The ‘Vital Spark’ – last steam powered vessel to be licenced by the HK Marine Department 1988

IDJ: In 1984 The Hong Kong Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (HKSMEE) was officially registered. A major project by a member was a coal fired steam-engine powered launch, the ‘Vital Spark,’ based at Hebe Haven. The substantial steam engine and its accessories were built in a ‘home’ workshop with the hull constructed and fitted out near Hebe Haven.

Vital Spark was steamed regularly around the sheltered waters attracting a lot of attention.

It is understood that this was the last steam powered vessel to be licenced by the Hong Kong Marine Department.

It could carry six passengers and was first steamed in February 1988.

Miniature Railways HKSMEE-VITAL SPARK-powered by steam engine & boiler-built in HK-at Hebe Haven

The Vital Spark in HK

Miniature Railways HKSMEE-VITAL SPARK-steam engine & coal fired boiler-built in HK

The Vital Spark’s steam engine & coal fired boiler

The boat was relocated with its builder, an American, to New Zealand in June 1996. I

Vital Spark -image New Zealand Steamboat Association website

The Vital Spark 2004 Courtesy: Peter Tait & www.steamboatassociation.co.uk

See:

  1. Hong Kong Model Engineering Club Ltd – Home Page
  2. The Steamboat Association – further information about the Vital Spark

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Hong Kong’s world of miniature engineering
  2. The Hong Kong Society of Model & Experimental Engineers – First Exhibition 1986

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