They are coming back -- August 19, 20 and 21


August 18, 2022

The Northwest Steam Society will return to the Elochoman Slough Marina in Cathlamet August 19-21. Courtesy photo.

The Northwest Steam Society has an annual steam meet each year and the location moves north and south to be somewhat close to various members' home towns. In 2011 the Northwest Steam Society came to Cathlamet for the first time to hold their annual steam meet here, followed by another in 2015. This year it is back again where the members had such great times in the past.

The boats will start arriving Friday Aug 19 and most will leave Sunday afternoon. At the last meet 22 steam boats participated, which got a lot of old timers reminiscing.

The oldest boat in the fleet is Uno. She started out with a mast and oars on Lopez Island in 1894. Through the years she lost the mast and centerboard and picked up a steam engine and boiler. She is very well maintained by her skipper, a tug captain from days gone by.

The boats vary in length from 15 to 40 feet, and there are a variety of engines; some single cylinder, some double, some simple and some compound. If you don't know what those terms mean, come to the meet and find out.

The stern wheel paddle boat with twin engines having a 3.5-inch bore and 18-inch strokes pushing a six-foot diameter paddle wheel is coming again. She is a very popular boat at their meets.

The only scheduled event will be the boat parade. Last time they went up Birnie Slough and came back down the Cathlamet channel. They will make a recon trip to see if it can be used again this year. Tentatively the parade will be on Saturday morning around 9:00 a.m. to have favorable tide for the shallower parts of the slough.

The rest of the time will be spent just steaming, a favorite thing for them. All are invited to come to the docks, chat with boat owners, take pictures and, if space is available when boats leave the dock, ask if there is room for one more.


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