Lady Helen – SOLD

A unique electric launch

Colin Henwood had been working with Andrew Wolstenholme, the yacht designer, on a design for a 21ft launch. The owner of Lady Helen had purchased a contemporary river side property and was looking for a suitable boat to moor at the end of the garden. However he wanted a slightly longer boat and this design grew to 25ft which gives the boat ideal proportions. Colin chose to build her in the traditional way using mahogany carvel planking fastened to steam bent English oak ribs with copper rivets. The structure is exposed internally so that the passenger can fully appreciate the wonderful lines and the apparent craftsmanship. Indeed Colin Henwood has been recently awarded the honour of being named “maker of the year” by the Heritage Crafts Association and Colin’s work has become increasingly collectable in its own right.

When cruising after dark the cockpit and open space under the foredeck can be gently illuminated further enhancing the appeal of the oak ribs on the darker mahogany planking. The eye is gently led from bow to stern by the narrow shelf linking the seating. There are two elegant and useful tables, built from the same mahogany log used for the planking and which can be moved round the boat and are shown in the photo concealing the low engine box. Within is a 2.5 kw electric motor which drives the boat along silently to its maximum hull speed. The 8 x 6 volt 185 amp hour battery gives a full day’s cruising at picnic speed.

I love the side wheel steering on Lady Helen which lies just forward of the simple joystick controls and in the perfect position for the helmsman to be in control from a relaxed seating position with a spare hand for the inevitable glass of bubbly.

The owner chose bespoke nickel plated fittings which give a warmer finish than chrome and require less maintenance than brass. All in all this is a fabulous contemporary classic by an expert craftsman which will age beautifully.

Our thanks to Michael English for the use of his splendid photographs. For more of this work and to learn more about Colin Henwood buy his book, Heart, Head, Hand – A Boatbuilder’s Story.

For viewing please call our office on 01491 578870.