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Hasty is a modern narrow boat built on the lines of the GJCCo steam tunnel tugs. Her design was based on the limited information and photographs available, most of which were found on the Steamers Historical website and it’s fair to say that without this website Hasty (2011) would never have been built.


She is 60’ long which is about 11 feet longer than the original tunnel tugs. This extra length has been added so that some comfortable living accommodation can be included in the design to make it more practical for cruising today’s canals. It is of steel construction instead of wood but there are records of at least one “Hasty” having had an iron hull. Built by Brinklow Boat Services of Stretton Under Fosse she was launched on July 20th 2011 which coincidently was the engine’s 46th birthday.


The engine is a Sisson of Gloucester. Built in 1965 it is probably the last engine to carry the Sisson name. It is compound, which means it has two cylinders using two very different steam principles. The Trevithick principle is used for the high pressure cylinder.  Then the exhaust is piped to the much larger diameter low pressure cylinder which, when coupled to a condenser, works on the Watt principle. The engine produces 15 horse power when running at 250 RPM and 150 PSI of steam. For cruising the English canals the speed is rarely more than 200 RPM. The engine was made for Cape Town Technical College in South Africa to be used as a scientific engine.  It was repatriated and modified for marine use in 2004. The prop is 28” diameter by 48” pitch and the draught at the stern is 40”


The boiler was originally made in 1992 for use in the FMC steamer Monarch. It is a vertical fire tube boiler with 275 one inch tubes and 41 stays. Total height of the pressure vessel is 41” and diameter is 39”, it holds 250 litres of water when running. It is coal fired and uses approximately 5kg of good Welsh dry steam coal per mile depending on the water depth plus one 25kg sack of coal to light up. The boiler is fed by a mechanical triplex plunger pump driven off the engine flywheel and there are also two Penberthy injectors, one ” and the other ”.


Hasty is a deep, heavy boat that takes quite a bit of getting used to even for the most experienced boaters. Although 26 tonnes in weight she can stop in her own length from her normal cruising speed.  However, due to the large propeller, she does tend to twist sideways during emergency stops.


Hasty  is moored at Swan Lane Wharf in Coventry and used for pleasure cruising and the occasional show but it is my aim to get her involved in charitable fundraising and educational work relating to the canals.

Keith Ward, 2012


See http://www.tunneltug.org.uk/index.html