Consuta does some serious Umpire work

Saturday 26th June

The Reading Town Regatta was originally established in 1877 as the Reading Working Men's Regatta and received Royal Patronage in 1896

The course is over the "Dreadnought Reach" and is quite short at 800 metres, so the race times can be quite fast.

Consuta being prepared for some umpire work during the afternoon at the Regatta

The morning was a bit damp with the promise of more rain to follow. As it turned out the weather was OK, only light winds and very little rain - ideal conditions for racing

First task while raising steam was to try and clear the prop which had a bundle of weed picked up at Beale Park, this weed was causing an annoying vibration on the rudder. Consuta does not have a weed hatch, and we don't regret not fitting one; however debrie removal can be a bit of a drama. The boathook was able to probe it but couldn't budge the bundle on the prop boss so what do we do? Send for a diver!

Our Sonning base mooring

Paul Smith volunteered to strip off and see if he could clear the prop by hand. It turned out to be a mix of rope sticks and weed.

This finally came free by pulling and gentley barring the engine over.

A bit of rope!

The rubbish doesn't look very much does it? but definately worth removing.

 Reading Regatta

 The umpire launches and Consuta moored up during the lunch break.

Panache, Arethusa, Majestic and Consuta

Doesn't it look deserted? however very deceptive.When racing resumes the scene is very busy with races starting at five minute intervals


 This was (I believe) the senior 2 coxless fours - Abingdon RC v Thames Tradesmen RC

Quite a fast race, sorry don't have the times, I was told that Consuta was up to 450 rpm on the engine for most of the run, probably about 13/14 mph


Consuta half way down the course following the coxless four race



Two pictures of Majestic following a woman's Coxless four race.

Majestic was previously named Magnolia. Built by Sam Saunder in 1902 with an electric motor, she is only 40 ft and also has the same stitched hull construction first used with Consuta.

 Majestic is carrying 11 persons the same number as on the 50ft Consuta see in the pictures above, but looks more crowded, even though less space is taken up by the engine. A much smaller launch

Majestic was extensively restored in 1985.

More pictures later - return to Calendar

If you would like to be involved with our historic project please contact Brian Smith Volunteers are always needed to help maintain and run Consuta. Why not give me a call on 01488 658795

For lots more about other steam launches see The Steam Boats Association of GB