What is the vessel’s ability to demonstrate history in her physical fabric?
OTTO is a fast, steel hulled launch, fitted with her original powerful triple expansion Sissons steam engine. Her design sees the rudder mounted forwards of the propeller, making her difficult to handle at low speeds in confined areas. There is a high percentage of original material and fittings in this craft which adds greatly to her significance and she will be restored with the minimum intervention of new material, whilst retaining the capacity for operational use.
What are the vessel’s associational links for which there is no physical evidence?
OTTO was built at Wivenhoe by Forrestt & Sons in 1896 as the GREBE, having been designed by A R Sladen for his brother Mortimer of Cleve House, Windermere. She is a magnificent example of the private steam launches designed for pleasure at the turn of the 20th Century. OTTO has spent her whole life on Lake Windermere and therefore has a strong association to this area.
How does the vessel’s shape or form combine and contribute to her function?
OTTO has a strong, well proportioned riveted steel hull which, with a powerful engine and advanced propeller design, gave her a high speed. Her canopied accommodation was designed to cater for some 10-12 guests out for a day on the Lake.
Source: George Hogg, Registration Sub Committee, National Historic Ships Date: May 2011.
Built in 1896 by Forrest & Sons Ltd., of Wyvenhoe for J M Sladen and named GREBE, this is a launch with a riveted steel hull and a triple expansion engine by W Sisson & Co., Gloucester. In 1899, she was sold to W Whitehead and renamed. OTTO was subsequently owned by Sir W Crossley and S Rhodes. She was acquired in 1973 by Hon. Patrick Lindsay who had the hull and plant overhauled by R B Harrison. She was then bought by the Windermere Steamboat Museum in 1980 and remains there on display
Sullivan, Dick, Old Ships, Boats and Maritime Museums, Coracle Books, 1978
Steamboat Register: An illustrated Register of surviving steam vessels in the British Isles, Steam Boat Association of Great Britain, Edition 6, May 1994
Windermere Steamboat Museum and Motorboat Collection, Windermere Nautical Trust Ltd, 1988
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