Steam Tug Maiden Voyage


Location : The test lake.

Date : A summer evening 2005.

At the lakeside the steam tug was stoked up and the engine was run in the dry dock until condensation had cleared.

Meanwhile the rescue boat was dispatched and was on standby.

Then the tug was pushed out on to the open water

On the water the tug sat level and the ballast looked to be about right. Steering was good but at 11kgs in weight braking was quite tough. Speed and acceleration were not high either but it looked and sounded great.




Some manoeuvres were used to test the tug near the shoreline and then it sailed out on to the open water.








  • The steam tug was not fast, in fact at a distance it was difficult to see if it was moving at all.
  • In the light breeze on the test day it was fine, but it would struggle on a more windy day or in faster flowing water.
  • Close up it sounded great and the steam from the funnel look good.
  • Some more detail or at least some more colour on the super structure would be good.
  • The condenser worked perfectly and no oil was left in the lake.
  • The regulator on the third radio channel was not needed, the boat could be driven on just the reversing valve.
  • The engine leaked a fair bit of steam at the reverse valve causing a lot of condensation inside the boat. At the end of the run 20ml of water was extracted from the hull.
  • The water alarm worked (set off by the condensation).
  • The boiler could maintain a steady continuous operation of the engine.
  • There were no breakdowns during the 1 hour test run.