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


The Steam Boat Association of Great Britain was formed in 1971 to promote the enjoyment of steamboats and to represent the interests of steamboat owners.

It all began on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire in the summer of 1971. Fifteen boats from fourteen to sixty feet in length attended a steam boat regatta, cruising in company the bends and reaches of this delightful river. The smallest boat went much further, steaming across the Solent to Cowes and back. During this regatta the Steam Boat Association was formed.

The aim of this new Association was to bring together all those whose interest lay in small steamers, under 100 feet in length. This it has done most successfully ever since through the following activities:-

  • Regattas and cruises in company each season in locations up and down Great Britain and Ireland.
  • A Social gathering and Annual General Meeting each Winter.
  • Social Weekends and Seminars on technical aspects of steam launch building and operation.
  • Publication of our journal The Funnel four times each year.
  • Publication of a list of like minded members of the Association.
  • An online Register of known Steam Boats and Launches World Wide.
  • An Insurance Policy and Boiler Inspection Service for member's boats and steam plant.
  • The collection of an extensive archive on steam boats and steam boat builders.
  • Support for specific steamboat preservation schemes.
  • Technical advice and encouragement to new members.
  • Publication of a Suppliers Directory.
  • Publication of various guides on boating and steam plant.
The Association has grown considerably since the early days and we now have a world-wide membership of around 1,000, with 800 in the UK. We have overseas members in USA, Australia, Germany, France and Sweden and many other countries.

We can put you in touch with suppliers and designers of hulls, engines and boilers and we have a range of approved boiler designs available to our members. The SBA can offer non boat owning members the experience of actual steamboating at one of our events, where all members are welcome to attend. Our members boats range from small workman like dinghies with machinery constructed by the owner, to large antique Thames Steam Launches, with vintage steam plant which have been lovingly restored and maintained to modem safety standards.

The Funnel, our magazine, is produced quarterly and is widely acclaimed as the best publication in it's field. The Register of Steamboats is now fully illustrated in full colour on CD ROM, and we have also produced facsimile reproductions of early steamboat builders' catalogues, a steamboat builders archive on CD ROMs and many other fascinating publications.

If you think you are interested in steamboats or steamboating you really should join the SBA where you will find a hearty welcome from like minded people who already enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this organisation.

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