Previous names

  • Sylvia
  • Puffin
Certificate no 2212
Status Archived


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Launch
Location Cowes
Vessel type Open Launch
Archive reason Loss by fire
Current use None
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Liquid Fuel Engineering Company, Isle of Wight
Built in 1897
Hull material
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Steam
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Steam compound
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
6.75 feet (2.06 m)
Length: Overall
34.98 feet (10.67 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



Steam launch, KARIAT, was designed and built by the Liquid Fuel Engineering Company of East Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1896 for Capt. R T Dixon R.M. of Plymouth. Her compound steam engine was built in 1896 by LIFU Co Ltd., while her present boiler was built in 1989 by H A McEwen Ltd. of Keighley and fitted in 1992.

KARIAT was found derelict at Itchenor in 1953 by Maxwell Savage. Her name had been changed to SYLVIA. She was then restored with fore and aft cabins and re-named PUFFIN. In 1985, she was acquired by Mr and Mrs D Mills and restored to her original style and name and, in 1997, she moved to Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. Acquired 2003 by present owner and moved to Cowes where she was regularly steamed on the Solent and lovingly maintained.

In 2016 it was reported that the vessel had been destroyed following a fire.


Classic Boat: 1,000 Boat Pageant - Steamers and Workboats, June 2012   

Key dates

  • 1896

    Vessel built by the Liquid Fuel Engineering Company of East Cowes, Isle of Wight

  • 1953

    Vessel found derelict and subsequently restored

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