Technical Details

Paddle Steamer Waverley cruising Loch Gairloch.


ShipbuilerA. & J. Inglis of Pointhouse, Glasgow. Keel laid Thursday 27th December 1945
Official number169494
Yard number1330P
Cost£107,725 in 1945 of which £15,125 was compensation from the Admiralty for the loss of the previous Waverley at Dunkirk
Adjusted for inflation this equates approximately £4.7m today
Engine builderRankin & Blackmore, Eagle Foundry, Greenock. Engine number 520
Engine typeTriple expansion steam engine
Maximum of 2,100 indicated horsepower (1,566kW) at 58rpm
Cylinders, 24″, 39″ and 66″ (61cm, 99cm and 168cm); typically operate at 130, 35 and 0psi (9, 2 and 0 Bar); stroke 66″ (168cm)
Boiler makers1946 – Coal fired, double-ended Scotch boiler (preserved at the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine)
1956 – Converted to oil firing
1981 – Re-boilered with a Babcock “Steambloc” Type TC50 boiler weighing approximately 51 tonnes
2000 – Re-boilered with a pair of Cochran Thermax boilers during Heritage Rebuild. Each boiler cost £220,000. Each holds 20 tonnes of water and can generate 5.5 tonnes of steam per hour at 180psi
2020 – Re-boilered with a new pair of Cochran boilers burning marine gas oil
MachineryIncluding the main engine there are 11 steam engines on the ship including the winch, capstan, various pumps, reversing engine and steam tiller
2020 – Pair of diesel powered generators replaced by three Caterpillar generators (2x 129kW, 1x 80kW) (plus emergency generator aft)
Paddle wheelsEach paddle wheel has eight timber paddle floats 11ft. by 3ft. (3.4m x 0.9m)
Floats diameter 13ft 10in (to float centres)
At 42rpm floats move at 30ft/sec whilst ship moves at 24ft/sec through the water
The main crankshaft is solidly attached to both paddle wheels so they cannot turn independently of each other
FunnelsTwo of welded aluminium construction, 24 feet 8 inches (7.5m) in hight (including 3 foot / 0.9m high casing at base)
Fuel consumption0.7 tonnes (approximately 154 gallons or 700 litres) per hour of low-sulphur medium fuel oil at service speed of 14 knots
LaunchedWednesday 2nd October 1946 by Lady Matthews, the wife of the Chairman of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER)
TrialsMonday 2nd to Thursday 5th June 1947, maximum speed obtained 18.37 knots (21 mph / 34 kph) at 56.5rpm
First passenger sailingMonday 16th June 1947
Length overall239 feet, 11 inches (73.1 metres)
Beam57 feet, 3 inches (17.5 metres)
Draught6 feet, 3 inches (1.9 metres)
Gross tonnage693 (328 net)
Service speed14.5 knots (17 mph / 27 kph) at 46rpm
Port of registryGlasgow
MCA passenger certificatesClass III 740 (originally 829)
Class IV 800 (originally 967)
Class V 925 (originally 1,350)
CallsignGRPM
IMO number5386954
MMSI number232001540
CrewNominally 20 fully certified crew who live on board the ship. Unlike heritage railways the need for current certification generally precludes the use of volunteers
Operational owners1947 – London & North Eastern Railway
1948 – British Transport Commission
1951 – Caledonian Steam Packet Company Limited
1973 – Caledonian MacBrayne Limited
1974 to present day – Waverley Steam Navigation Company (since 1978 operated by Waverley Excursions Ltd.)