Access Keys

Vessel Archive 1861-1880

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer Lord of the Isles
PS Lord of the Islespaddle steamer
Registered No:29100
Builders:Thames Shipbuilding Co.
Tonnage:126 tonnes gross
Dimensions:145'0" x 18'1"
Machinery:oscillating paddle
Withdrawn:1889 (scrapped 1889)

Built for the competing Southampton, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Improved Steam Boat Co. this iron hulled Solent steamer was the first to have deckhouse saloons, a ladies cabin, hot water pipe heating and even a promenade deck with seats and a handrail. Her maiden voyage was on 6 May 1861 where she made 14.18 knots over the Stokes Bay measured mile. Within a year her owners were bankrupt and she was purchased by the newly formed Red Funnel in 1865. On 1 August 1871 she was deployed on the R.Y.S Cowes fireworks excursion from Portsmouth and Ryde but drifted across the bows of another Southampton steamer. In the pursuing investigation she was found to have 400 passengers aboard despite a certificate for only 208. From 1883 until retirement Lord of the Isles was used for cargo duties.

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer Lady of the Lake
PS Lady of the Lakepaddle steamer
Registered No:43772
Builders:Thames Shipbuilding Co.
Tonnage:104 tonnes gross
Dimensions:147'6" x 17'9"
Machinery:oscillating paddle
Withdrawn:1887 (scrapped 1887)

Sister ship to Lord of the Isles and again built for the opposition, the Southampton, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Improved Steam Boat Co. This steamer was acquired by Red Funnel in 1865 for passenger duties. She had a perculiar forward saloon which was oval in shape and the aft saloon did not extend the full width of the hull. In 1882 she was modified for cargo work.

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer Vectis
PS Vectispaddle steamer
Registered No:56125
Builders:J. White & Co, Cowes
Tonnage:137 tonnes gross
Dimensions:150'6" x 18'2"
Machinery:60hp paddle
Withdrawn:1910 (scrapped 1911)

This wooden hulled steamer was the first built for the Southampton Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Limited ("Red Funnel") and was launched on 14 June 1866 by Miss Elizabeth Lamb, daughter of the Chairman. In 1870 Vectis was used to tow the yacht 'Cambria' from Cowes to the Nab for the start of 3 races with the yacht 'Sappho'. PS Ruby was used to tow 'Sappho' but required assistance from Vectis due to the strong wind. With officials aboard, she escorted the yachts eastwards to Beachy Head before returning to Cowes arriving at 3am the next day. Cambria won the race, arriving in Cowes at 4am and Sappho at 6am! With newer ships taking over excursion work, Vectis was used on the packet services until 1887 when she was converted into a cargo steamer - the removal of her clipper bow reduced her length to 140'8".

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer PS Southampton
PS Southamptonpaddle steamer
Registered No:62236
Builders:Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd Glasgow
Tonnage:203 tonnes gross
Dimensions:150'1" x 20'0"
Machinery:compound diagonal, paddle
Withdrawn:1902 (scrapped 1915)

Southampton was the first of a series of iron-hulled ships built on the Clyde. She had a narrow deck saloon aft, an open foredeck, a foredeck wheel in front of the funnel and engine room telegraphs fitted to the forward sponsons. Later she was fitted with a plank bridge aft of the funnel between the paddle boxes and given a new boiler in 1897 by Fay & Co. in Northam, she was sold in 1902.

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer PS Carisbrooke
PS Carisbrookepaddle steamer
Registered No:72360
Builders:Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd Glasgow
Tonnage:198 tonnes gross
Dimensions:165'7" x 20'1"
Machinery:70hp compound oscillating, paddle
Withdrawn:1905 (scrapped 1935)

Launched on 26 January 1876, she left Glasgow on 25 March arriving in Southampton after a stormy passage on the 31 March. Unlike the modern PS Southampton, the Company reverted to the 'old style' with this ship, fitting compound oscillating engines with a funnel aft of the paddle box. She started life on excursion and tendering duties. In September 1893 when backing out of Cowes at night she sank the yacht 'Titania' and cost the Company £485 1s. 0d. Carisbrooke was reboilered in 1889 and redecked in 1895 but the need for another new boiler in 1905 led to the decision to sell her to the Colwyn Bay & Liverpool Steamship Co. Ltd.

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer PS Prince Leopold
PS Prince Leopoldpaddle steamer
Registered No:72361
Builders:Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd Glasgow
Tonnage:196 tonnes gross
Dimensions:165'6" x 20'1"
Machinery:70hp compound oscillating, paddle
Withdrawn:1905 (wrecked 1908)

Arriving from Glasgow on 17 April 1876, Prince Leopold's career was very similar to sister ship PS Carosbrooke. She collided with Yarmouth Pier in August 1876 causing £200 worth of damage to her port sponson, deck and pantry. She was reboilered in 1889, redecked in 1895 and sold to the Colwyn Bay & Liverpool Steamship Co. in 1906.

Red Funnel Paddle Steamer PS Princess Beatrice
PS Princess Beatricepaddle steamer
Registered No:82408
Builders:Barclay, Curle Co Ltd Glasgow
Entered service:1880
Tonnage:253 tonnes gross
Dimensions:175'7" x 20'1"
Machinery:90hp compound diagonal, paddle
Withdrawn:1930 (scrapped 1933)

This steamer was an improved version of the PS Southampton reverting back to compound diagonal engines with the funnel forward of the paddle boxes. Her maiden voyage was to Alum Bay on 9th June 1880 and was the first steamer to call at Lee-on-Solent Pier on the day it was opened. On the 28 October 1897 she was badly damaged by PS Altrato whilst berthed in Southampton Docks. She was was repaired by Day, Summers & Co at Northam at the expense of Altrato's owners. She was reboilered in 1893 and fitted with electric light during her 1908/9 refit. During the Great war she served as a minesweeper but returned to service with the Company until her final run on 19th December 1930. She was laid up at Northam until March 1933 and then sold to Pollock, Brown & Co for scrap.

Red Funnel Group logo

Red Funnel flag

Image Gallery

RedFunnel Address

Contact Centre: For travel, accommodation and enquiries call +44 (0)23 8001 9192

Switchboard: Tel +44 (0)23 8024 8500. Fax +44 (0)23 8024 8501.

Registered in England: 002404, VAT number: GB 902 873131. All Rights Reserved, © 2014 Red Funnel (i-09c73c6c848d0fbff)

Isle of Wight Port Addresses: Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries, Trinity Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6RA | Red Funnel Red Jet Ferries (West Cowes), Fountain Yard, West Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7AR.

Southampton Port Addresses: Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries (Terminal 1), Terminal 1, Dock Gate 7 off Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2AR | Red Funnel Red Jet Ferries (Terminal 2), Terminal 2, Town Quay, Southampton SO14 2AQ.

You do not currently have any items in your basket.


Southampton <> West Cowes, Isle of Wight

running a shuttle service due to reduced visibility. We apologise for the inconvenience to your journey


Southampton <> East Cowes, Isle of Wight

Service is operating normally

Join My Red Funnel for free literature, news, competitions and enhanced booking.

Sign up today