SL Osprey, 1902

Builder Shepherds, Bowness
Length 45'
Beam 8'
Hull Teak
Engine Sissons 5.25", 8" - 5.5"
Boiler Locomotive, side fired
Speed 10 mph

SL Osprey was built in 1902 and is the sister ship to SL Swallow built in 1911. Osprey has a carvel hull of 1 ¼ inch teak planks on oak frames and copper fastenings. The hull is stiffened by a 6 inch x 4 inch oak keel through-bolted to an oak hog. Osprey’s original engine is unknown but when restored she will be fitted with a contemporary 1901 Sissons Compound engine, similar to others fitted in steam launches of this period.

History and ownership

Osprey was probably one of the first in a series of classic Windermere launches built for private use on the lake. Osprey served many years in service as a passenger boat for the Bowness Bay Boating Company from 1948. It was then acquired by the Steamboat Museum in 1979.


Osprey is the first vessel in the collection to be fully restored in the on-site conservation workshop. Conservation of the boat began when it was lifted from the water in 2007. Following a series of surveys by experts in historic boats, a programme of borate spraying was administered and a Conservation Management Plan was developed. The vessel has since undergone a full programme of conservation and is nearing completion.

Osprey will be displayed afloat in the boathouse and visitors will be able to see the vessel steaming on Windermere as well as offering some passenger trips on the lake.

  • SL Osprey on the Lake © Diana Matthews
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