SL August Lady

  • August Lady – Lake Barrington
  • August Lady first Tassie launch (2)
  • August Lady first Tassie launch (3)
Ian Vanderbeek
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Registration or Sail number
Previous name(s)
African Queen
Year launched
circa 1930
Where launched
South Australia
Normal location
Construction materials
Kauri below waterline Oregon above
Construction type
Motor type
Strath Steam vertical single cylinder engine and a vertical fire tube (copper) boiler
Motor power
Ownership period
Previous owner(s)
David Bradley, Birdwood, South Australia, 1992-2019 South Australia Police, dates unknown Engineering and Water Supply Department of South Australia, from construction until around 1945

6 Responses

  1. john.lawrence
    Hello Ian, I know this boat well. Amazing that it has turned up in Tas. I am an ex-Adelaide resident now living in Launceston and have been to many rallies and "messing about" days with this boat and other steam boats in SA. A few examples: Grant Marks and I in "Clayton Lady" and David in "August Lady" steamed across Lake Alexandrina from Clayton to Wellington. David & Robin in "August Lady", David Walton in "Mizz Piggy", and me & our German exchange student in my diesel putt-putt "The Tardis" spent 3 days coming down the Murray from the Vic border to Renmark, camping on the shore Huckleberry Finn style. Two weekends of "Clayton Capers", SA Wooden Boat Festivals, etc. etc. Great days.
    • Hi Peter, I'm still interested in applying to have August Lady put on the ARHV register at some stage.
    • Hi John, Great to hear that someone else knows The Lady quite well! She is still in excellent condition and I've taken the opportunity through the Covid restrictions to give the boiler tubes a decent clean, replace the fire grates, blacken the firebox, re varnish some of the woodwork and clean the brass work. Now is as good a time as ever. Feel free to call me and arrange to drop in and have a look at her when you next happen to be in the Deloraine area
  2. Well done Ian, it would be good to know a bit more about her life in the SA Police or the E&WS. Do you know anyone there who may be able to help? Was her name the same now as during her service for SA Police or the E&WS?
    • Hi Peter I was a bit tardy with the finer details. Here follows some more background. In 1945 she was sold to SA Highways Department. In 1946 Peter Bampton, an apprentice at Highways Department, helped install a Clae Fisherman 10 twin cylinder petrol engine with gearbox. The intention was to use the boat to ferry passengers across the Murray River when ferries broke down. In 1971 she was sold to Mark van Leewin, a Highways Department employee. Albert Temby, of Walker Flat, purchased her in 1974 and renamed her 'African Queen'. Albert was the ferry operator at Walker Flat for many years. She sank at her moorings and stayed there until 1989. In 1989 she was sold to Phil Johns of Bridgewater and in 1992 he was about to burn the hull as part of his daughter's birthday celebrations when David and Robin Bradley of Birdwood, SA, stepped in and bought her, completing a full restoration and resurrecting her as a steam launch and naming her 'August Lady'. We bought her earlier this year and relocated her to Tasmania, where she is much loved and much used on the lakes and rivers in reasonable proximity to Deloraine. Unfortunately the records we have don't tell us what she was named before 1974.
      • Thanks for this additional information Ian. I have contacted the SA Police Historic Society and they have no information on her but did provide a thorough response which I will forward to you. When we catch up I would like to discuss with you an application for the Australian Register of Historic Vessels at the Australian National maritime Museum. I am happy to help you with this as I work as a volunteer for the ARHV. Are you coming down to the Huonville day this week end? We are also planning an event on the Tamar for the new year, more about that later.

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