SL Swallow, 1911

Builder Shepherds, Bowness
Length 45’ 6”
Beam 8'
Hull Teak
Engine Sissons triple expansion, bore 4.5” 6” 8”, stroke 5.5”
Speed 12 mph

Swallow is the sister ship of Osprey, and was built to the same specification although 9 years later. Swallow has a straight stem and cruiser stern. The vessel is finished in varnished teak with a red hull and green plimsoll line. Swallow is fitted with her original engine, a Sissons triple expansion steam engine and replica boiler.

History and ownership

Swallow was originally built in 1911 for W. Warburton however little information on the early ownership of Swallow is known. She was later owned by J Parker, Kendal and then purchased by Leslie Goldsmith. Swallow was completely restored under the ownership of Leslie Goldsmith and was loaned to the Windermere Steamboat Museum in the 1970’s. In 1984, the Museum purchased Swallow from the Goldsmith family and she became a permanent member of the collection.

Swallow was used as one of the main passenger carrying steam launches at the museum and has therefore been heavily used during her lifetime, despite this Swallow has survived remarkably well.

Restoration plans

We will carry out a full restoration of Swallow will similar in programme to the other large Windermere steam launches such as Osprey. The hull will be completely stripped back and the cabin removed to provide full access to the inside of the hull. A number of additional grown frames and longitudinal stiffening will be inserted into the inside of the hull to strengthen the vessel, particularly around the centre of the boat where the heavy steam engine and boiler reside. The same conservation technique, splining, which is used on Osprey, will be applied to Swallow to minimise the amount of teak hull planking that will be replaced.


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