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France Fenwick
04-29-2012, 22:14
Returning to Chatham for winter lay up after a special sailing in connection with the PSPS AGM in November, 2009..

tramscape
12-07-2012, 17:18
I am sure that the purist will be excited by this and hope that all competent authorities will seize the opportunity to make this a resounding success

many thanks to those on the Medway whose efforts have been magnificent - mixed feelings for them no doubt

Len_knight
12-08-2012, 12:36
Bit of a smack in the teeth for those that had worked so hard in the past on the Medway to restore her, from lying on the mud at Borstal to operational, at the time in a worse state than the Medway Queen was, what a reward!
But then what does it matter such people are history it seems, not unlike with the Medway Queen also at present!
Len Knight.

tramscape
12-08-2012, 15:23
Yes - for most it will be a complete shock out of the blue

However - have a look at the DSR&RB Co website http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/ and you cannot help but be excited

It begs the question that after apparently a number of years of negotiating the Dartmouth option, so little attention appears to have been given even to coordinating Balmoral with the West Somerset railway .............. or will there be another pleasant surprise ahead ?

In view of what we hear that Balmoral can't be made to work on the Bristol Channel, the Dartmouth Company seem confident to fit KC into a busy and varied fleet cruise timetable from April right through until into October

Heritage and tourist attractions have to work together for mutual benefit - a template which may well help our ships further - and an indication that perhaps a lone ship is not the best way to develop a market

irishseashipping.com
12-09-2012, 17:49
As someone who visits the west country regularly I must say I am delighted at the news, I have never sailed on KINGSWEAR CASTLE and could not find any reason to head off down to the Medway to sail on what was a west country ship.

I have often thought there was a synergy between the Dart Valley Railway plc operation given their steam railway and nautical operations. I imagine that the decision was probably helped by the fact that the DVR board was given a bit of a shake up around three years ago by the appointment of a new chap David Barry who acquired many shares in the company and wanted to develop the nautical operations as apparently he came with experience gained in this field from the channel islands.

I am even more pleased at the news as I resisted the temptation to sell my DVR plc shareholding a few years back so hopefully KINGSWEAR CASTLE will be good for DVR profits in 2013!

somewhatfoolish
12-09-2012, 18:12
Is there somewhere she can dock on the Kingswear side? It's a while since I've been to Dartmouth, I can't remember if there's a suitable pontoon or quay for her to lie alongside on the east side of the river. It would be a bit of shame if she had to moor over in Dartmouth instead.

kylemore
12-10-2012, 10:00
I agree a shame for the people who have ensured her survival but from a pragmatic point of view what a spectacular opportunity.

All success to the venture.

The website is impressive and the professsionalism just jumps out at you. A paddle steamer timetable for summer 2013 available in December 2012 - whatever next!

It just lets you see what could happen for the big boats in the right circumstances.

kylemore
12-10-2012, 19:40
Wait until tomorrow

Oh what a Tease!:)

irishseashipping.com
12-10-2012, 20:16
Yes there is a pontoon at Kingswear which is used by the ferry service also operated by the Dart Valley Railway group.

kylemore
12-10-2012, 20:48
Yes there is a pontoon at Kingswear which is used by the ferry service also operated by the Dart Valley Railway group.

Watched a couple of the videos on their website, the pontoon looks substantial enough for the Waverley or Bal! The overall impression of both the Railway and Shipping operation is good - she's in good hands and all involved are to be congratulated. However I hope the achievement and hard work of the people who kept her going on the Medway is seriously acknowledged by all concerned in the new arrangements.

tramscape
12-12-2012, 11:08
http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/blog/

Bang up to date reports on the Dartmouth SR Co's website

Impressive - no ?

Nothing a massive organisation we know of could not have done with its news page on its website in recent years...........

George Ted
12-18-2012, 17:02
The Kingswear Castle arrived just as the Kingswear village clock was chiming 4 o’clock.

http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/blog/

somewhatfoolish
12-18-2012, 19:40
Pity there's no piccys.

Honeybadger
12-22-2012, 12:45
sounds like could be an interesting year for KC

kylemore
12-22-2012, 13:19
sounds like could be an interesting year for KC

Maybe not so much interesting (restricted basically to one route) as very much having her future assured for which all involved can be congratulated.

Len_knight
12-23-2012, 12:06
It is with mixed feelings and anger that I see the P S Kingswear Castle is back at so called home on the Dart, a home that wanted little to do many years ago with saving or restoring her, as her sister paddlers and their sad story’s show.
Her home is the Medway, where all the hard work was put in to her to restore her to her present condition.
This is an insult to those present and past that have made her existence possible at all, on the Medwayl.
When the presence of her on the Dart has worn off, which it will, maybe the “Anoraks” will roll up sleeves and start the process all over again.
Criticism and comment from the” Arm Chair” is easy compared to actual being up to your knees in mud to make a hull water tight!!
But then pigs might fly I think at times!
Len Knight MQPS

tramscape
12-23-2012, 12:52
It would be interesting to hear the views of as many people as possible who were involved in the restoration and operation of KC on the Medway. It is a difficult issue no doubt and because of the fact that our ships are in the hands of the preservation movement in general, there are so many "stakeholders" with some interest in the ships, that their "home" is not exactly clear cut nowadays. Same for Waverley. Any decision lies in the hands of the owner - and has to be whatever best meets their objectives, not ours

With regard to having one route on the Dart, this is not necessarily a bad thing. A "signature route" gives any tourist asset an easily recognisable place in the scheme of things. So long as the asset fits the role and the role is sufficiently lucrative, it is the best option for any (ship) in general, Waverley included

kylemore
12-24-2012, 12:06
With regard to having one route on the Dart, this is not necessarily a bad thing. A "signature route" gives any tourist asset an easily recognisable place in the scheme of things. So long as the asset fits the role and the role is sufficiently lucrative, it is the best option for any (ship) in general, Waverley included

I've sometimes wondered whether the Waverley would be better just concentrating on, for instance, a daily "11 o'clock Kyles" with the odd "special".

Waverleyfan3
12-24-2012, 12:26
I've sometimes wondered whether the Waverley would be better just concentrating on, for instance, a daily "11 o'clock Kyles" with the odd "special".

Okay for Saturdays methinks but otherwise too long. Thursdays Largs to Brodick is generally popular with bonus of a healthy pick up at Brodick for Pladda. Tarbert is a bit played out, particularly when there is no longer any transport to get one to and from the village.. a fair distance.

tramscape
12-24-2012, 14:18
I've sometimes wondered whether the Waverley would be better just concentrating on, for instance, a daily "11 o'clock Kyles" with the odd "special".

The Tramscape Blueprint ....... so long as she starts from Largs (or Greenock at a pinch)

somewhatfoolish
12-24-2012, 15:28
Can Waverley get alongside at Wemyss Bay? Would that not be a better start point given the station can disgorge lazy passengers straight onto the pier, whereas at Largs they have to strain themselves to walk the length of the high street to get to the quay? ;)

Waverleyfan3
12-24-2012, 15:40
Let's not forget that Saturdays on the Clyde have been consistently by far Waverley's busiest days every year since 1975...starting in Glasgow and with good pick ups at Helensburgh. Those who want to silence the bands and the younger generation have plenty of other days to enjoy a reverie. Fridays (once a bumper seniors day) have dipped and re-establishing relations with Glasgow Old People's Welfare Association (as once was) just might be a good idea. Sundays would seem ideal for coach parties (if some effort was made to attract more of them). At least one midweek trip from Greenock/Largs to the Kyles would though appear attractive...probably to the exclusion of Ayr/Ailsa Craig which could be limited to one/two specials due to the unreliability of Ayr calls. That's my blueprint .. and oh yes let's exclude all grey areas such as the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man and Ireland, all latterly foisted on Balmoral and with no track record of reliability or overwhelming success.
Wemyss Bay now has only one berth.... and the walk from Largs Station to the pier is only five minutes compared to the 15/20 minute trek from Tarbert Pier to the village.

tramscape
12-24-2012, 15:42
I doubt that cal-Mac would allow it - and definitely not allow her to head to the Kyles which would inevitably have her calling at Rothesay next.

I like Largs because it is just as close to Glasgow by train, is a resort which the ship could become very closely associated with and where there is likely to be at least some "stumble upon" trade. It is the train element which would need proper marketing though -and is not in itself an unattractive part of a day out, when combined with a short amble along the street at Largs - and an ice cream at Nardinis. Most people would probably come by car and enjoy a bit of time at Largs. it is quite nice really. There are marketing possibilities and i am sure the North Ayrshire authorities would like it

Whilst Waverley maintains a licenced bar operation, she would still run a Friday night Music cruise and Saturday specials from Glasgow - pretty essential from a revenue point of view I would expect

Anyway, all this talk is academic, even if it is interesting. WEL have the statistics and will come up with the best balance of commercial, general public and enthusiast interests and return a positive result against operating costs. It is Balmoral we have to worry about ..........and what happens if she does not contribute to the overall business overheads

gillonf
12-24-2012, 17:22
Quite a long time ago I did a post urging closer cooperation with Scotrail with attendant benefits in terms of much wider advertising and I am interested to see this once again being raised Were all the railway piers transferred from railway to calmac ownership ?
When we all die ( me first ) i am looking forward to spending eternity in the Elysian fields with forum members discussing what would be the ideal
Clyde programme for Waverley
A merry christmas and a happy new year to all

somewhatfoolish
12-24-2012, 17:32
When we all die ( me first ) i am looking forward to spending eternity in the Elysian fields with forum members discussing what would be the ideal Clyde programme for Waverley

Are you sure this isn't the 7th circle of hell? :D

Waverleyfan3
12-24-2012, 18:51
When we all die ( me first ) i am looking forward to spending eternity in the Elysian fields with forum members discussing what would be the ideal Clyde programme for Waverleyl

This, in fact, is maybe getting to the crux of the problem. Unfortunately many supporters have passed on to the great preservation society in the sky but the Clyde programme has not gone with them.. it remains largely static with little thought to changing trends. Merry Xmas.

channel
01-02-2013, 22:06
Pity there's no piccys.

I've uploaded some on my blog - http://www.channelimages.com/

George Ted
02-13-2013, 11:21
Took the KC up to our boat yard at Old Mill early this morning (VERY early – staff were on hand from 05:30 – luckily, it wasn’t as cold as yesterday!).


She came out of the water and onto the slip very sweetly indeed and our expert marine guys cannot wait to start work on her. They will spend the next few weeks weaving their magic and making her sparkle for the upcoming season in her new (old) home.


We are planning re relaunch her around Monday 11th March so she will not be out and about on the river for a little while – look out for her return though!

http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/blog/

Honeybadger
02-13-2013, 19:22
Seriously considering a trip to see her. Saw her a couple times a few years ago and am now curious.

George Ted
03-13-2013, 16:56
The KC is back on the Dart!
all the crew were up before the dawn and at Old Mill around 4am! She went back into the water at 05:30
http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/blog/

Marisco
03-13-2013, 21:23
The KC is back on the Dart!


Hurray !!! - looking forward to sailing on her! :anonymous:

Honeybadger
03-20-2013, 21:33
Excellent

irishseashipping.com
04-07-2013, 23:52
I took a trip in KINGSWEAR CASTLE on the Dart last Tuesday. Following her relocation to her home river she is now very accessible to me as I stay in Devon beside the upper reaches of the West Dart on Dartmoor at least a couple of times each year.
Very impressed by her presentation. I should have an illustrated voyage report posted on Irish Sea Shipping web site by the end of Monday April 08.

John

www.irishseashipping.com

irishseashipping.com
04-08-2013, 23:18
I have now posted two galleries of photos and my voyage report on Irish Sea Shipping from my trip on KINGSWEAR CASTLE last Tuesday.

www.irishseashipping.com

Marisco
06-28-2013, 15:50
As I was becoming increasingly frustrated at the "Waverley Situation" I thought I would take myself off to Dartmouth on Wednesday and see what was going on down there with "KC".

I must say I was most impressed with the organisation of everything. They must be coining it!

Whilst it was bright, with some sun early on, it became increasingly cloudy but that did not seem to deter the hundreds of elderly clientele who were packing the Ferries, Steam Trains, pubs and cafes of Dartmouth. Whilst KC herself was not full for the hour long, midday paddle steamer cruise down to the river mouth and then back upstream to Dittisham, she had a good loading and boy did she look good.

I talked to a good number of people, both working for the "Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company", who were all very knowledgeable, and those enjoying a day of "Heritage and Nostalgia" on the English Riviera. The Steam Trains from Paignton were disgorging about 600 passengers a time - only 5 trains on this "quiet" Wednesday but 9 at the weekend, and I'm assured they will be crammed if the weather is good, and well filled if not.

To a man, ALL were full of praise for the hard work that had obviously gone into getting "KC" so beautifully restored, and so well presented on the day. She is a credit to you Len and the others who obviously put such TLC into her restoration from a hulk.

I think Tramscape got it just right, (you have to hand it to him, he is extremely perceptive on all commercial matters concerning the vessels), when he stated on 23rd December:


It would be interesting to hear the views of as many people as possible who were involved in the restoration and operation of KC on the Medway. It is a difficult issue no doubt and because of the fact that our ships are in the hands of the preservation movement in general, there are so many "stakeholders" with some interest in the ships, that their "home" is not exactly clear cut nowadays.

Same for Waverley. Any decision lies in the hands of the owner - and has to be whatever best meets their objectives, not ours

With regard to having one route on the Dart, this is not necessarily a bad thing. A "signature route" gives any tourist asset an easily recognisable place in the scheme of things. So long as the asset fits the role and the role is sufficiently lucrative, it is the best option for any (ship) in general, Waverley included

However, given this excellent blueprint for developing a Heritage Transport market - high loadings - limited route - maximising utilisation of resources, attractive scenery, attractive 84 page full colour brochure in a handy A5 format with lots of local business advertising - etc. all of which have been suggested by contributors to this site, especially WF3, who I would love to meet sometime, all efforts to influence the Boards have been rejected.

Why, oh why, are we not doing more on the Clyde. Much is the same, attractive scenery, etc on a larger scale admittedly, but still in sheltered waters, a large conurbations on the doorstep, the possibility of Steam Trains, an excellent train service in place, Towns full of hoteliers desperate to increase their tourism revenues. It takes teamwork, it takes vision.

As Tramscape has so accurately stated "Any decision lies in the hands of the owner" - but WSN have been delegated representational power by the PSPS Branches. It is transparent the business plan belongs to a prior era. I hope the other PSPS Branches have been as vocal and critical as the Northern Branch were at their lively AGM in Bury Transport Museum but I fear they probably were not. I don't know how such dissatisfaction in the ranks is transmitted to the Boards, perhaps it isn't. Perhaps it is asking a lot of elderly "Enthusiasts" who like HoneyBadger just think things will be alright if we just have unreserved "confidence in the Management". Sorry, but aren't those rocks ahead?

The operators on the Dart are no less "Steamer Dreamers" than those on the Clyde or Bristol Channel, yet the Dart Operation has been organised superbly. Canopies over the rear decks so that there is covered accommodation for the inevitable showers. Sensible pricing, with 2,3,4, and 5 day tickets available, all inclusive travelcards for Ferries, Trains and Buses - a 5 day Jubilee Pass priced at less than one journey on the Waverley at £32.
Regarding the "Magnerometer" I didn't buy a bottle this time - but I'll eat my hat if it is more than the WEL price!

I will be back for more - as will thousands more of satisfied customers - don't take my word for it. Go yourselves!
As I say, the same could be done on the Clyde! The end was insight for the Swiss Paddlers yet as Tramscape has written on his excellent "www.paddlesteamers.info" the vessels there have been largely rescued.

Its time for change at the top - before the inheritance we leave our kids is just one of pictures in museums.

tramscape
06-28-2013, 15:58
Blushing .............

tramscape
06-29-2013, 15:01
To be fair Marisco if you keep reading the Waverley Reports etc in PW you can hardly not be convinced that the management are aware of many of the problems and appear to have a plan to do something about the issues

However, despite the promises, the only difference I can see between 2013 and 2012 is the deactivation of Balmoral

It seems that the strategic objective will always be to continue to offer a "traditional" programme if at all possible.

You get the feeling when you read the lament that we can't go ploughing down to Ilfracombe in a force 9 gale "even if we wanted to"

It may just be that things have had their time with a ship which the authorities are determined to pin extortionate bills on to and it is a matter of sucking out the last of the sweet nectar whilst we can

I will give the force 8 gale trip the body-swerve though. Millpond at Millport will do me

Marisco
06-29-2013, 20:38
To be fair Marisco if you keep reading the Waverley Reports etc in PW you can hardly not be convinced that the management are aware of many of the problems and appear to have a plan to do something about the issues



Has PW just come out? I have not had mine yet !

tramscape
06-29-2013, 20:54
No, I have not got one recently, but the last few have been illuminating and even if you go back, there is good stuff there

They are unfairly criticised for lack of information. PW does have as much as could reasonably be expected. There should perhaps be other more timely ways for the management to communicate now we are in the electronic age

it does seem that most of the main initiatives have fallen flat though, customer service faux-pas remain and as per my last post, the sticking to traditional ways could indeed herald the "Last Post"

But, it is pure speculation (informed or otherwise) that there might be a better way. For me it is the lack of comparative costings/revenue forecasts for different scenarios which give rise to the uncomfortable shuffling of interested onlookers

tramscape
07-01-2013, 14:06
Got my new PW today

Pretty dull for us who have has word of what's going on. Maybe revealing (if not catastrophically shocking) for those whose only contact with what is going on is through PW

channel
07-10-2013, 13:53
Seriously considering a trip to see her. Saw her a couple times a few years ago and am now curious.

Well worth it HB. The entire operation is worth seeing in fact, very well managed and marketed. Even has motor ships and a paddle steamer working in harmony! Whatever next . . . !

nthomas
11-05-2014, 21:35
The Kingswear Castle Trust has been able to purchase the Compton Castle's engine and her pumps from the maritime museum at Blackgang Chine. All very good news and another reason to hope that KC remains the most viable steam ship into the future in the UK.

Always something interesting to discuss about Steam ships themselves!

tramscape
11-05-2014, 21:44
That certainly is interesting news about the engines

I see the official statement is that the trust are "considering their future use OR where they may be displayed"

The former sets the imagination racing .................and is just the thing for working out how a potential new ship is to be managed/operated !

nthomas
11-06-2014, 10:11
Yes, I guess a replica Compton Castle would be a thought! I would favour a slow rebuild of the engine, ready to be slotted into KC at some point in the future. KC's engine is doing very well for a 110 year old and is hardly in retirement having completed over 170 days in steam this year. That includes tests and crew training days as well as public trips. We did unfortunately lose one day's service due to a short 4 year old length of pipe corroding through.

tramscape
11-06-2014, 10:27
Well NT there's nobody with a better understanding of what's needed than yourself - so I'll go along with that

There are plenty of other sets of engines around Europe ...... for the enterprising and the dreamers !

nthomas
11-06-2014, 15:01
Well, that's only my view - it doesn't mean that's what will happen!

I see there is a large paddle steamer engine for sale at Preston Steam Services - maybe that could kickstart your dream...

tramscape
11-06-2014, 16:26
I can't quite work out which engine they are advertising.....

I see that Preston are also advertising PS de Majesteit (ex Rudesheim, ex Rheinland) which was a bit of a surprise.

That ship, of course, was (or is) a suggestion for the putative Largs, Rothesay and Kyles of Bute Steamship company

Now all it needs are a few experts to play around with my business models, find the one that works best and then ...................

.........well, if there are people with genuine interest and genuine skills wishing to form a development group, who am I to discourage it ?

tramscape
11-06-2014, 17:03
I guess it must be the Compound diagonal engine of Cecilie (1910)

as it is owned by the same man as owns de Majesteit - and looks about the right size - and the ship plan which the gentleman in the picture is holding looks like it could be her

That engine is of course, one piston (or is it connecting rod?) short, having been used in Goethe ...... and presumably gone with Goethe's engine to the Cologne Museum (?)

GeoffHamer
11-06-2014, 22:14
DE MAJESTEIT has been advertised for sale by her owner since at least July 2013:
http://commercial.apolloduck.com/feature.phtml?id=315018
She continues to operate in Rotterdam. You can book for dinner cruises, amongst others, on Christmas Day (105 euros) and New Year's Eve (119.50 euros); prices include a meal, drinks sand entertainment.
http://www.raderstoomboot.nl/

tramscape
11-06-2014, 22:19
It still seems to be business as usual as you say Geoff. I saw her in May and later that day she went off to the Dordt in Stoom festival

More importantly, though, do you know Klemens Key's motivation for putting her up for sale ?

GeoffHamer
11-06-2014, 22:48
Most excursion vessels are for sale - for the right price. By their nature, they do not perform an essential service. Key's previous paddle steamer, DE NEDERLANDER, was sold and is now Paulsen's FREYA. Perhaps he wants to move on to a new project or perhaps he wants to retire. The party ship trade in the Netherlands is very competitive with several other big ships in the Rotterdam area.

tramscape
11-06-2014, 23:32
I don't think he'd be retiring as he's not that old, but maybe if he can sell the ship to a genuine operation which will look after her it would free up time and bring money for other steam restoration projects ................. maybe to include Cecilie's engines !

There was once talk of putting Cecilie's engines into the Hull of Hansa. Last I heard the hull was in Cologne but that was ages ago, so do you know if it has been formally scrapped by now ? I would expect that if not, it would be in a diabolical condition !

Anyway, we can only thank Klemens Key (and his father before him) for what he has done

I have not been on de Majesteit in her current guise but all the literature shows her to be a fantastic boat. Presumably his total costs are low so he can get by with such few charters.

Anyway, I commend this factsheet to anyone interested in a "luxury" paddle steamer - http://paddlesteamerforsale.com/home/files/specsmajesteit.pdf

If anyone wants to take it further, let me know

Waverleyfan3
11-07-2014, 00:36
Have already suggested that Waverley should have a couple of on board hosts/hostesses a la de Majesteit. Might be a bit much for some to swallow though.
653

GeoffHamer
11-07-2014, 09:36
Another Dutch party ship with a steam engine is for sale:
http://commercial.apolloduck.com/feature.phtml?id=322939

tramscape
11-07-2014, 10:13
As I understand it this is personally owned, the old problem occurs of lack of "succession" - ie no children or uninterested children ! It's the sort of thing that sees many (smaller) Australian paddlers change hands quite regularly

It is instructive that the ship has survived (presumably at or near breakeven) based on 15-20 trips per year

If one man can do it (and I don't know that he is a mega rich guy at all) it would seem that it would not be beyond the scope of a group of interested individuals here

It does seem that in this country it doesn't seem to work - maybe because we don't have many suitable places to operate such a ship (despite being an island with coastline and estuaries and a maritime tradition !), but it also seems that even the most likely supportive people assume it has "no chance" before it even is looked into. We seem to be conditioned to believe such things in this country

Waverleyfan3
11-07-2014, 11:59
If one man can do it (and I don't know that he is a mega rich guy at all) it would seem that it would not be beyond the scope of a group of interested individuals here.

Who on earth is going to invest 700,000 Euros (for starters) in attempting to run a pleasure business with a vessel with a capacity of just over 100?? The only chance would be to attract well-heeled tourists interested in an up-market "private yacht" style experience and willing to fork out fares accordingly. There are no such tourists in the likes of Largs, Rothesay or Dunoon where, as previously stated, remaining hotels are filled with coach parties. Clydesiders in the upper income bracket interested in such "seafaring" already have their own private yachts/launches based at marinas in Largs, Inverkip and Rothesay, all of which seem to be thriving.

kylemore
11-07-2014, 12:10
Back to Engines - are the Caledonia's not still in existence?

A rebuilt Caledonia - competition on the Clyde - racing paddlers again!

Now if I can just win Euromillions......

tramscape
11-07-2014, 12:11
Like I said, presumably because we don't have suitable places .......

700 k Euros is a lot for sure and I doubt it will be easy to find a buyer for much more than a token price ....but put that into the "model" and see what the implications are ! This ship is much the same size as Schaarhorn, which as we all know operates on a volunteer manning principle and a basic catering offering - ie not a party or restaurant ship. This one would presumably be able to carry more - but not in such luxury where capacity now is limited to the number of comfy seats. Nevertheless, it would offer a better degree of customer comfort than Waverley does right now - and something maybe all but British sea salts expect

However, WF3, your post is indicative of the point that we are conditioned to say nothing is possible. Maybe that's our way and maybe that's our market. It is just saddening that what we frequently see elsewhere cannot (or at least doesn't appear frequently to) be replicated in our country

We really must be the "no can do" people of Europe ! (I can't go for that ........... in the words of Darryl Hall)

GeoffHamer
11-07-2014, 12:18
It's very much the same sort of business as the SILVER DOLPHIN which has luxurious fittings for functions such as wedding receptions:
http://www.sweeneyscruises.com/fleet_silverdolphin.php.
People seem able to spend large sums of money on wedding receptions. Even if people own a yacht, it will be of no use for a function with more than 12 people. The SUCCES has been advertised for sale several times without finding a suitable buyer, so the price is presumably too high.

tramscape
11-07-2014, 12:22
Anyone know how much was paid for and to bring Dixie Queen from Sweden ?

I guess with respect to my earlier post and to Dan, we have the Danny as an equivalent - but I guess she is going to cost a lot more than 700k Euros (presumably) plus all the time and sweat on top of that

Waverleyfan3
11-07-2014, 12:35
Back to Engines - are the Caledonia's not still in existence?

A rebuilt Caledonia - competition on the Clyde - racing paddlers again!

Now if I can just win Euromillions......

I remember interviewing Mr Macleod. Don't know what happened to his vision.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/paddle-power-set-to-take-scots-venture-abroad-1.688864

tramscape
11-07-2014, 12:47
Interesting that that link is still there..... I remember New Caledonia being reported in PW ..... so that's the story !

Of course, the "cruise" market has grown and is still there, so Mr McLeod was certainly a bit of a visionary, though I guess a paddler with steam engines might make it a bit expensive in a cut-throat market. However, the market is there - viz. Hebridean Princess, Lord of the Glens plus all the other larger cruise ships which sail around Britain. Even a Clyde Puffer is there in a niche of the market

Hollycombe are still advertising Caledonia's engines as on display

tramscape
11-07-2014, 12:50
Now if I can just win Euromillions......

I'm sure de Majesteit will be less than millions.........and ready to sail (somewhere at least)

I wouldn't run her in direct competition with Waverley though - that would have certain people choking on their beer

....... but anyone new thinking of running steamboats is probably on to a loser it would seem from the consensus of comments

tramscape
11-07-2014, 14:37
Who on earth is going to invest 700,000 Euros (for starters) in attempting to run a pleasure business with a vessel with a capacity of just over 100?? The only chance would be to attract well-heeled tourists interested in an up-market "private yacht" style experience and willing to fork out fares accordingly. There are no such tourists in the likes of Largs, Rothesay or Dunoon where, as previously stated, remaining hotels are filled with coach parties. Clydesiders in the upper income bracket interested in such "seafaring" already have their own private yachts/launches based at marinas in Largs, Inverkip and Rothesay, all of which seem to be thriving.

Interestingly though, that much vaunted steamship Shieldhall survives with about the same number of cruises - and as I understand it, around the same number of passengers on average as Succes .......... all with a decent meal, I think, but not in "private yacht" surroundings

Everyone may poo-poo things, but it is a working British example, which inevitably has had to find refuge in the charitable sector to make it work.
Even so, I guess Graham Mackenzie et al must be alchemists !

Waverleyfan3
11-07-2014, 15:06
....... but anyone new thinking of running steamboats is probably on to a loser it would seem from the consensus of comments

The MV Hebridean Princess seems to be a winner for those who can part with up to £4000 for seven-days cruising in the knowledge that numbers are limited to 50 attended by a crew of 38. I thought it was a route that the TS Queen Mary intended to go down but that seems to be up in the air. The HP also appears to operate most of the year at home and abroad which is a MAJOR bonus. Waverley/Balmoral, the remnants of the hey days of British day coastal cruising by vessels carrying 600/700 or more passengers, are in an entirely different market .. a market that has changed dramatically even since 1975 with the dwindling numbers holidaying at the coast, the constant introduction of new regulations, and the multitude of alternative attractions now on offer at cheaper prices. Convincing anyone new thinking of running steamboats in such a fragile market that they might be on a winner is going to be rather difficult... or dare I say impossible.

tramscape
11-07-2014, 15:39
Convincing anyone new thinking of running steamboats in such a fragile market that they might be on a winner is going to be rather difficult... or dare I say impossible.

Clearly, getting a commercial operator to enter the Waverley-type market with a Waverley-type ship is a non-starter. There appears not enough money and too much risk associated with it. However, we have to look at the evidence around us to see why largish, obsolete ships survive at all ............... and there are a number of reasons, a number of which all have to come together in one place at one time, to make it work

What is clear, it is not through the commercial companies that it has worked, but through other motivators. What has become apparent elsewhere (and in the UK as well in a smaller scale) that commercial companies can operate heritage ships with an element of cross-subsidisation if they are seen to benefit the business as a whole. In some cases, operators have subsequently kept their heritage ships. In others they have actually bought from or at least operated heritage ships on behalf of others. In most cases it does require an enthusiast support group to help with capital expenditure and to some extent marketing through special interest groups (like PSPS supports Waverley)

However, there is no reason why not-for-profit groups such as Solent Steam Packet and Balmoral Fund (where the risk is outweighed by the prospect of the "goal") should not be prime motivators in the business sector. This is very much like "dreamers" tend to be the people opening up shops for example - some of which survive and prosper. The BFL group appears to have a sound business plan, but possibly not the start-up capital. This ought to be available through loans or shares - but the charity status tends to militate against the latter.

kylemore
11-07-2014, 17:00
However, WF3, your post is indicative of the point that we are conditioned to say nothing is possible. Maybe that's our way and maybe that's our market. It is just saddening that what we frequently see elsewhere cannot (or at least doesn't appear frequently to) be replicated in our country

We really must be the "no can do" people of Europe ! (I can't go for that ........... in the words of Darryl Hall)

Yeh I get fed up with the "Impossibilist" strand of thought as well - I mean you go to Germany for instance and see things that are regarded as routine and nothin' special that here are regarded as utterly madcap wishful thinking!

I mean it's not as if we're a different species, yes there are cultural differences but looking at nice scenery and the world going by, the thrill of being on the water - not an everyday thing for most people and having a beer and something nice to eat is universal.

They have to deal with Regs. too.

The thing is, we do do it here - look at Kingwear Castle - yes the Waverley is bigger scale, but that's the only difference - the trick seems to be careful attention to planning of the "Product" - and, dare I say it again - a more or less fixed route and absolute concentration on the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - something that seems to be some way down the list of priorities at WEL.

tramscape
11-07-2014, 17:34
I know I do go on about it ...... and maybe I will change people's perception ..............eventually

However even the Waverley management have got us all thinking that because withdrawal was a self-apparent reality in 1973, it should be even more so now. To some extent that helps put them in an apparent good light - extinguishes any thoughts anyone might have of competing - and conditions us all to believe it is the "only way"

Waverley will no doubt survive on the diet of Gift Aid, Council Grants and donations .............. and maybe that's all that anyone can expect, but there seems to be no debate about it. Waverley carries enormously high annual maintenance costs as well as central administrative costs which would sink most businesses. I just want to know how something like Shieldhall (not so different in reality) can continue with so much lower annual maintenance costs, let alone the miniscule costs which come with administration the way they work. There seem to be so many ships (most not quite as large, outside established fleets) that do seem to find a way to operate without such a cost millstone, both in terms of dry-docking, but also in terms of managing what has become a far too complicated business

As far as I can see for Waverley, it is "carry on as you are" because it is "the only way". Maybe it is. Maybe the debate has already been had. Maybe I missed it all

No-one can get their minds round the fact that there needn't only be one survivor - but if that really is the case and can be shown to be, I will shut up and enjoy being in Germany, Switzerland or wherever

kylemore
11-07-2014, 18:00
I know I do go on about it ...... and maybe I will change people's perception ..............eventually

However even the Waverley management have got us all thinking that because withdrawal was a self-apparent reality in 1973, it should be even more so now. To some extent that helps put them in an apparent good light - extinguishes any thoughts anyone might have of competing - and conditions us all to believe it is the "only way"



Well right from the start the STG (in reality the Busmen of the SBG) had no intention of making a go of cruising, content to take the big subsidies on offer at the time and ditching the whole shebang when they ran out.

I'm sorry but it has to take a really outstanding collection of incompetents not to have made a goldmine of the Loch Lomond operation in particular!

I'm getting a bit fed up with the adulation of Mr Whittle for instance - they were simply offloading a huge PR problem cheaply. The last thing the busmen expected was for the fantastic WSN team at the time to make a go of running her, threatening their monopoly of the subsidies!

GeoffHamer
11-07-2014, 20:57
After World War II, there were thirty or more Class III excursion ships around the British coasts. Their numbers dwindled through the 1950s and '60s. The Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Co finished in 1962, the General Steam Navigation Co (with three fine motorships) and Cosens in 1966, Red Funnel's excursions in 1968. The last Class III ship on the south coast, the BOURNEMOUTH QUEEN, finished in 1974 and Campbells gave up in 1980 after incurring heavy losses. That sort of ship and excursions of that sort ceased to be commercially viable 40 years ago. The same thing has happened around the coasts of Germany, Italy and other countries. Public tastes have changed and the economics of running ships have changed.

kylemore
11-07-2014, 21:39
After World War II, there were thirty or more Class III excursion ships around the British coasts. Their numbers dwindled through the 1950s and '60s. The Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Co finished in 1962, the General Steam Navigation Co (with three fine motorships) and Cosens in 1966, Red Funnel's excursions in 1968. The last Class III ship on the south coast, the BOURNEMOUTH QUEEN, finished in 1974 and Campbells gave up in 1980 after incurring heavy losses. That sort of ship and excursions of that sort ceased to be commercially viable 40 years ago. The same thing has happened around the coasts of Germany, Italy and other countries. Public tastes have changed and the economics of running ships have changed.

There are still large and medium size passenger vessels offering trips from various points on the German North Sea coast and in Italy to for instance Capri.

I can't speak for the other areas but unfortunately as far as the Clyde, Loch Lomond and Oban (Iona Excursion) in the early 70s was concerned the wrong people found themselves in charge, for instance the Sacred Isle cruise should still be one of the jewels of the West of Scotland's Tourist Infrastructure, that it is not is down to the incompetence and lack of motivation of the management in the early 1970s (the same goes for the MOL on Loch Lomond). Yes the Clyde was a bit more problematic but flair and imagination was totally lacking in Calmac's 1970s/80s efforts (imaginative use of spare streakers and the Pioneer in the 90s was a late and short lived exception to this).

GeoffHamer
11-07-2014, 21:55
Which ships run to Capri? The traditional ships have gone, replaced by smaller, faster vessels. The only large excursion vessels on the German North Sea coast are those that run to Helgoland, and that trade has declined significantly since the 1970s.

rjenkins
11-07-2014, 22:27
Yes, I guess a replica Compton Castle would be a thought!

Why a replica? The original is still around, and will presumably be available sooner or later.

tramscape
11-07-2014, 22:39
Like I said, those commercial companies around the European coasts providing essentially ferry services have gone for hydrofoils and catamarans etc .......... not an unexpected evolution

However, there ARE heritage ships doing excursions for nothing better than the pleasure of it ........... although rarely coastal as coastal cruises are more problematic than river and lake - have fewer landing stages and generally don't get "up close" to scenery or other attractions

Our Firth of Clyde, whilst coastal exhibits many of the attributes of a lake, so is decent territory for a ship to nowhere in particular

There does seem to be a market for "boat trips" wherever you g0, with people paying much more per hour than you pay for Waverley for example but you get less ...... but don't stay on so long generally. There is a massive market for such excursions as witnessed by the Swiss Lakes .......... but you have to have the right conditions coming together.

In my view, get most of the factors in place - ie sail in the right place and you do have a market. Whether you can make enough money out of it to breakeven is the issue. Waverley makes a decent stab at it. It has very large passenger numbers, so has a market .......... but regrettably equally big costs. There has to be a way to solve the problem - or there would be no heritage vessels (which survive, operate and clearly don't offer any ferry-type role) and appear to defy accepted logic. I still believe that imaginative people getting together could make a fist of it ...... especially if they weren't trying to save a derelict ship at the capital cost of millions and reliance on lotteries etc. It's the need to restore specific ships rather than use any suitable ship which means they can't get over the first hurdle ..... like MOL, Balmoral etc etc

kylemore
11-07-2014, 22:50
Which ships run to Capri? The traditional ships have gone, replaced by smaller, faster vessels. The only large excursion vessels on the German North Sea coast are those that run to Helgoland, and that trade has declined significantly since the 1970s.

Perhaps so but the trade still remains. The types of vessel have evolved.

nthomas
11-08-2014, 08:16
Our MCA surveyor mentioned that a while ago he had surveyed Compton Castle and intimated that she was too far gone to be a viable restoration. I believe there were large holes in her hull over 30 years ago that you could poke your head through!

GeoffHamer
11-08-2014, 08:39
The COMPTON CASTLE's hull has, I believe, been filled with concrete. She sits on the mud in the centre of Truro and has been vacant for two years or more. I was there last month and saw that she is being fitted out as some sort of burger bar. The remains of the ship are not going to move from that site and will be of no use in any "preservation" effort.

tramscape
11-08-2014, 09:35
Although the ferries to Capri (from Sorrento, Naples etc) are of the large but fastish varieties, there are some tourist boats doing the round the island tour from Capri port. I was there about 3 years ago and avoided this trip because the vessel seemed far too small - and was glad I didn't because everyone else had a really rough and uncomfortable ride in it !

Whether there is enough demand for a bigger ship to do that run (ie consolidating the various small boats' runs) don't know but there are plenty of tourists there for whom doing a boat trip is about the number one activity after going to the Blue Grotto rather than just hanging around

I would suspect that competition between owners would rule out a consolidated service ..... and as we tend to say, most tourists are not there for the boat itself, just the sightseeing. I have to say, though, something like Waverley is 1000 times more comfortable than the round the island tour boat I had the opportunity to go on !

GeoffHamer
11-08-2014, 11:35
I've done the trip round Capri and enjoyed it. The boats are small so that they can go really close to the coast. We actually went through an arch in the cliffs which would be impossible in a bigger boat. Pictures on one of the operators' websites show people actually touching the rocks:
http://www.lasercapri.com/
The evidence from everywhere is that most people are not interested in a long boat trip with distant views of the coast.

France Fenwick
11-08-2014, 12:22
Share your thoughts Gordon - such vessels as Geoff has shown would be of no interest to me but then again I would certainly not represent the market as a whole.

kylemore
11-08-2014, 21:53
The evidence from everywhere is that most people are not interested in a long boat trip with distant views of the coast.

Agreed.

I feel a better comparison with Waverley on the upper Firth of Clyde are the operations on the Bodensee and Lake Geneva which to my mind are very reminiscent of the Firth of Clyde from Bute and Cumbrae northwards - precisely the area of operation Waverley was designed and built for.

Both areas have thriving fleets of vessels both motor and steam - some approaching Waverley in size and passenger capacity (La Suisse for instance) - the model of operation is fixed routes and timetables with particular attention paid to customer service and particularly on the Bodensee inclusive packages with major tourist attractions - Zeppelin Museum/Insel Mainau Gardens etc - I suppose one Clyde equivalent that could be developed is Mount Stuart House and Gardens?

tramscape
11-12-2014, 11:31
Share your thoughts Gordon - such vessels as Geoff has shown would be of no interest to me but then again I would certainly not represent the market as a whole.

Geoff is right - and we do have to bow to his much wider knowledge of affairs that I guess anyone else of us. However, there does seem no space whatsoever in his comments for further investigation - or the possibility of something out of the ordinary

So, it is not a matter of "fitting the boat to the job" as would be the normal case, but "finding a job for the boat" as would be the case in preservation.

That is why it is so difficult - and the exception. Finding a market where there is a happy convergence of various essential factors is hard enough - but we have to be fair to Waverley. They have found one. Even what they have on the Clyde is a substantial market (even if not a long enough season to justify it full-time there alone). I have to admit we don't have anything like the Swiss lakes here, where so many essential factors converge. The Clyde is probably our nearest - and there is a fair amount of suitable service provision with Cal-mac - or Bournemouth area which I still think could have the potential .... if certain things happened

However, like I have said - there are happy exceptions. Call them anomalies, where people do make it work - against all odds and no doubt against the derision of the "knockers"

Geoff is right however - few are coastal and that's what we have in the UK. Smaller navigable rivers and lakes are covered (eg French's in the mid-Thames, the Lake District etc) - so we have to look at the markets in the Clyde, possibly Thames, but mainly also Bristol Channel and Solent to see if it can be made to work. Shieldhall seems to be able to make it work ............and let's hope Danny can make it work in the north-west ... but I do agree there is probably no "new" market to exploit which isn't already done commercially

We are all still blinded a bit by trying to do a Waverley - but as far as I can see, trying to run another business costing £ 2 million a year in this sector is not a runner. It is good that Waverley, as she is, continues to get close enough to this to survive

gillonf
11-12-2014, 13:36
Around 1980 I sailed from Sorrento to Capri in the ex-Maid of Skelmorlie

with Clyde map over the companionway On a 2012 visit as mentioned by Tramscape

there were only fast craft A preserved ship I have not seen mentioned is the Hispaniola

ex Maid of Ashton on the Thames which seems to be doing well

tramscape
11-12-2014, 14:39
It was a bit of a surprise to me at least when City Cruises bought her - but clearly she must make money for them !

How about Cal-Mac opening up Saturn as a restaurant ???? !!!!

Hispaniola has a good location, has courted the luxury end of the market and done well. Restaurant ships targeting the luxury end of the market and well sited in capital cities tend to do quite well ............. but outside capitals (or at least significant commercial cities) not well at all ............ and most degenerate into night clubs and hit the downward spiral from there !

Out of interest, has anyone seen pictures of her moving down and up the Thames for maintenance etc etc? Never seen any or any reports about that. She has been there for 40 years now so surely must have done so !

Waverleyfan3
11-12-2014, 15:12
How about Cal-Mac opening up Saturn as a restaurant ???? !!!!

It would certainly help if CalMac came out with a statement as to what alternative they be persuing other than the ultimate one of scrap. I can't see them having any authority to go into the floating restaurant business. Predictably a Save the Saturn campaign is on the go but it may be far too late for that.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Campaign-to-Save-MV-Saturn/530634367079930?fref=ts

GeoffHamer
11-12-2014, 23:48
The ALA (ex MAID OF SKELMORLIE) is laid-up in Napoli but I believe she has been dry-docked annually so could yet return to service.
The owners' website has a fleet list which shows how their business has evolved. Some of the fast craft have open deck space so would be tolerable for me, but others I would avoid. There are pictures of four ships from the past, including the ALA. The others are the PATRIZIA (1954), now laid-up, the SANTA LUCIA L (1956), now scrapped, and the magnificent SANTA MARIA DEL MARE (1931), built as a yacht, converted to a passenger ship in 1956, and now sold and converted to a yacht.
http://www.navlib.it/eng/flotta/index.asp
It is worth noting that elsewhere on the website is a timetable for 2015.
The nearest to a traditional ship around Capri is perhaps the MARINE CLUB (1940) which does day cruises from Castellammare and Sorrento with stops for swimming - something that wouldn't be practical in Britain.
http://www.marineclub.it/

engineman
03-29-2015, 07:25
We have a lovely old paddle steamer that doesnt get a lot of mention on here the Kingswear Castle she is one of the last coal-fired river paddle steamers left.
Sailing on the River Dart wheelchair friendly gangways.

tramscape
03-29-2015, 11:32
We have a lovely old paddle steamer that doesnt get a lot of mention on here

You are right it doesn't get much mention - but there again, neither do many ships !

KC benefits from what appears now to be a secure existence, well managed by a highly-professional company with a wide range of tourist-related activities. As such, there is not a lot to be discussed about her - and it certainly is a bit controversial discussing the private affairs of a private company (at least too much !). Here role seems fairly well assured - and the scope for variation little, so there are not many alternative options to be evaluated for her

Ships owned and operated by companies in which we believe we have a stake, have a range of potential business plans available for consideration and ones which we think can benefit from discussion of their business models ...... are different matter !

engineman
03-30-2015, 09:26
Has anyone on here been on a trip on the PS Kingswear Castle if so what was your opinion of the service they gave

GeoffHamer
03-30-2015, 11:12
The start of the KINGSWEAR CASTLE's season has been delayed by a boiler problem. She was due to start on 28 March but this has been postponed to 4 April.
http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/blog/
She runs until 12 April then has a break until 2 May. She has only ten scheduled trips to Totnes this year, compared with around 26 in the last two seasons.

tramscape
03-30-2015, 12:14
Has anyone on here been on a trip on the PS Kingswear Castle if so what was your opinion of the service they gave

No, but the reviews we read on TripAdvisor are (almost) universally excellent which is a good start

GeoffHamer
03-30-2015, 15:14
Has anyone on here been on a trip on the PS Kingswear Castle if so what was your opinion of the service they gave

I confess I don't really understand the question. The "service" is much the same as on other passenger boats: it cruises up and down the river; one of the crew gives a commentary pointing out places of interest; there is a bar in one of the saloons where a crew member sells drinks. The crew, like those on other boats at Dartmouth, are local and experienced at doing their jobs.
My only trip in the KINGSWEAR CASTLE at Dartmouth was last May when I arrived in THE FAIRMILE from Torquay, and her afternoon coastal cruise to off Slapton was cancelled, so I did a cruise in the KINGSWEAR CASTLE before rejoining THE FAIRMILE for the coastal trip back to Tor Bay.

nthomas
03-30-2015, 19:13
KC passed her annual steam test for the boiler insurance surveyor today. Small issue with a boiler door dealt with last week and MCA inspection booked for Wednesday.

engineman
03-31-2015, 08:54
Thanks GeoffHamer i am going for a trip on her this year

nthomas
04-01-2015, 19:22
KC's sea trials completed to the MCA's satisfaction today - public trips start Saturday.

tramscape
04-01-2015, 20:59
KC's sea trials completed to the MCA's satisfaction today - public trips start Saturday.

A pity that Waverley's markets are dormant at the moment, but hey ho ...........only seven more weeks for the addicts to have to wait !

channel
04-06-2015, 07:18
No, but the reviews we read on TripAdvisor are (almost) universally excellent which is a good start

I've done a few trips to Totnes on her. The service, as with all provided by the operators, is excellent. A shame there are so few to Totnes this year but the change must be customer driven (or tides?)

GeoffHamer
04-06-2015, 11:29
The Dartmouth company's other vessels go to Totnes every day this year from 28 March to 1 November. The KINGSWEAR CASTLE probably earns more money doing short trips, while her passenger accommodation isn't suitable for longer trips if it's cold or wet. The CARDIFF and DARTMOUTH CASTLEs which usually run to Totnes have saloons with windows as well as good open deck space.

George Ted
07-24-2019, 09:24
PS Kingswear Castle on the Dart in August 2018

https://youtu.be/IwICU7yfqWk

billsea
07-24-2019, 17:20
We have still got one Paddle Steamer sailing lets hope its not the last.

tramscape
07-24-2019, 19:22
We also have Monarch ....... but in the 12 paxmax category only, of course !

However, as we are all European, you could say that we still have lots !