Steam Launch ‘Consuta’
A few of images of Steam Launch “Consuta” on the Kennet and Avon Canal in September 2023. “Consuta”, as her Latin name implies (sewn), is constructed in a very unusual manner; the laminated mahogany hull being literally stitched together using Copper wire to form an almost perfect monocoque structure with very few internal frames. She was built in 1898 at Goring on Thames by Samuel E Saunders and Co., who pioneered and patented this form of construction. The firm subsequently morphed into Saunders – Roe Aircraft, situated on the Isle of Wight. They later built seaplanes and flying boats using this method of construction. This 50 foot vessel was built specifically as a very fast (over 24 Knots) Umpire’s Launch for the Henley Regattas. As well as being fast “Consuta” was also designed to produce a minimum of wash. She featured as the Umpire’s Launch in the first televised Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. She is believed to have her original engine although the boiler is a new locomotive type. Today they were testing three different fuels to determine the optimum one to use. I have been on this launch and can attest that she is fast and can reach speed and decelerate very quickly.
For more information and photos visit the “Consuta” Trust website at this link.
© John Willock 3rd October 2023