Certificate no 22
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Launch
Location Shepperton
Vessel type Saloon Launch
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Cawston, E W & W E, Reading
Built in 1901
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Steam
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Steam compound
Boiler type Vertical
Boilermaker John Ashton, Wallingford
Boiler year 1980
Boiler fuel oil


Breadth: Beam
10.23 feet (3.12 m)
3.64 feet (1.11 m)
Length: Overall
52.46 feet (16.00 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



Built in 1901 by Cawstons of Reading, ECLIPSE is a steam launch of teak on oak frames with a mahogany saloon. Her current engine is a steam compound built by Ian MacDougall in 1984. She was originally used as a hire launch for Cawstons' own fleet, then was used as a ferry boat between Hampton and Kingston until 1960 and subsequently as a motor tripper at Kingston.

She changed hands in 1978 and was completely restored between 1980 and 1984. Her current owners bought her in 1994 and she is now available for charter, based at Hampton Court.


Steamboat Register: An illustrated Register of surviving steam vessels in the British Isles, Edition 6, May 1994 

Key dates

  • 1901

    Built by Cawstons of Caversham, Reading as a Steam Passenger Launch for Cawstons own Hire Fleet to carry 60 passengers

  • 1901-1960

    Used as a Ferry Boat between Hampton and Kingston on the River Thames

  • 1960s

     Used as a Motor Tripping Launch at Kingston-upon-Thames

  • 1978

    Acquired and entirely rebuilt with the steam plant fitted by Ian Macdougal

  • 1980-1984


  • 1984

    New steam plant installed

  • 1994

    Acquired by present owner

  • 1997

    Boiler retubed

  • 2015

    Vessel is thought to be in good condition and still operating as a Luxury Steam Launch to carry 12 passengers running trips on the River Thames

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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