Kingston Mouldings Kingston Mouldings
Kingston Mouldings
Kingston Mouldings

Hull Length:810mm (32") Beam:225mm (9") Scale:1/24th
Small Scottish steam coasters such as Inchcolm built in 1909, were a common sight in northern waters in the first half of the 20th century, Para Handy’s Vital Spark was one well-known fictional example. They became known as 'puffers' because of the sound the simple non-condensing coal fired engines of the very earliest boats made. The drawing for this hull contains details of Inchcolm as originally launched, and also as rebuilt around 1930 with an enclosed wheelhouse and a few other small changes. Most puffers were 66 feet long, and this meant that they could travel between the east and west coasts of Scotland through the 70 foot locks of the Firth and Clyde cana that connects the two coasts, and also the smaller Crinan canal, which saved a long loop around the Mull of Kintyre in Argyll, when sailing to the Western Isles. Some of the later Puffers were larger than this though, so that they could carry greater loads and undertake longer coastal voyages, and these were commonly referred to as ‘outside’ boats. The first photo shows an electric powered Inchcolm, and the second a Cheddar Pintail powered example. Some ingenuity is needed with steam powered models because of the rearward funnel location, and although a scale arrangement is possible, in this model the builder took an easy way out, mounting the boiler over the propeller shaft, with the steam engine in front of it, and underneath the hold amidships.