Metric units

Mischief (S.C.438)

Status: Steaming

Owner: Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Area: UK-Solent


Open Launch. Construction: Double-skin teak, inner diagonal.
Built 1897 by Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. at Blackwall
LOA: 23' 0", Beam: 6' 6", Draft: 2' 3",
Transom stern, Britannia Blue.


Gunboat type DT Built 1981 by David Curwen at Devizes
Fuel: Coal, Pressure: 130 psi, Heating area: 44 sqft,
0 tubes. Welded with rolled in fire tubes construction,
condensing, engine driven pump, forced draft fan, hand pump, whistle,
77 x .7/8" id tubes x 21" long, shell 24" dia x 42" long, belt driven fan from main engine.


Compound. 3" + 5" X 5"
Built 1898 by Simpson Strickland & Co. Ltd. at Dartmouth
sv valve. SLRG valve gear.
Power: 11 HP
No.824. On 5 turned columns, Xhead driven fp and air pump, 427 rpm, 10.7 IHP on trials when new. Fitted 2000. Original to this type of naval steam cutter (built for S.C.191). Used for many years as demonstration engine at Southampton University Engineering Dept.. Bought by Derrick Mills, then Graham Lindsay, then by Peter and Tim Hollins for refitting in S.C.438.


3 blades,


Built as Admiralty Cutter No.438, appropriated to HMS ESPI√ąGLE, then hospital ship HMHS MAINE. With the Maine she was used to support British troops in both the Boer War (Durban & Capetown) and the Boxer Rebellion in China, then based for many years in the Mediterranean. Shortly before war was declared in 1914 the Maine was wrecked on Mull on the west coast of Scotland. S.C. 438 was recovered and sent to Portsmouth Dockyard. She was decommissioned in the 1920s and converted to a motor cruiser. c1974 derelict hull acquired by Dr Roger Stevens, repaired and new steam plant fitted c.1987, though not as original. Acquired by Peter and Tim Hollins 1999. Original design drawings, specification and steam trial records found and cutter restored by owners to original configuration. Engine replaced with one identical to original, at the Maritime Workshop, Gosport. Cutter recommissioned Portsmouth Harbour 2008. Given to Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust Dec 2021 to join the historic naval boats collection, and based at Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Last Modified: 2023.12.01.