Wonderful summer boat excursions

Posted by Chris Graham on 1st June 2022

We report on the encouraging plans to get summer boat excursions back up and running again after two years of Covid-induced inactivity.

summer boat excursions

The wooden-hulled Souter’s Lass was built by Bolson & Sons Ltd, in Poole, and served as Bournemouth Belle, being renamed Weymouth Belle in 1980 and taking her current name in 1987, when transferred to Fort William.

After passenger trip boat operators were affected by Covid over the past two summers, operators are looking to get back to normal in 2022. One, Richardson and Simpson, will again be using the 1947-built/70gt/198-passenger Yorkshire Belle for regular cruises from Bridlington to Flamborough Head, Filey Bay and other destinations. Built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell at Beverley, she had her original Crossley diesel engines replaced in 1951 by Gardner diesels. Last winter she went to the Humber for annual overhaul, which included a dry-docking at Hull by Deans Marine Services, returning to Bridlington on 24 February.

The 1948-built/64gt wooden-hulled Souter’s Lass, owed by Crannog Cruises, is running from Fort William, taking up to 216 passengers on itineraries into Loch Linnhe or Loch Eil. The vessel’s career started in 1948, when Bolson’s Poole Yard delivered her to the Royal Navy for service as a tender. Passenger sailings followed as Weymouth Belle and Bournemouth Belle before she went seven years linking John O’Groats with Orkney until the move to Fort William.

The veteran Poole-based Dorset Queen, which takes up to 100 passengers on special theme trips and is also in demand to be chartered for corporate events, weddings and other celebrations. (Pic: Kevin Mitchell)

On the South Coast there’s good news for Dorset Belle Pleasure Cruises, with work at Bournemouth Pier completed to allow the 1974-built Dorset Belle to continue offering sailings around Poole Bay and along the Dorset coast. Carrying 178 passengers, she was built along with sisters Bournemouth Belle (1975) and Poole Belle (1977) at the Bolson Shipyard in Poole and spent time on Wight Line crossings to Portsmouth before moving back west. Another veteran in the area is the 1938-built Poole-based Dorset Queen, which can be chartered for corporate events.

This news item comes from the latest issue of Ships Monthly, and you can getr a brilliant, money-saving subscription simply by clicking HERE


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