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Maid othe Loch 2011.jpg

Maid of the Loch looks like she is ready to cast off from Balloch Pier on Loch Lomond. Unfortunately she has been out of service since 1981, but much work in recent years has meant she has been open to the public for static use. In 2015, her charity owners secured support from the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund which could lead to finance being made available to allow her to return to service in the near future. In March 2018, the award of a major grant by the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, along with other funds raised from the public and grant-awarding bodies, gives strong hope that the necessary Lottery Fund grant will now be forthcoming in full 

Unlikely .... but true. A number of the paddle steamers now in operation had been out of service for many years until they were restored, often by enthusiasts' groups. The total cost of such a refurbishment is enormous, and if undertaken by enthusiasts, has been shown to take many many years. Conditions have to be right - enough people interested to pursue and finance the project, a place to keep the ship safely and cheaply, and the prospect of running her successfully once she has been restored to operational condition. So many factors have got to be positive for there to be a reasonable prospect of a successful outcome, but existing operators are now wise to the benefits of paddle steamers - and the reasons for their original demise might no longer be valid. Supporters have to rally round the most viable projects.
Click on the vessel name or underlined hyperlink for more


Maid of the Loch
Balloch, UK

After years of neglect after withdrawal from service in 1981, the last major paddler built for the UK remains moored at Balloch, Loch Lomond, but is now being restored by volunteers. Open for visitors to stroll around and relax in the cafe/bar she is also available as a function suite and with the adjacent steam powered slipway now restored and the working machinery available to view on selected wekends, there is now much to see. There is now a real chance she will return to service as the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund has given an initial grant to finance plans to be drawn up for her full renovation and subsequent operation. This has now been completed and a major grant from the Fund is in prospect subject to the ship's owners raising a substantial sum of money on their own account


K.M. Stanyukovich

737-series steamer built in Hungary in 1957 is under refurbishment at Gorodets, near Nizhny Novgorod on the River Volga, by a private owner. A new boiler has been supplied by Master-Watt who adapted a boiler from Czech manufacturer TN for Russian conditions and the engine now works under steam. The photos below show that the vessel has been almost completely stripped and renewed. The official website is an excellent site showing the search for a suitable ship and, in detail, the restoration. It appears not to have been updated since 2010. Photographs taken in 2016 show the ship outwardly at least looking to be in good condition at the Gorodetsky yard


Some recent photos are on this link :

and more of her under restoration :

New boiler in place :

Video footage of vessel including engines in action:

Video of engines test run 4/12/2010 :

Yaroslavl, Russia

Bystryi was built in 1955 in Kiev at the Lenin Shipyard and was the last of her type on the Volga when it was mooted in 1996 to preserve her for the Polytechnic museum. This never happened and she was laid up at Volgoreschensk. However she was bought by a company based in Yaroslavl in 2006 and after refurbishment will moved there for tourist purposes as a passenger steamer. Renovation is underway at Hlebnikovo, in the northern suburbs of Moscow.
Press report :

Enthusist's photos of the refurbishment work :


Warsaw, Poland

It is reported that the city authorities in Warsaw, capital of Poland, have bought the former paddle tug Warmia (formerly Lubecki, Zimsen and originally Poljak) which was originally built in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1911 and reassembled in Wloclawek. She was built with kerosene-burning engines (which are, I understand, in the Warsaw Museum of Technology) until converted to diesel in 1964. She was in service until 1972 and became a floating restaurant at Serock on the river Narew, just north of Warsaw. In 2005 she was bought by the company Hydrobudowa Wloclawec a civil engineering company and in 2009 it was given to the Warsaw city authorities. Now in an almost derelict state, the 50 metre long ship has been allocated to Zegluga Wroclawska (Wroclaw Shipping Company) who are to restore her for about 700,000 and operate her on a 15 year lease for tourist and educational cruises at Warsaw. Work is being undrtaken in the Malbo shipyard at Wroclaw.
Length : 49.88 m - breadth (overall) : 12.21 m

The latest information (late 2015) is that delays with the project have now been overcome and work is planned to progress with the ship expected to return to Warsaw in 2017


33.7 metres long x 4.9 metres breadth
Built in 1865 by Crichton & Co in Lahti as a paddle steamer and used on Lake Paijanni in Finland. In 1904 she was converted to screw propulsion and given new steam engines and new superstructure and renamed "Lahti"
In the 1920s she was used as a “tar” transporting steamer and later as a barge after removal of her engine, being renamed "Iloniemi 6" 
She changed hands several times and was in sunken condition in 1974 when bought by a private preservationist, a Mr Hoyla, who was a car mechanic by trade. A steam engine was fitted in 1975. Side paddle wheels were also fitted in 1978. Sold for a failed museum enterprise in 1984 she was then bought by Captain Hannu Hilden in 1989. She was taken to dry-dock in Jyvaskyla before being sold once again to a preservation society in 2003. 
The ship was located at the Noukanniemi Restaurant at Vaajakoski until transported overland in May 2014 in two parts to the Noukanniemesta Arts centre. She is now owned by the charitable Kauko Sorjonen Foundation, which hopes to restore her and bring her back into operational service, with the support of the Lahtis Paddle Steamer Society which is raising funds for the restoration

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