Talisman is described as using 0.75 tons of Diesel per hour on full power and 0.6 tons per hour “economical”. Her bunkers are said to be for 25 tons so that would have given her thirty three hours of steaming flat out or forty one hours “economical” before she needed her tank topping up.
By comparison, Kingswear Castle uses 0.1 ton of coal an hour “economical” and has bunkers for 4 tons so has pretty much exactly the same steaming range of about forty hours “economical” as Talisman. It is also a good reminder that setting a timetable which allows a paddler to sail around at an economical rather than a flat out speed saves an awful lot of fuel and allows you to go much further for your money. In this case a 25% saving on the fuel bill or 25% further. And that’s a lot of dosh.
At that time the Talisman had only Board of Trade Class IV and V passengers certificates for 822 and 1,252 respectively and no Class III certificates for going to seaward of the old Partially Smooth Water limits (now called category D waters).
And, although she could carry this stomping great 1,252 passengers on Class V, she had a catering seating capacity of a mere 96 in the dining saloon and 30 in the tearoom. By a simple arithmetical process that would have left a queue of 1,126 waiting for lunch or tea!
Not that that would have been a major issue on what became her regular circuit each summer on the short fifty five minute run from Wemyss Bay to Millport with calls at Fairlie and Largs. But it does illustrate that paddlers were not generally designed to maximise catering revenue by giving everyone a seat at a table at which they could tuck into yummy eats whilst watching the relaxing scenery glide by through picture windows. Capt Shippick was moving in that direction with his new Thames ships in the 1930s but nobody else was in the UK. Eating in the dining saloon was for the exclusive few.
Sadly, Tony McGinnity’s efforts to sell the Talisman for further service came to nothing and she arrived at the breaker’s yard at Dalmuir on 17th October 1967.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.