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   The Steamboat Association of Great Britain


The Steam Boat Association of Great Britain was formed in 1971 to promote the enjoyment of steamboats and to represent the interests of steamboat owners.

In the summer of 1971 fifteen boats from fourteen to sixty feet in length attended a steam boat regatta on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire, cruising in company the bends and reaches of this delightful river. The smallest boat went much further, and steamed across the Solent to Cowes and back. During this regatta the Steam Boat Association was formed.

The aim of this new Association was to bring together all those whose interest lay in small steamers, from 10 to 100 feet in length. This it has done most successfully ever since through the following activities:-

  • Regattas and cruises in company each season in locations up and down Great Britain and Ireland.
  • A Social gathering and Annual General Meeting each Winter.
  • Social Weekends and Seminars on technical aspects of steam launch building and operation.
  • Publication of our journal The Funnel four times each year.
  • Publication of a list of like minded members of the Association.
  • An online Register of known Steam Boats and Launches World Wide.
  • Agreements with brokers for Insurance Policies and Boiler Inspection Service for member's boats and steam plant.
  • The collection of an extensive archive on steam boats and steam boat builders.
  • Support for specific steamboat preservation schemes.
  • Technical advice and encouragement to new members.
  • Online publication of Small Ads and a Suppliers Directory.
  • Operation of a Member's Store for SBA clothing and useful bits and pieces.
  • Publication of various guides on boating and steam plant.


The Association has grown considerably since the early days and we now have a world-wide membership of around 900, with 750 in the UK. We have overseas members in USA, Australia, Germany, France and Sweden and many other countries.

We can put you in touch with suppliers and designers of hulls, engines and boilers and we have a range of approved boiler designs available to our members via SBA Services Limited who also can supply castings, hull drawings and engine designs. The SBA can offer non boat owning members the experience of actual steamboating at one of our events, where all members are welcome to attend. Our members boats range from small workman like dinghies with machinery constructed by the owner, to large antique Thames Steam Launches, with vintage steam plant which have been lovingly restored and maintained to modem safety standards.

This website is illustrated with pictures, chosen at random, from the SBA's Register of Steamboats.  The pictures show the wide range of boats and steam plant our Members have built, modified, bought, inherited or revived from the dead.  No two steamboats in the Register are alike!   The Register of Steamboats is now available online as are archived editions from the 1980s and 2000, free to our Members.   We have also produced the Steamboating Guide, an invaluable cook-book for anyone building or operating a steamboat.  We have facsimile reproductions of early steamboat builders' catalogues, a steamboat builders archive (in computer readable form) and many other fascinating publications.

The Funnel, our magazine, is produced quarterly and is widely acclaimed as the best, and quirkiest, publication in it's field.

If you think you are interested in steamboats or steamboating you really should join the SBA where you will find a hearty welcome from like minded people who already enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this organisation.

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