On this page you will find links to a variety of steam boat-related sites:

Recommended Reading: Essential reading for the steam boat enthusiast

Organisations & Societies: There are a number of organizations of people with similar ideals to the SBAA

Individual Steam boater's Sites: A number of individuals have sites related to steam boating

Commercial Sites: Where to look to buy an engine, a boiler or a hull


Recommended Reading

STEAMBOATS & Modern Steam Launches*
by Bill Durham
A reprint of the original magazine that ran 1961-63

The Steam Launch*
by Richard M. Mitchell 
An illustrated history of steam powered boats. Covers steam hulls, engines, boilers, boatmakers.

"Verbal" Notes& Sketches for Marine Engineer Officers
by  J.W.M. Sothern various editions starting around 1901
A Manual of Steam Engineering Practice
Long out of print but generally available from online 2nd hand bookstores

Thermodynamics of the Steam Engine
by Cecil Peabody various editions from 1889 till 1909 and beyond
Thermodynamics and all the calculations you need for design.
Long out of print but generally available from online 2nd hand bookstores

Steamboat Register**
By Brian Hillsdon and Brian Smith
An illustrated and descriptive register of steam vessels

*Available from Elliot Bay Steam Launch Co. A complete description is available
**Available from Steam Boat Association  of Great Britain



Steam Boat Association  of Great Britain

Publishes "The Funnel", a quarterly journal full of useful information


A great web site giving access to publications, reference material, bulletin board etc.


New Zealand Steam Scene


A web site catering for steamboats and traction engines. Some excellent photos and details of local boats


International Steamboating Society


Published 10 Steamboater's Handbooks, invaluable reference material


Missing in Action for a few years but now coming back to life (updated 7 August 2005)


Northwest Steam Society


An interesting site with lots of information about a variety of steamboats


Hobby Steamboater's Web Ring


A list of various steamboat sites


Australian Heritage Fleet


Owns and operates two original steam ships on Sydney Harbour: the steam yacht Lady Hopetoun and the steam tug Waratah. Currently restoring the coastal steamship John Oxley.


Swiss Steamboat Association

Several photos of steam boats. The text is German (Translate it with Babelfish )

The association counts up-to-date over 160 members and combines at present 34 small steam boats on practically all larger Swiss lakes. Further 4 steam boats are at present in different building stages between keel-laying and completion.

The Association is based in Sydney and is part of a national community of wooden boat enthusiasts whose purpose is to enjoy share and promote an appreciation of wooden boats of all sizes.




Individual Steamboater's Sites

Ralph Sahli at

Ralph is a self-taught machinist who has built  a twin steam engine with an 80mm bore and 100mm stroke.

His site is in German but has many useful pictures on construction that are self explanatory.

Peter Cowie at

An Australian site detailing the construction of a triple expansion marine steam engine

Rainer Radow at

An excellent German site with an English version. A "must visit"

Plenty of details about his own project as well as lots of pictures of German steamboats



Eliza Hobson 

A New Zealand Launch you can take a trip on.

Lady Hopetoun 

Sydney's elegant steam "Yacht" . Just 100 years young she is available for charter for very reasonable rates, her triple expansion engine is poetry in motion. She steams reasonably regularly on the harbour.


Built at Cockatoo Island in 1902 , this coal burning steam tug  is the oldest tug in working order in Australia.


A magnificently restored Edwardian steam powered yacht on Sydney Harbour.

T.S.S. Earnslaw

Another New Zealand Ship. Twin 500HP triple expansion engines. Magnificent viewing access to the engine room. Listen to the telegraph jingle and the reversing engines throw the links  over as the engine effortlessly goes from ahead to astern. (You have to take a ride to experience this!)


Imagine the lines of a Viking karv or inshore yacht. Now modify the stern for screw propeller propulsion and fit a Kitchen rudder; set the LOA at 21' 6" (LWL 20 feet) with a beam of 6' 8" (BWL 5' 9"). Remove the mast and oarholes and install a 3" x 4" inverted crosshead single cylinder engine and a 25+ sq.ft. watertube boiler with a pressure-regulated 12vdc oil burner (burning biodiesel).


Commercial Sites


A South Australian company manufacturing a variety of engines and boilers

Elliot Bay Steam Launch Co.

Suppliers of Books, Engine casting sets, Boilers, Traditional hulls, Propellers and more.

Beckman Boatshop

A supplier of everything you need for a steamboat; engines, boilers, hulls, propellers, steam fittings and finished boats.

John Davis Engineering

Supplier of marine boilers etc.

1 Sykes Road Glenswood, Queensland, Australia 4570

61 (07) 54857101


Alkira Boatshed


Situated an hour or so north of Sydney.


Phil Heany has finished one steam boat, has almost completed restoring another and is about to commence building a 26' boat for a member


Reliable Steam Engine Co.


Manufactures a wide range of engines suitable for a steam launch from a 2 1/2 x 4" single through to a 7 HP triple expansion engine, a 200HP V4 or a geared impulse turbine.


They also supply boilers, hulls and accessories.


Allure Boats

Allure Boats is located only minutes from Lake Macquarie - NSW, an hour or so north of Sydney. Their shipwrights have worked on a number of steam boats  They are experienced in restoration and repair of vessels new and old.



This site was last updated 10-Nov-2021