Saturn Fly-boat

Waterways Heritage Afloat

Saturn is the last surviving wooden Shropshire Union “Fly-boat”, built in Chester in 1906. Her job was to rush cheese and produce, fresh from the farms of Cheshire and Shropshire, to the markets of the industrial towns and cities, running 24 hours, day & night.

Saturn has been expertly restored to again grace the canals of North West England, a beautiful and unique craft, and still sometimes pulled along by a horse! 

Saturn is real canal heritage on the move,
on her way to a school or waterways event near to you!

Saturn NEWS

On 7th May we had another horse boating session with Flower bringing Saturn down Audlem locks. This was really a training exercise for horse and crew as we hadn’t done many locks with Flower. Rebekah Parrott filmed this and has uploaded an excellent video to YouTube showing some traditional techniques for horse boating down locks. It all went very well - a magical evening!
Saturn is now at Trevor for a week or so for school visits and public viewing in the dock next to the Visitor Centre.
Saturn will be open for public viewing from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May, and the weekends of 1st and 2nd June and 8th and 9th June.

Saturn & Flyboats

The express delivery service of their day!


Fly-boats had fine lines to slide easily thorough water.
The fly-boat boatmen were a specially selected elite, working around the clock.
The horses were specially picked too, and changed for fresh ones every few hours.

More about Saturn

More about Fly-boats

More about Horse boating

How to see Saturn

Saturn has been restored to be seen and enjoyed.


Schools can arrange visits when children can explore Saturn and our friendly volunteers will explain about her history.

More about Schools visits

Canal events. Saturn visits canal rallies and events across North West canals from March to October each year.

More about Canal events

Come and help!

Become a volunteer, a member or a sponsor!


More Volunteers are always welcome at events and helping to move Saturn.

More about Volunteering

Become a Member of the Saturn Society.

More about Membership

Sponsors help us to keep Saturn afloat & maintained.

More about Sponsorship