The paddle steamers were the first public boats to carry passengers on the lake. The paddle steamer Dragonfly was built for the Iron Steamboat Company and was launched in 1851, on the photograph it can be seen moored at the pier at Bowness.

The Tern was built in 1890/91 and has been in service ever since it has had modifications and now is converted to dieseL

Four steamers now ply up and down the lake in summer, the old Tern and the Swift, also the newer much larger boats, the Teal and the Swan.

Some of the old rowing wooden rowing boats are still in use but have been joined by the small self drive motor boats whilst most of the old wooden launches have been replaced with modern waterbuses as used on the Dutch canals. The rowing boats still retain the names given to them by the old boatmen when they were individually owned.

Indeed the lake users have changed, we have seen water skiers, jet skiers, high powered speed boats and large cruisers joined by wind surfers. But now in 2005 the 10MPH limit has been imposed on Windermere after much controversy and it has now prohibited high speed power boats, water skiers, and jet skiers from using the lake. I suppose it will now revert to the quiet and peaceful lake of our childhood when we could all take rowing boats out and feel quite safe.