The first of an occasional series of posts, about other boats that I like. You'll have to excuse me sounding like Tom Cunliffe in his recent BBC series...
This is Consuta, built in 1898 as an umpire's launch for rowing races. The umnpire is necessary for regatta-style racing, especially when there are no buoys to mark the racing lanes, such as at Henley Royal and Women's Regattas, and the Umpire uses a flag to warn crews to move apart. She had to be fast, to keep up with rowing eights- top speed is about 17mph- and powerful, able to accelerate rapidly from a standstill to full speed. In 1898, that meant a steam power plant.
She has a locomotive-style boiler, supplying a 100hp. vertical steam engine, and is made of veneers of mahogony, stitched together with copper wire. At 50ft long, a fraction longer than the Duck, she weighs just 3 tons.
Here she is, in action at Henley Women's Regatta in 2009: