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

  • 30 Aug 2020 12:02 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    " Readers of The Funnel may well have noted that the invitation to attend the SBA 50th Anniversary Event to be held on Windermere in 2021 inadvertently shows a slight confusion of dates.

    After much discussion and considering various concerns, the Chairman and Sub-committee have agreed that the Rally will start on Monday 2nd August 2021 and build toward the celebratory weekend.

    To clarify - the 50th Rally will commence from Monday 2nd August with a full programme of events followed seamlessly by, from Friday 6th August, the 50th Anniversary Celebrations including the Gala dinner.

    This offers a logical flow of events organised by the team headed by Helen Steeple, stream-lining all the administration and planning.

    The Windermere community and our particular friends at The Jetty are greatly looking forward to joining with us for what promises to be a unique event and we WILL BE SHORTLY in a position to send out formal details to all interested parties.”

  • 08 Jun 2020 16:37 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    PS Medway Queen has been appointed 'South East Regional Flagship' for 2020 by the National Historic Ships UK and SS Explorer as the Regional Flagship for her area.

    Congratulations to them both.

  • 12 May 2020 12:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ian Rutter writes:  

    SL Alaska is in trouble with this year’s season a wipe out because of Covid-19.

    Peter Green the owner and skipper has set up a Go Fund Me page for donations to keep the vessel in steam. She was built in 1883 at Bourne End and is part of the National Historic Fleet. The first propeller driven boat on the River Thames, originally operated by Salters Steamers and where she still plies her trade as the oldest working passenger steamer. To have the boiler permanently go cold would be tragic.

    Details on their website   www.thames-steamers.co.uk   where there is a link and details for donations.


    Ian adds: I  have many happy memories of trips when I was the engineer onboard with Derek Brown the skipper. We would often give SBA members a trip for a nominal amount when repositioning after a charter.  Perhaps the SBA Membership can help SL Alaska in return.

    Note from editor: the donation link on SL Alaska's webpage may not render correctly on all browsers.  You can go to the donate page directly from here.

  • 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

    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

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