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Topical notes and archive about the SBA and the world of steamboats

  • 20 Apr 2020 10:30 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SBA has teamed up with BESST (The Boiler and Engineering Skills Training Trust) to produce some training modules.

    These Marine Steam Modules have been prepared by a group of experienced marine engineers and experts from the Steam Boat Association, BESTT and Maritime Heritage Trust including Bob Garnett, John Megoran, Mark Rudall, Kevin Slater and Rob van Es who co-ordinated and edited the work. The work is part of the BESTT National Lottery Heritage Fund "Skills for the Future" project to extend syllabus based steam heritage engineering training, whose first marine trainee has recently started at the Windermere Jetty Museum. The modules are aimed at trainees and other new entrants to these topics and don't aim to offer a comprehensive account - references to textbooks and other sources are provided.  The modules will, however, be of real interest to any steamboater; read them at  www.bestt.org.uk/training_plan. 

    These syllabus modules are published in draft and comment is welcome. Please forward any comments to: enquiries@bestt.org.uk

  • 22 Mar 2020 22:07 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Good morning gentlemen, in line with Government policy I am suspending

    all activity on Banjo until further notice. The  virus is not far away
    now, I do not fancy playing corona roulette! I shall keep an eye on
    Banjo and rectify a couple of minor faults, and ponder a modification

    or two. Good luck to all, see you later. Captn. Banjo.

    We trust that all other musical members of the SBA will do likewise ...

  • 18 Oct 2019 18:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From now until 24th October work will be in progress on the online archive of editions of "Funnel".   Access to the archive will be curtailed while this work progresses.  Once the work is finished all editions of Funnel will be available to Members online.

    If you are a Member and unaware of this online service, do log-in to discover a rich trove of steam boating history, folklore and knowledge.

  • 21 Sep 2019 13:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The SBA Store is back online with an extended range of merchandise for SBA Members.  Members can get to the store with this link to the Store.  

  • 11 Sep 2019 13:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Malcolm Duckett writes:

    I have been requested by a Dutch member to cast him a crank, and while I am at it I guess it makes sense to see if anyone else is interested.

    Cost is £150 plus shipping. The crank is to fit a Leak Compound, and will allow larger main-shafts of 1.25inch-diameter, and longer-than-drawn main-shafts to accommodate pump drives, and an outrigger bearing for the belt prop-shaft drive we use.

    I might be persuaded to provide a finished item if anyone was interested.

    The full story of making these is here:



    Please contact Malcolm directly (his details are on the Members Directory page).

  • 20 Jun 2019 11:03 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As previously mentioned at the AGM, and elsewhere, I am setting a challenge to all Steamboaters to ‘Steam Everywhere’ that is navigable in the UK prior to our 50th AGM which will be held in March 2021 – which is only 18 months(ish) away! Hence, I have decided to start now!

    This is, I hope, not going to be too onerous. We will not have the ‘Steaming Police’ out checking up on you!

    When you complete a voyage click here to fill in a form or copy and paste this URL: https://forms.gle/hMNaxqqKs5nKxznB7 

    Or just send me an email/snailmail with the bare bones of your journey:

    Your Name

    Boat Name

    Starting Point

    End Point (or turn around point if you are retracing to start)

    Approximate miles steamed (one way if retracing)

    Add any other information that you deem might be interesting such as who/which boats were accompanying you on your voyage.

    There will be prizes at the 50th AGM for various categories (to be confirmed) but certainly “Most miles steamed” and probably “Most individual voyages by one boat”

    Bon Voyage … Kevin Slater CEng, Chairman

  • 14 Jun 2019 21:16 | Anonymous member

    Dear friends, owners of Steamboats.

    For the year 2019 as in 2009, the "Belle Plaisance" of the "RDV of the Erdre" will have for main theme "Steamboats".


    Ten French boats have planned to participate in this beautiful annual meeting which will take place from August 29 to September 1, 2019.


    If you wish to participate (which we all hope), the individual pre-registrations and the modalities of participation are available on the RDV de l'Erdre website:



    or by email:



    Note that the organization makes a 50% discount on registration fees of 20 euros instead of 40 euros.

    The firewood is provided for RDV of the Erdre.


    A descent of the canal from Nantes to Brest from the city of Redon is possible from Monday, August 26th.

    Contact joel.druel@freesbee.fr


    Best regards,

    Joel Druel

  • 04 Jun 2019 17:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have just heard of the Festival de Loire



    ‘Boats of the Thames’ will be the guests of honour at the forthcoming Festival of the Loire in Orleans in mid-September, 18-22nd. And if you think you’d enjoy five days of French food, boat processions, music and fireworks, you can attend for free if you’re quick. Brittany Ferries are offering ten free return trips on their Portsmouth to Caen/Ouisterham crossing on 16th September, returning a week later, and the Festival will offer free accommodation and food — essentially a free holiday! Places will no doubt go quickly so check out their website, www.festivaldeloire.com and fill out their registration form, Festival of the Loire 2019 | EVT, and they will put you in touch with the organisers. They are particularly interested in traditional river boats, preferably old ones but not exclusively — and they will efficiently crane you in and out of the water. The Loire is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and this is the best possible way to see it. The festival is every two years and last time they attracted an amazing 750,000 visitors. Thames boats are very special, and this is our chance to show them off!

  • 10 May 2019 14:30 | Anonymous member

    We have just uploaded some more issues to the Funnel back-issues archive!

    These were scanned & converted by Joel Druel from France - thank you Joel!

    These issues cover 2000 to 2006. They are mostly encoded as double page spreads, so for some issues the page order is a bit odd. We will try to fix this over time, but they are constructed so that you can search for text in these (using CNTRL-F in Acrobat reader).


  • 01 Apr 2019 12:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is for all the home workshoppers amongst us. The offers below are pretty amazing and the drill sets will be something everyone of us needs.


    This is all pukka gear not Chinese ‘chocolate’ junk – I use WNT for nearly all my tooling.


    Quote from WNT website:


    Use of the WNT online store is exclusively for business customers.
    All prices are net prices, and are subject to VAT.

    If anyone wants to buy any of these offers and can’t order direct, I am happy to process them via my account with WNT.

    Here is a link to their webpage for the offers:



    As it doesn’t say on the offer page:

    10 158 050 is 1.0 to 5.9mm x 0.1mm


    10 158 100 is 6.0 to 10.0mm x 0.1mm


    The ER32 collect set is 3 – 20mm x 1mm


    The ultramini boring set is very very small – i.e. 3mm pilot hole!




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