"S.L. Lady Lyn"

Owned by Brian Forster of Tasmania


Length 20 feet, Beam 6'6" Draught about 1' 9". Hull and decks are Huon pine [shipwright unknown] the gunwales, coamings, keel etc. are all Tasmanian hardwood. The hull was found in very poor condition in Prince of Wales Bay, Hobart. The deadwood keel has been replaced and some planks have been repaired, the ribs were in good condition. The hull was coated with with two layers of epoxy followed by two coats of varnish above the water line and cream painted below plus the decks. The trim is in burgundy.


Strath Steam "Warrego" piston valve with Stephenson's reversing valve gear. 3" bore x 4" stroke. 5 hp @ around 500 rpm.110 psi


Strath Steam Vertical Fire Tube main drum 18" dia. fire box also 18" ext dia. [lined with refractory cement] tested and certified in South Australia.

Propeller Drive shaft etc......driving thru two CV joints to change the drive shaft angle by 15 deg. thence to a 7/8" Stainless steel [316] shaft via conventional stuffing boxes to a 14" by 22" pitch bronze prop.


Feed water heater in the exhaust line made from a 1" copper exhaust line passing thru a 2' x 2"dia heater. The keel condenser consists of 3 parallel  5/8" x 5' copper tubes connected at both ends to a header thence thru the hull returning the condensate to a hot well situated under the fore deck. Brian has made a hand feed pump that is 2" bore x 2 1/2" stroke. The main boiler feed pump is an off the shelf Hypro positive displacement pump chain driven from the main shaft. A "Metropolitan" 3/8" injector is installed.

Brian elaborates on his boiler feed system:

"The basic plan of my feedwater system is taken from "Strath Steam's" manual with a few alterations and additions, such as the feedwater pressure relief valve Iit is so easy to forget to open the main boiler inlet feed valve and this little addition prevents any damage to the system by allowing the excess pressure to vent from the valve. This valve is only a ordinary hot water heater valve modified by removing the probe. I also added an ordinary home style anti water hammer device to take out the pulses produced by Hypro pumps. I cannot stress too strongly the need for good inline filters. I have three, one directly before the Hypro, the second [which is actually the first line of defence] is on the outlet from my hotwell, the third is from the "make up water" tank fitted in the bow of my boat. This feed water only goes to the injector as a back up water supply. Each separate feed water system has its own non return valve and the hand pump also has an isolating cock. I have had one or two occasions when the hand pump has played up due to air trapped in the line, I did make the mistake of installing it horizontally but I will overcome this problem as I intend fitting a small pet type cock to bleed the air should it occur."

First trial in the water 6th July 2003 went well with a few minor problems sorted with the assistance of Wally Mounster

See below for the story of the trial

Fore more information contact: briangforster@iprimus.com.au

Click on these thumbnails for a larger view

The hull on display at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart in 2002

First trial on the water...The upper Derwent River in Tasmania on 6th July 2003

S.L. Lady Lyn now complete with new canopy and navigation lights, she is all but complete (28 December 2003)

Brian has named his boat Lady Lyn

A recent photo (Nov 2004)


The Maiden Voyage

6th July 2003

May I first emphasize even though this was the first water borne voyage I would rather prefer to call it a pre launch test. We are planning an official launching and maiden voyage come a nice Spring day, but to add to the ongoing progress of the culmination of many Months work on the S.L Lady Lyn. I am hoping we can have a local "Meet" on the Derwent in a couple of Months when I hope I can persuade Wally Mounster to bring along "Otasell" and Hal Griffiths to bring "Mary"

Wally is hoping maybe his test project of a steam powered out board may be ready for the occasion also. We hope to invite many friends etc and we have had indication some of the local media will be interested.

Anyway back to that eventful secretive maiden voyage. I have been working hard the last few Months putting the final touches to the boiler and engine mechanics and plumbing. I have had several land based tests on the boiler and engine to check out the plumbing and operation of the various accessories. My main source of putting water in my boiler is via my Hypro pump which is direct driven from the main crankshaft via a cycle chain and sprockets. I am lucky to have my trusty Myford Lathe and was able to manufacture brass centre bosses to fit the sprockets to the shafts. My initial problem was, at around 350 rpm it was not fast enough to drive the pump at the required speed. The ratio was only about 1 to 1.2 so back to the drawing board and I quickly made another sprocket to fit the crankshaft which has now given me a ratio of 2 to 1. this now drives the pump well. I have erred on the side of caution and fitted an excess pressure valve in the delivery just in case someone should inadvertently leave the main feed water isolating cock shut which could have disastrous consequences. I actually used an old hot water system excess pressure valve, an old one I scrounged which I removed the heat sensor probe and re-machined the worn seat.

My second system of feeding water is via my Metropolitan #3 injector. This is fed with make up water from a 15 litre container in the bow of the boat. I used irrigation pipe from the tank and an in-line filter under the floor to just under the boiler where it reverts to copper. The steam feed for the injector is taken via a "T" at the boiler outlet I use for the whistle with its own isolating valve of course. The delivery from the injector just feeds into the main line in via its own check valve . Each feed system has its own check valve. My third feed system is of course a hand pump, again my trusty Myford came to the rescue, I made the pump body from plumbing fittings and machined up the plunger which is fitted with your ordinary "O"ring. I bought bits and pieces of copper and brass from the local scrap dealers, bought two inline checks and away it goes.

Ok so everything sorted, more or less, time to test it in the water. With much trepidation I invited my good friend Wally Mounster and his good lady Robin and along with my Jennie and Son-in-law we set off early on a beautiful Sunday Morning to head for a nice quite secluded spot on the Derwent river just out of New Norfolk, its a great spot, brand new launching ramp and jetty. This was a first in many ways, it was the first time the trailer had gotten wet, a trailer I built myself with help from a neighbour. All went well and soon she was afloat, what a relief she actually still floats! no listing! even keeled, so we lit the fire, after we found the matches.

First problem I found was the make up water tank up fore had come adrift during the journey. This has now been rectified with a stronger support. After about 45 minutes getting up steam we set off upstream with five persons on board.

Everything going according to plan, boiler steaming really well on briquettes [we used about 15 kilo for the 2 hour trip] engine running like Swiss watch, Condenser returning cold water to the hotwell ! [I had some reservations on the adequacy of the condenser] All in all going fine. After about 15 ..20 minutes into the trip we noticed what sounded like a "scraping" noise which we soon found came and went according to the position of the ballcock in the hotwell, when we held it down the noise went away and when we held it up it also went away, it was only midway, so we put this down to "water hammer" I have since purchased and fitted a "water hammer arrestor" from the local hardware and that is now fitted in-line alongside the excess pressure valve. we wont know if that's fixed the problem until we again hit the water.

We did have some minor seepage into the boat which was somewhat expected being a good old timber boat. We steamed up stream to the New Norfolk Esplanade where we sure attracted a lot of interest. We turned around at this point and headed back downstream for another 30 minutes or so past our launching point about 2 to 3 hundred yards before again turning and heading for the jetty where we tied up and had a well deserved lunch while the S.L Lady Lyn continued to let us know she was still there by blowing off the safety two or three times, a case of overfiring prior to berthing I fear.

The journey home was uneventful and I have since corrected/improved one or two items including fitting a bilge pump. I have made and fitted a new bottom end bearing to the prop shaft [We noted a fair bit of play in the old bearing] I am currently making up a helm stand which is in and fitted directly behind the engine to this I am fitting a spoked steering wheel which will be cabled to the tiller, I also have a nice brass binnacle fitted. Currently I am making brackets and fittings to install a canopy in the traditional style. So with still lots of work to do and be done we venture forth.