~ Steamboat Sonor ~
by
Peter J Devrell.   peter@jdevrell.freeserve.co.uk

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Sonor-A1.JPG (70522 bytes)
    Aa run-past shot of Sonor with P S Waverley in the background

Sonor-B1.JPG (38893 bytes)   A close-up shot of myself and and Sonor's boiler

Sonor-C1.JPG (31685 bytes)   

   Sonor at speed with Captain David Neill of the
    P S Waverley at the helm

I have always been interested in all forms of steam power, but it was the classic film
African Queen that gave me the inspiration to own my own steamer.

I purchased the boat early in 1974 from a fisherman who used it on the River Thames near London.

Within the next ten months the single cylinder petrol engine was removed and replaced by a Stuart Turner 5A steam engine with steam being supplied by a small vertical coal fired boiler. She was then named Sonor and  made her first run under steam on December 22nd 1974 on the River Avon at Bath England.

Several modifications have taken place over the years to improve her handling and efficiently, the most notable being a larger boiler in 1983, fibre glass coating to the hull in 1984 and the introduction of a water feed heater in 1987.

The new vertical boiler has a wet firebox and  heat distribution is aided by 19 x 1 firetubes supplying steam at 70PSI to the ST 5A engine. The engine is fitted with slip eccentric reverse. The exhaust steam splits two ways. One line goes direct in to the base of the chimney to create a draft on the fire and line two goes to the water feed heater to heat up incoming water before it is finally pumped into the boiler. The boiler feeds are by an engine driven pump and injector.

Steamboat Sonor is twelve feet long and trailerable, she has now been operating for well over twenty-five years and is normally found on her home waters of the River Avon at Bath and the adjoining Kennet  & Avon canal.

Photographs show Sonor in Bristol Docks in October 1995 during a visit of the worlds last seagoing Paddle steamer, the Paddle Steamer Waverley.

Peter J Devrell.   peter@jdeverell.freeserve.co.uk
Bath, England.
December 2000.