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   The Steamboat Association of Great Britain

Puffing A-Wey

  • 12 Jul 2013
  • 12:00
  • 14 Jul 2013
  • 17:00
  • Dapdune Wharf, River Wey, near Guildford


  • Those wishing to bring a steamboat to the Wey event

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  SBA Event 2013

Puffing-a-Wey 2013


Greetings all!


Dapdune Wharf … in association with the National Trust


Good grief!  We could conceivably have over 20 boats!


Sat 13 July  Get to know steamboating

Sun 14 July Puffing-a-Wey


Herewith the bits and pieces you need to be ready for our Guildford weekend.


We have bookings from the named people above but some of the boat names may not be right. Other SBA members will be present too.  Some boats may only make it (a) if they’ve been completed yet (b) had engines satisfactorily installed (c) sorted their boilers out (small things like that).


Much of the following has already been sent to you but more has been added. If you’re looking for accommodation (B&Bs) we may have a problem and Google will need to be brought into action.  



Purpose of Puffing-a-Wey

1.    An unusual weekend event to provide a colourful visitor attraction for the National Trust's Dapdune Wharf facility

2.   An opportunity for a steamboat rally for Southern Area steamboat owners

3.   A training and introductory event for people of all ages who wish to learn about

      steam launches as well as steam technology and operation

      Designed as an interactive and colourful event, it is mounted at SBA members'  

      expense for the benefit of both SBA  (seeking to encourage heritage interest) & the

      NT (Seeking to encourage heritage interest and build visitor numbers at Dapdune)

4.   An opportunity for visitors to experience a brief ride on the Wey on a heritage

      type of craft



Format of weekend

Friday(mainly pm and evening)

Arrival of boats launch larger liveaboards / set up camp for those on land 



·         Boats attending will not need to buy a w/e Wey Navigation licence!

·         All attending boats must bring, as usual, evidence of current insurance and Boat Safety Certification which owners may be called upon to produce.

NB: For boat owners intending to offer short, strictly non-fare-paying cruises to interested visitors you are advised to make a courtesy call to your insurers to let them know that you will be doing this. It will not cost you anything but Bluefin (for example) like to know so they can place a note with the file


Slipping & Trailers

·         The concrete slip is superb. Nicely graded, it is used to launch and recover the NT's own 36' electric Frolic trip launch.

·         Trailers can be parked close to the slip and the site is reasonably secure - access gates use a standard BW padlock & key


·         However... there are a lot of boats coming , and if you are a regular Wey boater, it would be most helpful if you could launch at Stoke Lock and leave your trailer there to leave room for possible campers and general moving around at Dapdune.



·         Boaters have permission to camp close to the slip or can sleep aboard boats as they wish, and excellent loos and washing facilities will be available throughout the weekend

·         BBQ facilities will be provided at the site for steamboaters' usage and there is fresh water available on site


Overnight accommodation

We have found to our horror that ‘Guilfest’ channged its previously advertised date and is happening on our weeken: furthermore this year is not allowing camping – so B&Bs are hard to find for us. Please Google up B&Bs and don’t be afraid to come as far west as, say Pirbright/ Ash/ Mychett/ Farnborough or North to Woking or Brookwood. It doesn’t take long to get into Guilford.




Costs to SBA members

Minimal: We are grateful for the provision of licences to use the waterway for those who are visiting (for some steamboats this is home waters). We will need a contribution for the cost of the Saturday night BBQ but this will not be heavy.



This is the day being offered to visitors of all ages... The National Trust have advertised it in their literature as follows:


Advertising & promo

A media release has gone out  and a taster cruise for journos offered by Mark Rudall.


IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE  that SBA members intending to be at Dapdune are absolutely free to opt out of the interactive/training element of the Saturday. The fact that they are there with their boats provides colour and atmosphere of its own and their time is also their own!  It also may be important to opt out if they have not been a boat owner long and need to be focused on management of their own vessel, family etc.



Phone enquries re the day to the Dapdune office: If asked, the Dapdune office responses to questions should be that visitors for the morning session should arrive in time for an 11.00am start, and for the afternoon session at 2.00pm.

ü  They will need suitable outdoor clothing nothing smart that wont stand a bit of minor grime ü  definitely soft shoes for climbing into boats. No hard shoes or heels

ü  A pair of cheap work gloves might be useful

ü  We will provide

        safety glasses, where needed,

        hand cleaner if needed.


Note: There are only limited lifejackets for very small children, so if potential visitors own them already it would be useful if they brought them along.


Visitors to start arriving at 11.00.

Saturday to be in two distinct 'sessions'.   11am-1pm then 2-5pm ( provides time for lunch)


A number of 'stations' for visitors will be laid out on the day:


On the Saturday it would be optimum if some boats were not in the water until visitors arrive so the process of preparation and launch can be watched closely alongside the other attractions below.


1.    Intro talk venue re what/when/ why / how of steamboats  (Mark Rudall or others as available)

2.    Pop pop steamboats...  (Richard Cant) Set up to talk about basic principles.  Possibly a young person to run this

3.    Fire & steam ...Fuels and how boilers work  (with some practical firelighting) Fuels   RC has oil drums in which fires can be lit. We can have these

4.   MR to provide an engine and boiler on dry land!... Not steamable - and for safety reasons

 We would not be wise to have something hot and in steam on land with children about

      but this plant can demonstrate the features of a steam plant and can be prepared for

      light up as if it were in a boat.

5.   Jim Gates ... Knot craft. RC to arrange

6.   Howard (Surname?) .... Rope making  RC to arrange

7.   Making a whistle.                                            

8.    For other younger visitors not interested in the whistles we are looking into a stand 

       where 'boat nameplates' (a child's name) can be painted stylishly on pre-prepared

       varnished boards which could be useful as bedroom door name plaques.  Suitable artist to

       manage this to be sought

9.    Since children could involve ages 3-13 we would be well advised to have lots of paper and

       crayons around on a stand for children to draw boats or copy flags...


There may be other ideas from NT personnel and SBA members: What can you offer?


At the end of the day the SBA boats to take NT staff and other helpers for a short evening cruise to St Caherine's lock and back to be followed by a relaxed meal at Dapdune. There will be a modest charge for the catering.



Straightforward boat rally day but with

Ropes (as Saturday)

Music from Andy Mathewson ragtime and blues guitar

Pullout ca 4-5pm


Contact numbers for Mark Rudall: 07779 654975 / Hm 01252 645486



Boat Safety Scheme

I have been asked to provide a Boat safety Scheme examiner and  BSS inspector Roger Downer (01483 202419) is expected on the Saturday to provide boats lacking BSS Certs with the necessary certificates. Do check out what you need to pass and it is, regrettably, a fairly costly business. If you’re a coal-fired open steamboat all you really need is a fire extinguisher (and yes, I know you’ve got a bucket!!)



If you need coal or oil we I strongly advise, because of the compactness of the site, that you bring what you’ll need. One visitor from the North has asked for five bags of coal and I have had that delivered (just to put her mind at rest) !



Rudall: Chimera 2

Rudall: Margaret Morrison

Guild: Surta

Bullough: Aurora

Hubbards: Gillaroo

Orr: Curlew 3

Jewsbury: La Melinite

Molyneux: Little Lamb

Birtles: Mazeppa

Fensome: Lightning

Jenkins: Lizzzeee

Mitchell: Lady Selsey

Slater: Zara Finn

Challice:  Bruin

Towle: Sarah Jane

Thomson: Anna Jayne

Garratt: Ursula

Drake: Genevre

Linward: Mallard

Trevelyan: Duet

Biss: Minnow

(Plus two unnamed bookers)


Getting there:

To find Dapdune Wharf : check the National Trust website pages for Dapdune. The entrance is close to the centre of Guildford and as you come in along the A228 Horsham road look for the sign immediately at the far end of the County Cricket Ground on your right. You may be wise to go to the next roundabout and come back to make a light left turn into the rather restricted approach to Dapdune. Boats up to 25’ can get in without hassle but if in doubt and you’d prefer an alternative launch point talk to Mark R, who will arrange for you to be met at Stoke Lock in North Guildford, off  Slyfield Road. Lovely slip there too.   



Can you return this slightly forbidding form to me please as soon as you can!  If you wish to be part of the Saturday evening meal (there’s no obligation) it’s rather important this is back by the beginning of July to help with provisioning. Many thanks.




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