PICTURES OF THE MONTH -  August 2018

Ammersee Paddler Diessen

 

The paddler Diessen alongside at Stegen on the Ammersee about forty minutes from Munich.

 

Built in 1908 Diessen had a major rebuild in 2005/06 and is today in sparkling form.

 

The service runs around the lake with the full trip taking about three and a half hours with nine piers to call at aiong the way. In summer services start at 8.15am from the company's base at Stegen in the north of the lake and finish at 8.53pm in the evening with the vessels providing a transport service between the various lake piers as well as a leisure opportunity not only for tourists but also for the substantial hinterland of locals from Munich and its surrounds.

 

The Diessen shares the roster with the paddler Herrsching, built brand new in 2002, and the screw driven Augsburg and Utting. The 10.25 and the 14.10 from Stegen are billed as always being run by paddler, usually the Hersching, but Diessen is in very regular service as well.

 

The wheelhouse contains bridge controls for the engines with the captain doing his own steering without the need for a separate helmsman. Accordingly Diessen requires a core crew of just three: captain, mate and "bootsman"

 

Although powered by Diesel engines, Diessen retains her old steamer funnel making her look like a steamship

 

Half the promenade deck is covered by an awning to keep off the sun and inclement weather.

 

 

There are no controls on the bridge wings with the captain doing all the manoeuvring from inside the wheelhouse, as on Kingswear Castle. Accordingly the port bridge wing has a telescope on it for passenger use.

 

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The starboard bridge wing has a child's steering wheel (connected to nothing) so that budding captains of the future can, in their imagination, practice paddle steamer handling coming in and out of the piers aboard a real paddle steamer.

 

There is undercover seating at tables on the promenade deck for about eighty.

 

On the main deck by the entrance to the lower deck forward saloon

 

In the forward saloon there is seating at tables for about forty at a push.

 

Looking aft

The servery is admidships on the main deck and offers a limited range of snacks together with a wider range of hot and cold drinks.

 

A nice big window through which the rotating paddle wheels can be viewed.

 

The main, and rather ornate, dining saloon aft can accommodate up to ninety five seated at tables. Main hot meals though are not a regular feature aboard Diessen on her normal service runs.

 

The man overboard boat in its davits in the stern.

 

Diessen is a jewel of a little paddle steamer maintained in immaculate condition. At just 49m in length and with a tiny core crew of just three, she is very economical to operate and is another good example of how to run a paddler commercially and make it pay.

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