Consuta Trust News 2010

Please scroll down for lots of photos taken during the year; photos and text are arranged in chronological order


Work Party escapades on 27th November 2010

Temperature was deemed to be lower in the cowshed than outside which was only 2 C, so the hot soup was most welcome.

The relaxed method of cleaning tubes The Brass always needs cleaning There's a happy fellow with a spanner What is going on in the smokebox?
Cygnet shares space in the cowshed behind Consuta Crew decide this would be a good place for the crew room

Photos provided by Lyn Smith and David Creasey

Consuta was successfully craned out on 8th November 2010

It was a rather cold morning on the chosen day with occasional showers, eleven supporters turned up to help out. Disappointingly the crane supplied was smaller than had been booked because of some mechanical problem. This meant that the crane provided needed to be parked closer to the boat than usual, so because the ground was saturated and the replacement crane was not an All Terrain type, it got stuck in the mud; however the Beale Park tractor quickly came to the rescue. Once extracted and repositioned it became a case of will it or won't it lift, because the crane now repositioned at the end of the solid ground of the slipway was at extreme limits of its load capability.  Consuta with boiler weighs about 4.5 tons.

Well somehow we managed it; so our volunteers set to cleaning the hull, when done Consuta was put on the trailer and moved into the protection of the cowshed.

The hull paintwork looked pretty good after the clean up.

The crane was then used to lift the Shallop (an 1966 film prop now owned by Beale Park) onto a trailer ready for removal to the covered barn.

Our hardy team then retired to a local Inn for a very enjoyable social lunch. Winter work parties in the cowshed are to be arranged shortly,

If you would like to find out more about our activities and join our group, please contact

Photos above provided by David Creasey

Last Steaming of the year was on Wednesday 27th October

We needed to blow the boiler down before lifting out for the winter (empty all water content).

This is best done hot with steam.

The day chosen was warm and sunny so we decided to have one last small outing downstream to a riverside Inn for lunch.

The Swan

at Pangbourne


Kenton Charity fund raising event at Henley 12th September

Participants were carried from Leander to Temple Island in the Henley Umpire launches

Unfortunately chains had been left in the water from where the diagonal landing pontoons are deployed at Leander. These weren't fully on the bottom at the bank, not obvious from above the water and Consuta picked one up when reversing out with a second group of passengers including Lord McAlpine. The other launches had gone in and out without any problem with their smaller props.

Consuta's crew member Nigel Gourley volunteered to dive under the boat to un-tangle the chain -10 times - a job that would have been impossible without the assistance of a 4 ft long pair of bolt croppers courtesy of the Leander club. We're pretty sure there is no damage to Consuta as the prop was only turning slowly, and Nigel checked the prop whilst under water. The same can't be said for the chain after we'd finished with the bolt croppers.

Onlookers were relieved to hear that the red streak on Nigel's shirt was antifoul and not from a wound!

Umpire launches posing just downstream of Henley Bridge

Something a bit different at Beale Park

Now Consuta will be at the IWA Festival at Beale Park over the August bank Holiday weekend.

but the park have obtained the film prop Shallop  used in the film "The Man for all Seasons".

and the Shallop will be in action on the lake during each of the three days of the show.

We will also have the 140 year old Thornycroft steam launch Cygnet on (static) display as well.




Below are photos taken by David Creasey after the Goring and Streatley Regatta - Consuta is returning to the Lake at Beale Park on Sunday 18th July

The entrance had nearly disappeared with all the vegetation growth. We had to retrieve the one remaining pontoon from the river

 for mooring use on the lake because all our usual pontoons were being used at the Regatta..

Another towing job for Consuta.

2010 Henley Women's regatta Saturday 19th June pictures -- scroll down for some earlier activity

Consuta joined six other umpire launches to perform umpire duties on the Friday and the Saturday of this great regatta.

The above two photos show the high acceleration needed at the start, on the right Consuta is probably only about two/three boat lengths down the course but is now already travelling at 12+mph. White steam funnel exhaust is because the fire damper is kept shut during acceleration to avoid lifting cinders from the fire.

Below are three photos following a coxed four; they show the typical waves made by these fast launches - speed probably about 12 mph

Typical bow wave

Stern wave looks quite low along the bank

However heavy swell alongside Consuta

Races started at 8:30am, running at four minute intervals, until after 6:00pm with no breaks at all. Mark who took a large number of photos said that Consuta umpired 20 races on the Saturday. This was a punishing schedule even for the modern launches, Consuta had no problems at all in meeting the demands. A remarkable testimony to a launch built 112 years ago. Consuta does however need a crew of three while performing this duty so it is a long day for them.

Coal burnt over the two days including the travel there (Friday) and back (Saturday) was I believe 20 bags.

Crew  for two days were David Eager, Nigel Gourley, Mark Smith, David Creasey,

Crew who came for one day were Alan Douglas, Brian L. Smith, Brian W. Smith, Paul Smith and Lucy Smith

Some of the team involved with the long hours of steaming on Saturday

About 6:45pm and Consuta sets off to return to Charvil, 10 miles two locks

Some technical stuff on the steam plant operation.

The photo below shows the visible effect of the fireman's technique for a race start.

The smoke from the funnel is obviously dark, but further back along the smoke trail it is white. This is all to do with how the fireman manages the fire during the very high exhaust steam blast during a race start. The fire damper is kept closed until the boat reaches race speed to reduce the possibility of cinders being thrown out of the funnel. When the throttle is closed down the damper is then opened fully so that the fire can be drawn up by the lesser engine blast. The black smoke then clears very quickly and it is probably due to the blast cleaning out a small amount of soot built up in the boiler tubes during the waiting period before a race start.

Consuta now has an analogue rev counter and engine steam pressure gauge, the four photos below show the readings at different speeds.

Left to right pressure then revs:- 20psi for 300rpm, 30psi for 350 rpm, 45psi for 400 rpm and 70 psi for 450 rpm.

The last one is a bit of a surprise but don't read too much into this because, the the number of passengers carried will effect the pressure needed, also the throttle may have just been opened before the revs had a time to change so the pressure reading is a bit high for the revs. We know that the boat speed is roughly 3 mph for each 100 rpm prop rev, so you can see that the fastest speed was about 13.5 mph, and the slowest was about 9 mph.

Some (minor) maintenance work on June 15th

Above left to right - Tidying up the pontoons after the boat show- someone ripped the cover - now patched for the summer

Engineers at work

Minor work on the reversing lever weigh shaft bearing and white metalling one of the die blocks.

On the right the brazing equipment used

The local steam launch "Wisp" was seen out on the water while we were working on Consuta's engine.

These photos were taken at our Charvil mooring

Consuta had a successful three days at the Beale Park Boat Show

These photos below were taken on the Friday June the 4th 2010


The photos above left to right - general scene of the two pontoons - rides given by Consuta were very popular - Meridian TV shooting the weather forecast.


Some repair work

on the left a repair to the holding strop for the SBA jetty.

Giving Steam Launch Cygnet some antifoul paint touch-up. Just to make it look a bit more presentable.

Click here for photos of the engineering work carried out through the winter2009-10