SY Carola

Possibly the oldest seagoing steam yacht in the world, SY Carola was built in 1898 by Scott & Sons of Bowling at their shipyard on the north banks of the River Clyde. At 70ft in length, Carola is of steel construction with teak decking and deckhouse, and now has two masts. Her engine was a two cylinder compound steam engine by Ross and Duncan (1898)

Built for personal use by the shipbuilder’s family, Carola was used as a yacht during the summer months, sailing around the Firth of Clyde and Western Isles on the west coast of Scotland, and was also used by the family to travel to their holiday home at Colintraive on the Cowal Peninsula, Argyll.

When not being used for pleasure by the family, Carola would sometimes take groups of senior yard staff on Clyde cruises and in winter would have served as a tender and tug at the shipyard.

Carola was owned by the Scott family for many years, although ownership of the vessel was passed to the company in the late 1950s.

By 1964 she was in a semi-derelict state and was sold to a private owner, before being sold on again in 1970 to an owner in the south of England.

In 1981 she was purchased by a Sussex firm her used her for corporate hospitality, then passed on to another Sussex firm in 1990 before becoming part of the Scottish Maritime Museum’s collection in 1994 when a crew of volunteers from the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service Association brought her up on the long voyage to Irvine.  She is now on the National Register of Historic Vessels of the United Kingdom.