, helps to shape policies and provides guidance and perspective to Trustees.

    This year’s elections will decide four posts representing the interests of private boaters, two representing boating businesses, a post representing the Trust’s staff, and for the first time, elected posts for volunteers and people who make a regular donation to the Trust.
    Those interested in standing for election will need sponsors and to prepare their manifesto. Council members take up their four-year volunteer post from March 2016.
    Tony Hales, chairman of the Canal & River Trust, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people with a passion for the waterways to get involved with our work, and particularly in how the Trust is governed. Nominations open in September but we’re appealing for candidates now so that people have time to get prepared. We can offer support and advice throughout the election process, so do get in touch if you are interested.
    The election process will be run independently of the Trust by Electoral Reform Services (ERS) and it will be an online process.  Anyone keen to stand for election, or anyone who may have a query about eligibility or the election process, can find out more at

  • 13 Jun 2015 11:28 | Deleted user
    The latest edition of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) South East Region Newsletter, Cargoes - Summer 2015 is now available. 

    It includes numerous articles of news from various parts of the canal network. 

    This edition and back issues can be downloaded from the IWA website here.
  • 31 May 2015 19:46 | Deleted user

    During 2015 Philip Webster will be giving us a monthly update on his adventures in Banjo:

    May day, may day, what a … day! With our guest stoker shovelling coal into the boiler like it was going out of fashion, we stormed up the Yare, cutting ten minutes off the journey to Surlingham. Just around the corner past Woods End game over, the HP linkage parted from the weight shaft. A temporary fix with a short piece of six mil. Copper pipe (I wonder why that was in the tool box?) and a short plank, part of the sleeping arrangements and never used, and a piece of kindling, got us to the Broads Authority workshop. A scrounged six mil. Bold secured the broken arm  and good speed maintained whilst lunch of curry, rice pudding and peaches were consumed on the run home.

    To be fair, the broken arm has a long rusty side and a short shiny one, indicating that this was a disaster waiting to happen, the L.P. arm was replaced years ago. Perhaps the coffee table should be lifted off more often.

    In '95 she came alive,
     And steamed off very slowly.
    From gas to oil and finally coal,
    Four boilers, two engines and a whistle,

    We learned a lot, to do, and not
    The knots came one by one,
    From many hours of turn and cut
    Four boilers, two engines and a whistle.

    When freedom came and bonus rained
    A Leak from castings pleased us
    We gained some ground with boiler round
    Fourth boiler, second engine, same whistle

    The ducks we left behind at last
    Horizons Broadened weekly,
    The galley grew some kit as well
    Four boilers, two engines and a whistle.

    Now twenty years of steaming trips
    On Fridays mostly favoured,
    A mobile lunch for gentlemen
    And lots of chat of days gone by
    Four boilers, two engines and a whistle.

    I like it when it all comes together, as it should. Our V.E. day went with a swing, and a swig, or two. The menu was familiar, the center of Norwich reached in two hours, who could ask for more.

    I did not ask but was pleased to change duties as all worked well and Mr. Mate wanted a spell astern (new puppy fatigue!), No. 2 stoked and I had the rare treat of steering my boat! Mr. Mate usually steers as he is the only one that can concentrate long enough to steer a straight course, he says. I am never happy unless something is wrong and needs fixing, he says! i.e. I like to be busy. No. 2 likes stoking occasionally, No. 1 is in charge of the galley, and feeds us well.

    Like it or not we get one more each year, I make mine Ladies Day. It makes a good target date for getting everything working properly, and clean. All went well, a short trip around the Broad and lunch at the Beauchamp Arms, which is now under new management, who seem to know what they are about. The fire was a bit reluctant to burn, tubes must be cleaned, but a bit of extra throttle kept us moving with less interruption, to the chat, and wild life. Creeping through 'secret waters' we witnessed a family of newly hatched signets sampling the world .

    Next Friday 5th of June we plan to test the 'new' trailer, wilst awaiting the arrival of guests to our 'Steamy Weekend'. Then on Friday the 12th of June we will convoy up to Stalham to the Museum of the Broads 'Steam Day' on Sunday 14th. June.
  • 28 May 2015 18:21 | Deleted user

    Puffing a-Wey 18-19 July:  is not strictly an SBA event, it's a joint function with the National Trust but steam boats are very warmly invited to Guildford to enjoy the facilities at Dapdune Wharf. You can come on the Thursday if you want to launch early. If you are able to to take interested passengers out for a quick demonstration puff round, that's appreciated by the NT but there's no pressure to do so. All enquiries to Mark Rudall 01252 645486

  • 18 May 2015 22:04 | Deleted user

    Unfortunately Due to the lack of a host boat this years competition has had to be cancelled.

  • 17 May 2015 21:49 | Deleted user
    The SBA has had an invitation to join in with the colourful Wey River Festival to be held over the weekend of 19/20 September.

    If you'd like to be part of this with your boat you'd be very welcome and should contact to register your interest and book a mooring place.
  • 11 May 2015 12:59 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The sad news reaches us today of the death of Maurice Webb of Sudbury, Suffolk on May 10th.  Maurice was a long-standing member of the SBA.  He built and steamed his boat 'Millennium' on the River Stour.  Details of his funeral will be available shortly from the Anglia Area Rep, Julian Garret.

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