SBA 50th Rally

A memorable week: variable weather, lots of friends,
some mechanical mayhem

The first week of August is “Windermere Week” for the SBA, where a number of members gather, with their boats, and a number of marine and social events occur. This year it marked the 50th anniversary of the SBA, so more jollity was ordered and delivered.

A full Crew

Louise and I attended with Befur, and we had a fun (but rather tiring) week (Monday to Sunday).

We were lucky enough to be joined by Simon Maltby and Dean Mason (work colleague of Simon who is hoping to join the Royal Navy, so perhaps this counted as work experience!!)… These two made things soooo much easier, with a level of youthful energy and practical experience (THANK YOU both).

Simon took HUNDREDS of pictures and a great deal of video, so of course we have no pictures of him, being behind the lens all the time, but you can see Dean on the tiller in the video above, (please ignore the wind, burner and engine noise!).

A big thank you to both of them,

The gatherings

There was a plan… and some of us followed it some of the time.

We were expecting 50 steamboats, and I think over 40 made it…(here’s a document recording the boats registered for the event).  We gathered in the north lake, we rafted up in the south lake, we clustered at the Windermere Jetty, we dined in style at Brathey and the Jetty, we visited an industrial museum, we talked (a lot) and generally loafed about the lake in a steamy way.

These pictures and videos are intended to provide a feel for proceedings (as always, click for larger copies. Thanks to Simon & Dot  for taking them!).

Notable Moments

There were a few notable moments:

  • Realising our anchor was holding (single handed) about 10 moored up boats on a rapidly shelving (rocky) bottom
  • Discovering just how fast she would motor sail in 35mph apparent wind (7+mph & exciting)
  • Discovering that the “spare” nuts we found in the sump on two mornings were not in-fact spare at all!!!! (Resulting in a broken scotch crank and quick retreat to the workshop to make spare parts)
  • Discovering that the new “fowlies” were encouragingly waterproof!!
  • Getting interviewed for local TV news 😲
  • Flattening the batteries by not paying enough attention while being a “tourist attraction”.
  • Just limping back to Ferry Nab  (as a result of the above event)!!!!
  • Seeing almost 50 steamboats in steam at the same time (in torrential rain).

Parade around Bowness Bay

A couple of videos from Ian Davies’s drone (Befur at rear from 5:45)

All gathered at the Windermere Jetty (aka SteamBoat Museum)

The parade from on-board (Simon Maltby)


Work to do

We were generally pleased with how Befur performed (under steam and sail) but are now ready to undertake an “upgrade/maintenance” project befor it gets to cold to tow her home to the fells. This will include:

  • Fitting a larger plate condenser.
  • Fitting a larger electric circulating pump (and removing the steam one).
  • Improving accessibility of plumbing and pumps.
  • Sorting the continuing knock on the LP cylinder.
  • Fitting new/better clacks to the boiler.
  • Better fitting of insulation to the boiler.
  • Fitting a Windex to the masthead.
  • Adjusting the blocks at the masthead to lie a little better.
  • Clean & varnish  topsides, and repair/re-coat the anti fouling.
  • Fix any other problems that make themselves visible.

A few more of Simon’s video clips

A ship’s-rat’s-eye-view of the engine

Flank speed!!

Slo-mo of engine, and you can hear where the knock is!

Searching for the wind while being a taxi


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.