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   The Steamboat Association of Great Britain


  • 28 Jun 2019
  • 30 Jun 2019
  • River Wey Guildford England


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Puffing-a-Wey is a joint SBA and National Trust event which brings colour and variety to the centre of Guildford in high summer. 


Anyone interested in steam boats plus of course SBA members, with or without their boats, are invited to this special National Trust weekend where we gather to support the National Trust who do a tremendous job in looking after the Wey Navigation.

Date: SBA Rally Friday 28 June to Sunday 30 June 2019

Also, from Thursday 27 June to Monday 30 June the National Trust reserve the quay for steam boaters at Dapdune Wharf.

The National Trust make us so welcome and waive the normal navigation licence fee and site fee for boats attending over the weekend.

PS SBA members who are also National Trust members please “book in’ each day with your National Trust card so the navigation can benefit from funding allocated by site attendance.


Location / Getting to Dapdune Wharf

Dapdune Wharf, Wharf Road, Guildford GU1 4RR

I anticipate that most people not familiar with Guildford trailing a boat will arrive on the A3 and travel a short distance either East or West along the A25 before turning south at traffic lights (Jaguar garage) onto the A322. After a mini roundabout you pass under a large brick railway arch and there is a cricket ground on the right. Wharf Road is on your right on the far (southern) boundary of the cricket ground. You are not allowed to turn right into Wharf Road so carry on south to the roundabout and double back up the A322 before turning left into Wharf Road. There is a black National Trust Sign for Dapdune Wharf.

For SBA members arriving by public transport, Dapdune Wharf is about 1km from the main Guildford railway station. Unfortunately the tow path (station side) is on the opposite bank to Dapdune Wharf so if walking from the station its best to cross over the Wey at the station and walk along public roads to Dapdune Wharf.



The programme for the weekend is the same as Mark Rudall’s highly enjoyable arrangements over previous years:

Friday: I am expecting most of you will launch at Dapdune Wharf on Friday where Mark will be available to assist or you might wish to cruise upstream to Guildford from the Thames. If cruising via the Thames please advise me so I can advise the National Trust who will brief the lock keeper at Thames Lock so you won’t need to pay the Wey Navigation Licence fee.

In the evening join friends for a chat at a venue of your choice in historic Guildford.

Saturday: In the morning we welcome steam boaters to launch at Dapdune Wharf who prefer to travel on Saturday. 

At 1100 Dapdune Wharf opens to the public and we display our boats in the vicinity of the wharf to entertain and inform visitors of the attractions of steam boating! Visitors to Dapdune will also be enjoying Drascombe Association sailing boats and craft and modelling displays as well as exploring the wharf’s visitor centre and cafe.

There is no expectation that SBA members offer boat rides to the public. Those who feel able to are requested to check that your boat insurance covers, give your passengers a safety briefing and be vigilant for their safety, especially children. There is absolutely no expectations on anyone. 

After the wharf closes to the public steam boaters the National Trust would like us to be in steam to join the National Trust’s own boats in a flotilla through the centre of Guildford with the National Trust volunteers who support the navigation.

In the evening we are invited to join the barbecue at the wharf with the National Trust (they ask us to bring our own favourite tipples) and Mark has laid on the Grunch Mountain Blue Grass Band to entertain us - its rumoured our Funnel Editor may even put down his keyboard to pluck a few notes himself to add to our entertainment. 

There is a charge of £10/head for the evening’s get together payable on the night.

Sunday: A relaxed day for steam boaters to join up with friends and do your own thing, potter around Dapdune or Guildford. Or cruise up or downstream to sample the delights of the picturesque Wey Navigation. Pull out Sunday afternoon/evening or stay overnight to pull out Monday.

Safety Tips for Event/Location

Hopefully we will see masses of people. We love their interest in our boats but you should assume they have no knowledge of the hazards of steam and boating, especially children so I share some safety tips for you. 

  • Brief passengers and people viewing boat at close quarters about dangers of hot parts and moving machinery and keep them a safe distance away, including from safety valves, whistle and potential fuel spills. Children in particular may need to have restricted access around boat.
  • Don’t leave boats in steam unattended - ask a fellow boater to watch out for your boat, there is enough of us around to look .
  • High quay for nearly all of Dapdune Wharf so take care yourself and please guide anyone coming on board. I and another much more experienced SBA member have fallen in at Dapdune so its not a theoretical risk....
  • Non swimmers or persons at risk should wear buoyancy aids. You know how stable your boat is at moorings and underway - brief passengers on risk of boat tipping and if necessary ask them not to move without your permission.
  • Be vigilant for the public viewing your boat close to the quay edge and keep mooring lines tidy to minimise trip hazards.
  • Advise anybody who cuts themselves or swallows river water to clean wound and consult a doctor if they feel unwell due to risk of weil’s disease. And to wash hands before eating/drinking.
  • The National Trust ask us to take care with the disposal of hot ashes re fire risk.

  • Please be vigilant for other users of navigation/slip - it will be very busy on the water with Drascombe Association sailing boats attending, the Sea Cadets’ event next door , a nearby canoeist training club and the National Trust’s own electric boats operating. When NT electric boats are operating please only use the sloping section of the quay for boarding/disembarking and keep clear of the low section of the quay/the electric boats approaching their mooring round the upstream blind corner.
  • Anyone onboard unfamiliar with locks should be briefed on lock hazards and ‘helpers’ kept clear. 

Emergency Contact Details

Dapdune Wharf is located the the end of Wharf Road, Guildford GU1 4RR

Nearest A & E at Royal Surrey County Hospital, Gill Avenue, Guildford GU2 7WW


  • Dapdune Wharf access road gate to be kept locked after 1800. Key can be purchased from Navigation Office at Dapdune Wharf.
  • We anticipate up to circa 16 steam boats and Drascombe Association sailing boats may attend. Please support Mark as he helps coordinate use of the slipway and access through the boat yard for the Sea Cadets. Please be prepared to double up moorings and let others cross over your boat.
  • Parking for trailers available at Dapdune, some of the ground does slope so please check handbrake effective.
  • Slipway at Dapdune has right angle turn at top of slip requiring care manoeuvring and watch out for the ledge at the bottom of the concrete slip. Side of slip is sheet piling with sharp edges for fingers and damaging lines.
  • If you were thinking of using Stoke Lock to slip, there is a large crated in the access road.
  • Lock paddle windlass specific to Wey Navigation can be purchased from Navigation Office.
  • Should be no maintenance works affecting navigation. Bridge maintenance works at A25 Guildford Bridge. Towpath closed by Bowyers lock. Anticipated dredging will be complete at Papercourt Lock.
  • Steam boaters to comply with SSSI obligations including not discharging anything from boat into navigation or onto banks in the Wey Valley Meadows SSSI. (The SSSI extends approximately from Millmead Lock adjacent to Yvonne Arnaud Theatre up to Cattershall Lock downstream from Godalming Wharf).
  • Space for a limited number of SBA members to camp on site is available. Members are also welcome to sleep on board with some essential facilities including toilets available when the site is closed to the public. Shower in Navigation Office available to boaters in morning on request after circa 0830 - speak to Tory, Dapdune Wharf Manager.
  • Electricity and water hose not available when site open to public. If using 230v for on board supply please check your boat earthing arrangements and shock protection.
  • Finally please bring your own fuel and don’t forget to check your fire extinguisher.

Declaration Forms

Last but not least please don’t forget to send me your completed SBA Event Declaration Forms.

Mark, John (Jewsbury) and myself look forward to assisting you over the weekend and catching up with your latest news.

Ian Bucknall

SL Melissa

Coordinator Ian Bucknall 01372 454266

or email bucknall336@btinternet.com

Event type 2

Key to event types

1 - SBA Organised Event (owner's declaration required)

2 - SBA organised participation in 3rd party's event (owner's declaration required)

In event types 1 and 2 the SBA organisers and SBA members are covered by the SBA Liability Insurance.

3 - private meeting of members with or without boats

4 - private, individual participation of members in 3rd party's event

5 - for information only

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