Steamboat Sonor ~
Peter J Devrell.
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Aa run-past shot of Sonor with P S Waverley in the background
A close-up shot of myself and and Sonor's boiler
Sonor at speed with Captain David
Neill of the
P S Waverley at the helm
have always been interested in all forms of steam power, but it was the classic
African Queen that gave me the inspiration to own my own steamer.
purchased the boat early in 1974 from a fisherman who used it on the River
Thames near London.
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.
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.
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.
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 &
show Sonor in Bristol Docks in October 1995 during a visit of the worlds last
seagoing Paddle steamer, the Paddle Steamer Waverley.