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STERNWHEELERS : IN STEAM or CONVERTED FROM STEAM
Operational, laid-up or static uses

BelleOfLouisville2004JoeSchneid.jpg
The United States of America is the home of the stern-wheeler. It was developed to allow ships with very shallow draughts navigate the many rivers of the USA, particularly as populations expanded westwards into undeveloped areas.


Whilst this "Mississippi" style of steamboat has been copied worlwide for modern tourist vessels primarily because of their unusual and attractive design, most of these have been diesel powered ships, often with the the paddle wheel for decorative purposes only.

Very few genuine stern wheel steamships survive in the USA and some of those have been of relatively recent construction. One with a long and varied history which survives very successfully based in Louisville is the Belle of Louisville, seen left in a photo kindly made available for use by Joe Schneid of Louisville on Wiki Commons under Creative Commons licence Attribution 3.0 Unported ( see this link for details : http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en
This must be adhered to foe any use of this image. Many thaks to Mr Schneid for making this photo available


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Click here for United States of America


CANADA


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EGYPT


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SUDAN


There is a possibility that one stern quarter-wheeler currently known as "Lotus" is in operation
A number of old sternwheelers lie derelict at Esh Shagara dockyard at the north of Khartoum. One of these is known to be PS Kassala

Amongst those might remain examples from a group of six stern-wheel vessels built by Yarrows at Glasgow in 1953 (Marra, Taka, Imatong, Lado, Hurriyah and Tagoog) Can anyone add any information about paddle steamers in Sudan? If so, please contact the webmaster. Details on the homepage


BURMA


There is a long history of steamboating in Burma, particularly on its main river the Irrawaddy. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company was founded in 1865 by Scotsmen Robert Findlay, owner of a teak logging company and Peter Denny of the family-owned shipbuilders in Dumbarton and grew to become reputedly the largest privately-owned fleet in the world. A large percentage of its ships were built in Scotland, mainly by Denny's, and most were paddle steamers - mostly side-wheelers but also some  stern/quarter-wheelers. A number of the more recently delivered stern wheelers are believed to have survived and remain in operation despite conversion to diesel and screw propulsion.

5 stern/quarter wheel paddle steamers were built in 1956 at Yarrows, Glasgow, for the Burmese Inland Water Transport Board :

Pondaung
Padapyan
Padamya
Padashin
Ponnya

A number of these are believed to have survived but converted to diesel operation and screw propulsion

Notes on the current rv Pandaw:
One was chartered from the Burma Inland Water Transport Board and renovated specifically for the international tourist market for by the newly reconstituted privately-owned Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (the company which became the Burma Inland Transport Water Board on nationalisation in 1948) in 1998 and entered service as a high-class cruise ship for the company which now trades as Pandaw River Cruises Ltd. She had been found in poor state at Mandalay having spent years transporting cargo, animals and passengers along the Irrawaddy. Whilst the new company went on to build a number of new vessels diesel/screw vessels inspired by the old designs, the restored boat transferred to the Ayravata Cruises Company on charter in 2003 and underwent further restoration. She operates with diesel power and Schottel propulsion units, having been converted during a renovation in 1980 in the Dalla Dockyard. Her website
http://pandaw1947.com/ notes that she was from the 1947 batch of Yarrow ships, but as those were larger side-wheelers, Tramscape suggests that this ship was actually built in 1956.

Website for Pandaw River Cruises : http://www.pandaw.com/index.php with details of the cruises plus full details of the replica "colonial style" motor ships in their fleet.
Website for Ayravata Cruises
http://www.ayravatacruises.com/ who also now have their modern "replica" vessels as well as the old Pandaw

Note : Yarrows also built a number of diesel/screw vessels for the Burmese Inland Transport Water Board in 1955 : Chinbo, Chinyei, Chinma and Chingale
 


AUSTRALIA


Murray Princess (1986 ) - at Mannum

Sydney Showboat II - at Sydney


GERMANY


Alexander :  Modern reproduction built in 2000 of a sternwheeler originally built as a birthday present for Kaiser Wilhem II but never in operation as the end of the Empire came in 1918. The ship's ownership was transferred to Berliner Schiff-Tours in 2004 and is available for charter for up to 55 people on a variety of itineraries in and around Berlin. She is based at Muggelseedamm between Kopenick and Friedrichshagen in the east of the city. Length 25 metres, breadth 4.75 metres, draught 1.12 metres.
Website : http://www.berliner-schiffscharter.de/cms/startseite 


FRANCE


Mark Twain : Very short trips of around 20 minutes through an artificial lagoon with riverbank "attractions" in the Disney fun park, guided by an underwater rail

BRAZIL


Click here for Brazil

VERY SMALL STEAM-POWERED STERN-WHEELERS


CZECH REPUBLIC



Above : Two small steam powered sternwheelers have been constructed in recent years which offer short trips in the Czech town of Hradec Kralove. The Hradec was built in 1998 and the Kralovna Eliska in 2004 and operate for a company founded in 1998 by  Kostkan Jaroslav and Zdenek Balsky which runs short 50-minute cruises every hour on weekends and every hour in the afternoons otherwise. Photo above by kind courtesy of Tam Nugent

Click here for more photos by Tam Nugent

Website : http://www.paroplavba.wz.cz/


PLEASE NOTE : STERN WHEELERS CONSTRUCTED NEW WITH DIESEL OR MOTOR POWER ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS DATABASE


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