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Author Topic: Steam Yacht Gondola  (Read 7408 times)

gondolier88

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Steam Yacht Gondola
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:11:15 PM »

A few members have asked me to post details of the 150 year old steam yacht I have the pleasure of being a part of the crew of.

Her spec;

LOA- 86ft
Beam- 15ft
Draft- 4ft
Powered by- Twin cylinder high pressure V-twin 90deg.- 80hp@ 220rpm using steam from a Locomotive type boiler @150psi fired on 'Blazer Logs'- compressed sawdust logs.
Passenger Capacity- 86 passengers (250 when launched) 3 crew

1st & 2nd class saloons, engineroom and bridge.
Mechanical steering on qaudrant rudder stock.

She was designed by Sir James Ramsden, chief engineer of the Furness Railway and built by Mssrs. Jones & Quiggin boatbuilders Liverpool, constructed then deconstructed, shipped to Barrow-In-Furness then horse and carted to Coniston in three sections.

She was wrecked in the 40's and layed half-covered by the lake until the 70's when a group of National Trust employees who saw the plight of the beautiful boat and raised funds to get the ship surveyed by Vickers in Barrow, who could only put about 2% of the ship in serviceable condition.

Funds were heroiclly accrued, with help from the NT, Vickers, who built her as an apprentice training excersize and Crown paints who donated the paint to finish her off.

She is now owned by the National Trust as one of their enterprises and operates 11am-5pm 7 days a week from easter to the end of October, including 'Explorer cruises' at certain times of the week where she travels to the south end of the lake, recreating her old journeys in her Furness Railway days, with a humorous and informal commentary.

Well worth a trip, and a truly unique vessel.

A few pics to show her off...

Greg
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Bradley

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 10:22:26 PM »

Wow, she's a beauty.  Whereabouts is she - in the Lake District?
Derek.
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oldiron

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 10:25:05 PM »

  Beautiful looking vessel. It's be a real treat to crew her.

John
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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 10:44:38 PM »

Hi Derek,

Yes, Coniston Water, Cumbria.

It's a privlege to be a part of keeping her on the water- although with the recent flooding things have been turned upside down- almost literally- thankfully the blowdown valve skin fitting had been taken out so when the floods came she filled about 1.5ft instead of floating off her bogies and being left to the elements!

Greg
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Bradley

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 10:54:56 PM »

Thanks, Greg.  Hope the ingress of water did not do any damage and, seeing how well she is looked after, you would soon have her cleaned up again.
Happy sailing - long may you and your colleagues enjoy her.
Derek.
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boatmadman

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 07:51:16 AM »

Great pics Greg, I used to play on her when she was beached and wrecked in the late 60,s. Its great to see her going again.

So when are we going to see you build a model of her, you have a unique opportunity to do that. :-))

Ian
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Netleyned

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 10:43:33 AM »

Here  is another view of a beautiful old lady with a full complement of First and Second class passengers

Your Aye

Ned
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tony52

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 02:03:06 PM »

Beautiful model made of her, by Michael Cox. Featured in October 1984 Model Boats (Also front cover photograph) Model was Gold Medal winner at Model Engineer Exhibition.
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BarryM

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 04:55:30 PM »

I'm having a bit of a boggle at the thought of her original passenger capacity! 250!  :o

Barry M
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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 05:20:25 PM »

Hi Tony52,

We have the model in the office at pier cottage- I should get some pics but I always forget!!!!

I think M. Cox donated it to Gondola as a gesture- very desirable model it is too!

I'll find the picture of her when launched for you BarryM, with a full compliment of passengers! :o

Greg
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Bradley

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 05:24:22 PM »

Looking forward to seeing the photos of the model, Greg.   :-))

Derek.
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derekwarner

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009, 05:26:59 AM »

Ned says...... "here  is another view of a beautiful old lady with a full complement of First and Second class passengers" .....

mmmm...in OZ we are a two class society...convict stock  O0 & so called non convict stock  ;D

From the photograph I see....steerage passangers...I assume these are second class....I see people inside who will never see the sunshine + bad ventilation & musty bilge smells so I assume these are also second class....then I see the people at the bow having a few cool drinks....in the beautiful sunshine catching the river breeze with the occasional salt spray on their faces.............. I can only assume there are the first class people........... %% -Derek

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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2009, 06:05:13 PM »

Hi,

A little missunderstanding regarding class placing- she was built, as i said, as a railway vessel so she was built like a railway carriage- the 1st class saloon was plush velvet buttoned cushions, thick carpet, linen curtains and gilt topped columns.

The second class saloon is leather bench seats, lino' floor and planked ceiling.

When she was rebuilt she was given a buttoned vevet ceiling to match the upholstery- however in early 2000's an original, and very rare, photo of the interior of Gondola's first class saloon turned up in the village- it showed a moulded wood decorated vaulted ceiling painted white in between dark- assumed mahogany to match the other woodwork- moulded vaults.

The steerage used to be, and still is, unclassified, as is the bow section.

My favourite place to sit on a sailing is on the engineroom casing watching the steam curling from the funnel and the relaxing 'chuff chuff' from the funnel- so peaceful!

Here's a few more pics for your delight-

-Gondola's original engineroom colour.
- Her original when rebuilt ceiling
- Her new ceiling to compare
- Sunk on the bottom of the lake
- In Vickers undergoing survey.

Greg
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Sea Commander

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2009, 11:15:46 PM »



 Hi,

 Gondola,  %%

Well she's just great !! many happy hours spent on her over many years. I was taken on her by my parents in my later youth. Then I took my girlfriend on her and this year my now wife and our children have returned. She's just wonderful, it's what England and being English is all about !!

Best features, this summer I took the family in and wondered if the old magic was still there. I always remember many years ago we went on her and getting invilved in something or other,  looking up after a few minutes and I had not notice that we were travelling, I had not noticed, she is that silky smooth and quite.  That 'V twin',  who ever sorted that out, they are a geniuos,  it's the best engine I know it's quiter than electric.

I was up this year the day after she had rescued someone from the water,  A1ugust bank holiday, bad day,  but still had a lovely trip, she now burns logs which is good.

Point is,  if you're any where north of Watford gap, put an extra mile of so on ther clock and go and have a trip, it's well worth it. I can't imagine that she's that profitsble now,  so you may just do the old girl a favour and help her keep going

 Cheers    :-))
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kiteman1

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2009, 07:08:03 PM »

Thanks for the memory gents. 
I remember going on the Gondola about fifteen years ago while on a trip with the Nottingham Model Boat Club.  On that occasion we went a considerable way along the lake in a dead calm water and all we at the bows could hear was the slap of the water on the hull.
I also remember coming back and passing the house where Beatrix Potter wrote her 'Rabbit' novels.  Also the hillside where Wordsworth was supposed to have found the inspiration for his 'Host of Daffodils' poem.

Would I be right in thinking that the quayside was where Donald Campbell did his trials with Bluebird in the tumbledown old garage?

Happy days.... :-) :-)
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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2009, 08:45:09 PM »

Hi Kiteman,

I think you may be a little confused- Beatrix Potter's house is about 5 miles away between Hawkshead and Windermere, and most certainly can't be seen from Coniston! :o

Unless you mean the journey bac :o , perhaps I misunderstood...

Yes you are quite correct, Donald Campbell did test Bluebird K7 on Coniston, however he did a little more than that, he broke the rcord but died trying and sat at the bottom of the lake until 2001 when he was buried in Coniston churchyard.

Bluebird is currently being restored and is due back on the lake 2010, the is going to be plinthed in a purpose built house at the Ruskin Museum.

The slipway used for Bluebird is now used by Gondola , which she is currently undergoing winter re-fit on.

Greg
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2009, 06:55:15 PM »

It would be Ruskins house that you passed, it overlooks the lake.
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kiteman1

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2009, 08:20:28 PM »

Thanks guys.  It's not surprising I got some of the details wrong when I sometimes have trouble in remembering what I went to the garage for when half-way there........ :} :}
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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2010, 07:03:12 PM »

Look out in June for events to celebrate SY Gondola's 150th anniversry- including a steam boat rally 13th to 14th and many events- posted on her website- www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gondola.

She has been totally gutted and put back together again over the winter and looks the best she has done in years- with a new colour scheme on the hull, boiler and engine re-paint. Also she has new woodwork undertaken and some new engineering that I have undertaken- along with a controversial three striped funnel top painted in gold along with a gold top on the funnel- very classy.

If you've never been on her or you wish to see her again in all her glory the this is the year in which to do it.

Greg
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dreadnought72

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2010, 08:07:25 PM »

Gondola's lovely - I was aboard her in, ummm, ooo, about 1989ish? Good tie-in with my Racundra build's owner, of course: Arthur Ransome had a house by Coniston for fivw years during WW2.

Andy
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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2010, 08:26:39 PM »

Hi Dreadnought,

Yes your right- a beautiful little spot- his great grandson lives at a farmstead near Torver at the south end of the lake- also a past engineer on Gondola and a huge steam fanatic.

Have you any pics of your trip in 1989?

Greg
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boatmadman

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2010, 08:38:33 PM »

Good to see you back Greg, been busy re engineering the old tub huh? Must get up and have a look soon.

Ian
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2010, 10:29:58 AM »

Can you take dogs on board...can't see 'em mentioned in the web site?
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2010, 08:15:12 PM »

Saw it being relaunched on Look North West tonight................
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gondolier88

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Re: Steam Yacht Gondola
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2010, 01:02:51 PM »

Hi Funtimefrankie,

Yes you did see her on TV the other night, and yes you can take dogs on- but on a lead and outside the saloons please.

Here are a few pics from the launch day- a few I hoped you could have seen 150 years ago...

Greg
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