Falmouth Classics to feature steam-powered boats for first time

wooden steam boat with two people onboard and a red ensign flying

The UK sailing regatta Falmouth Classics will welcome steam-powered boats for the first time this year.

The 2023 edition of the event, sponsored this year by Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management, will see a fleet of twelve steam boats swell its ranks, all members of the International Steam Boat Association.

Joining more than 200 gaff and Bermudan yachts, luggers and working boats, the steam boats will add to the celebrations that will fill the Port of Falmouth, Cornwall from 16-18 June 2023. The regatta coincides with the International Sea Shanty Festival, with the organisers saying the racing and parades on the water will add a marine dimension to the on-land festivities.

“Participation by members of the Steam Boat Association will add another dimension to the 2023 Falmouth Classics, and we look forward to the sights, smells and sounds of steam in the port provided by the fleet of beautifully maintained craft,” says Don Garman, vice chairman of the Falmouth Classics Association.

With many built and designed before the 1950s, the steam boats will be based at Mylor Yacht Harbour for the duration, visiting the port on Saturday 17 June from 11am until 2pm, where they will be available to be viewed by the public on the Falmouth Haven. Later, they’ll be moored alongside at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, before participating in the Heather and Lay Steam Small Boat Parade in the inner harbour on Sunday between 1pm and 2.20pm.

Alan Davis and Nigel Cooper, from the Steam Boat Association say: “Our rally participants are very much looking forward to participating in the Falmouth Classics on both the Saturday and the Sunday and the Steam Boat Association has already been warmly welcomed by the Falmouth Classics team.”

Ranging from 15ft to 28ft in length, the oldest steam boat in the fleet is Artemis, built in 1899 as one of two tenders to the yacht Artemis, a 120′ Yawl. Coal-fired and still sporting her original 1899 quadruple expansion engine, current owner Mike Phillips, says: “With a good stoker, she can maintain a steady 6-7 knots.”

The 2023 Falmouth Classics includes three races in the Fal and the bay, a grand parade of sail in the Carrick Roads, the Heather and Lay steam and small boat parade in the inner harbour, a rowing and sculling competition at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, and a Maritime Village on the town quays.

Comments are closed.