Steam Launch (SL) Osprey was built in 1902 in Bowness. She is probably one of the first in a series of classic Windermere steam launches and is the sister ship to Swallow, also part of the museum collection. Osprey was originally built for private use but spent many years in service as a passenger boat for the Bowness Bay Boating Company from 1948.
Osprey has been restored by our conservation team and will be displayed in the new boathouse when the museum opens. As a result of her life in service Osprey needed quite a lot of restoration and has had three replacement planks fitted on each side and a new stem built from locally sourced oak. We have also fitted additional strengthening to the hull to support the heavy engine and boiler, and a new propeller was cast from Osprey’s sister boat Swallow. Replacement decorative features, flooring and linings were also crafted by our apprentice and conservation assistant and have been fitted to the interior of the boat. All the teak surfaces have been protected with eight coats of traditional oil-based varnish.
After many years running on diesel, Osprey has been returned to steam power. In October 2017, Osprey’s new boiler was installed and fitted to the steering, marking the final stages of restoration.
Osprey is the first of the Windermere Jetty steam launches to take to the water. You can book a memorable heritage boat trip on Osprey when you visit.