One Year since Launch!

Well we are probably due an update….


We just spent a week camping on the boat in the company of the SBA (Steam Boat Association of the UK) on Windermere.

A curate’s egg of a week! We did get a very fine trip down to Fell Foot (at the south of the lake) and had some nice pictures taken of us on the way 🙂

However, the trip came with it’s challenges. We were plagued with a number of burner failures and faults. These basically involved two failures:

  • A control box failure – it was a new one, so we had a spare, it lasted a couple of hours.
  • A mystery ignition problem where the boiler partially lit, but produced clouds of unburnt fuel.

Our conclusion was the the burner was getting too hot, and the ignition transformer was failing, but the hot insulation inside the firebox was partially lighting the flame. These episodes lead to being towed home twice – we REALLY need to fit this sail and mast!

The temporary fix was a large “asbestos” blanket which we installed to shield the burner from some of the heat radiated from the boiler casing, and secondly, I am attempting to build some ducting to use the intake air to cool the burner electrical components.

Thanks go to the posse of SBA members who assisted with ideas, and the blanket material.


A lucky escape really. The drive belt to the propshaft appears from the deck next to the engine, it’s only an inch or so, and I thought “too small a run to be any trouble”. Well, I was wrong, and one of our crew managed to put their boot on it, and the belt jumped off the pullies, removed the flanges on the ends and wrapped itself around the engine bearers – an abrupt halt, but fortunately with no injuries.

So, the girls did a grand job of steering us over a couple of miles, (fortunately, the wind was from astern, so we “sailed” up the lake). The boys took to unsnarling the drive, but when we came to restart the boiler 30 minutes later it was “no-go”.

This all happened the week before Windermere, and I now think that the problem was another symptom of overheating, which in this case resulted in the failure of the fuel solenoid coil…. either way we limped to within a couple of hundred yards of the marina, and were towed in by Will from the Yard.

Here’s a (very) short clip of the first trip of the year!

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