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Doreen – a gentleman’s saloon launch


An Edwardian Gentleman's saloon launch

Doreen is a fascinating launch whose Thames history begins with the purchase of the boat at the Phillips auction in 1991. In the catalogue written by Bill and Penny Rose we read that the boat is a gentleman’s beaver tail cabin launch built of mahogany on oak with steamed timbers at approximately 8 inch centres, white painted hull, blue cove line and waterline, varnished decks, cabin sides and interior. At that time she had a Morris Navigator although it is thought that she may have had an early Pelapone engine if indeed she was built in Arundel in 1913.  She now has a Ford Sea Tiger motor which was rebuilt in 2022.

The forward cockpit would seat 6 to 8 including the skipper. I particularly like the cosy cabin configuration which eschews the usual train carriage double bench design in favour of horseshoe seating within the glazed cabin. Opening quarter lights and bevelled glass were added early on for the owner and certainly enhance the beauty of the design of the cabin. There is full headroom throughout. Aft of the cabin are louvered doors to an anteroom with a starboard toilet compartment. Although there is no galley the anteroom area is useful for cooler boxes etc. A further door leads to a small aft cockpit which makes locking in and out easy with two people.

There is an excellent full length cover, fenders, warps, ensign and staff which come with the boat.

Initially in 1991 the owner took the boat directly from the sale to Peter Freebody and over the years she has been through the hands of several boatbuilders including more recently the IBTC in Lowestoft and Henwood and Dean then Woottens of Cookham. A fat juicy file contains all the various invoices showing her ongoing maintenance over the years. The boat is actively for sale as the owners are to lose their mooring when their delightful riverside home sells. Current BSS and EA Thames licence.

In conclusion Doreen is an unusual boat with over a century of history. If you are interested in the next decade of ownership please call the office to arrange a viewing on 01491 578870.


Unknown - possibly based on river Arun
Year of build
Ford Sea Tiger petrol

Please call Gillian on 01491 578 870 for more information


Henley Sales and Charter Ltd have gained a reputation over the last 30 years for selling and chartering beautiful, classic boats. Experience of operating and selling boats on the river Thames enables us to offer expert objective advice to prospective owners on all aspects of boat ownership including purchase, surveys, repairs and moorings. We will do our best to find the ideal craft to suit your individual needs - for a day or for a lifetime.

Henley Sales & Charter Ltd

29 Station Road
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire


01491 578 870

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