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Historical Database
Ammersee,  Germany
The paddle steamer tradition contnues on this small Bavarian lake with Diessen, a 39.8 m long paddler built in 1908 and now running with diesel-hydraulic propulsion

The era of regular passenger services on the lake began in 1877 with the introduction of the second hand steamer Omnibus by the Dampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft Ammersee. The early steamers were short-lived but the first half of the 20th century saw solid service from the vessels Gisela (Augsburg from 1919), Andechs, Diessen and the 20.9 m long screw steamer Schondorf (1909-1953).

The Andechs and Diessen were introduced as part of a modernisation programme after the goodwill and assets of the steamer service which had since 1885 been owned by the Maffei company had been bought by the Bavarian state in 1906. After the withdrawal of Andechs in 1955, Diessen remained as the sole steamer on the lake, but was converted to diesel power in 1975. In 2002 she was joined by a brand new paddler, albeit with diesel-hydraulic drive, Herrsching.

Preserved Paddle Steamer

Builders : Maffei (Munich)
Length : 39.8 m

After withdrawal, the hull has been used by a sailing club at Utting albeit without engines, paddlewheels or funnel

View of Andechs, partially hidden amongst yachts, seen from the passing MPV Herrsching in 2003
Photo by Gordon Stewart (24/8/03)

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Historical Paddle Steamers

Builders: J Muller (Bamberg)
Length : 19 m

Came to the lake after long service on the River Neckar and the Danube-Main canal.
Stability problems rendered her unsuitable, with corrective measures detracting substantially from her speed

Builders : Escher, Wyss (Zurich, Switzerland)
Length : 26.5 m

Ordered new to replace the unsuitable "Omnibus"
When dispaced from the fleet the hull was used by the Riederau Yacht Club
The engines went to the Transport Museum and in 1995 to the Transport and Technical Museum in Berlin

Go to photos of the engines

Builders : Maffei (Munich)
Length : 33.5 m

Brought second-hand from the nearby Starnbergersee
Gisela later Augsburg
Builders : Maffei (Munich)
Length : 52.5 m

Renamed Augsburg in 1919 following the national policy of removing names with royal connections
Scrapped in 1964

Built in 1908 by J.A. Maffei of Munich 
Dimensions : 39.8 x 10.15 m
Machinery : Compound Diagonal - Replaced by Diesel-hydraulic equipment 1974/75

Scrapped in 2005. Some items reused in a new build paddle vessel also named Diessen
Her original steam engine (and one paddle wheel removed in 2005) remains with a museum organisation

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