Loch Katrine Excursion Report

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Loch Katrine Excursion Report

On Saturday 9th September the Scottish Branch of the PSPS and Coastal Cruising Association (CCA) held another of their successful day outings.

The destination on this occasion was Loch Katrine to sample the delights of sailing on the historic steamship Sir Walter Scott as well as Lady of the Lake. Sir Walter Scott was built on the Clyde at Dumbarton by William Denny Brothers in 1899. She was transported in sections to Loch Katrine before being rebuild at Stronachlacher. Her first sailing on the loch was in April 1900. She is powered by a three cylinder triple expansion steam engine supplied with steam from two Cochran boilers which burn bio-fuel. She was coal fired up until 2007.

Sir Walter Scott’s appearance has changed a little over her 117 year career but more notable was the addition of a forward cabin in 2009. This does give the small steamer a different external appearance compared to the past but the cabin does provide a very comfortable lounge to enjoy the delights of Loch Katrine even when the weather might not be so delightful.

Sir Walter Scott boarding passengers at Trossachs Pier prior to her morning run to Stronachlachar. Graeme Phanco

The outing attracted 43 members and friends from both organisations with a coach running from Glasgow city centre direct to Trossachs Pier for Sir Walter Scott’s 1030 departure to Stronachlacher Pier. A warm welcome was received on board by some well known former Waverley crew in the form of Ken Henderson and Scott Johnston.

Inside the forward cabin on Sir Walter Scott. Paul Semple

The comfortable lower rear saloon on Sir Walter Scott looking aft. Paul Semple

Sir Walter Scott’s original 1899 built triple expansion steam engine. Paul Semple

A display aboard on board Sir Walter Scott. Paul Semple

Sir Walter Scott duly arrived at Stronachlacher Pier by 11:30am where our group disembarked for some time ashore. The cafe at Stronachlacher was a worth while stop for refreshments while some of the group took a short walk to observe the slip way which is used for Sir Walter Scott’s refit work.

Sir Walter Scott berthed at Stronachlachar Pier. Graeme Phanco

Just before 2:30pm Lady of the Lake arrived at Stronachlacher Pier and welcomed our group aboard for her afternoon run back to Trossachs. On departure from Stronachlacher Lady of the Lake initially sailed in the direction of Trossachs before turning and heading further up the loch.

Lady of the Lake arriving at Stronachlachar. Graeme Phanco

After arriving back at Trossachs our group headed for the Brenachoile cafe where high tea was served. We were able to watch Sir Walter Scott returning to Trossachs at 5pm at the end of her schedule for the day before she was put to bed for the night. The return coach journey to Glasgow was in early evening sunshine and created the feeling of a thoroughly enjoyable summer excursion.

Sir Walter Scott cants at Trossachs Pier having completed her 4pm 1 hour cruise. Graeme Phanco

Alongside Trossachs Pier for the night. Graeme Phanco

The next joint excursion by the PSPS and CCA Scottish Branches will be our annual Festive Cruise which will take place on Wednesday 27th December on board Clyde Clipper. This year will see us travel through the Kyles, turning off Kames before heading into Loch Riddon for a photo call at Ormidale pier. Full details will be issued with the next edition of Paddle Wheels magazine which will be posted out the last week in September.