Contact us

Steamship Sir Walter Scott restoration project


  • Customer: Steamship Sir Walter Scott
  • Industry: Leisure and Tourism
  • Product: Two M-Series Steam Boilers 
  • Goal: Replace failed boilers

The Steamship Sir Walter Scott is a historic steamship that operates on Loch Katrine in Scotland. Built in 1899 and named after the famous Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott, the ship was originally used for transporting passengers and cargo around the loch but is now a popular tourist attraction, offering scenic cruises around the loch and providing visitors with a unique experience of traveling on a historic steamship.

2020 was set to be a high-profile year for the Sir Walter Scott Steamship, marking the 120th year of sailing on Loch Katrine. Sadly, due to the failure of the boilers she was unable to sail in her celebration year, and her long-term future became under serious threat. In 2021 the SOS (Save Our Steamship) appeal was launched and the restoration project began.

Byworth were thrilled to be involved in such an amazing project and now, in 2023, the boilers are fully commissioned and the ship has been moved from dry dock back out to the water to complete the final restoration work before she sails again in April.

We caught up with Gordon Allan, of Steamship Sir Walter Scott Ltd to get his thoughts on the project so far.  

What were the key issues that led to the Steamship restoration project?

The original boilers were replaced for coal fired boilers in 1960 and then in 2008 the decision was made to switch from coal to bio diesel. Unfortunately these replacement boilers developed some significant issues and the ship has been unable to sail until they are resolved.

On a project like this we understand that a competitive price has been key in the decision making process but was there anything else about Byworth that stood out to you?

Cost and a competitive package and payment plan was of paramount importance for the project. We are a charitable organisation and must justify the costs and ensure that we have opted for the most cost-effective solution.  

Byworth were able to offer a solution that fit the requirements and complemented the project aim. However, the visit to Byworth facility and meeting the team including Rob (Baldwin and Gavin (Hindle) sealed the deal. Seeing where the boilers would be made and chatting with the team was a great personal touch that gave us a real feel for the company.

How did you hear about Byworth Boilers?

The Chief Engineer working on the project had previously worked on a similar project where a boiler from the same supplier was replaced with a Byworth. He said the service and product from Byworth had been exceptional and he recommended contacting Byworth for a price. There were concerns that Byworth weren’t Lloyds Marine approved but this issue was resolved by the team early in the project.

How will the new boilers help with the reliability of the ship? (Fuel etc)

The boilers have been designed specifically to meet the demands of the steam ship. From the materials used in manufacturing down to the tie rods used to secure the boilers. What does the restoration project mean to you and the local area? The restoration is so important to all of us. The Ship is an icon in the local area. She is a part of history, and we are really looking forward to seeing her back out on the water.

How did you find the project process and level of service provided by Byworth?

The project hasn’t been without its problems, however the support from the team, especially Robert, has been great. He has gone above and beyond to help.

Were you kept updated regularly on the progress and any issues as and when they arise?

We’ve had great communication from the site with regards to progress including frequent progress pictures. As previously mentioned, Robert has been very hands on throughout the project.

A few words from Byworths Design Engineer Jason on the technical aspects of the project - For this project we needed to conform to Lloyd’s Register Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Ships for the design and manufacture of the steam boilers and systems, as a part of that we had to be audited and become an approved manufacture of Class 1 Fusion Welded Pressure Vessels.

Doing so we are now an Lloyds Marine approved works, which means that we would be able to quote for future marine projects and pressure equipment relating to ships.

A part of the design was that the boiler had to be mounted to but not connected to two saddles, to allow for thermal expansion/vibration and movement/deflection of the ship’s hull. There are to be collision stops fore and aft to prevent excessive fore and aft movement of the boilers. There are to be tie rods in 4 places to attach the boilers to the saddles, these tie rods are to secure the boilers to the ship but allow for the expansion and movement.

“She is the last of her kind and she deserved to be saved! I came out of retirement to work on this project. This is pretty much a dream job. The Steamship is so important to all of us.” David Fountain - Maintenance Engineer

The Steamship Sir Walter Scott

Interested in learning more about the range of products we offer?

Visit our products by type page for full specifications and details.

View our products

Not sure which boiler is right for you?

Call us on +44 (0)1535 665225 and we will advise you on the best product for your needs.

Get in touch

Leave your comment