Thelmarie is an interesting motor yacht, to be more accurate it could possibly be described as a motor sailer, although the sail is more suited to be a steadying sail and for its current use as a Thames cruiser the mast is possibly more for decoration than anything else.
I was impressed by the brightwork not only on deck but also within the confines of the cosy cabin areas below. The current owner entrusted the upgrade of the boat to Mark Stanley formerly of Stanley and Thomas boatbuilders in Windsor. He bought her in 2016 impressed by the elegance of the lines and the suitability of the boat for extensive cruising. He now finds himself more often cruising and teaching sailing on the coast so Thelmarie is not ideal for parties of teenagers learning to sail!
The owner had a new beta marine 4 cylinder diesel installed alongside the Yanmar GM10 wing engine, both easily accessible from the wheelhouse.
Originally the boat was built of mahogany on oak as a motoryacht to a Mylne design in Bute Scotland by none other than the Bute Dock company in 1949. The high quality mahogany planking was left over from the construction of torpedo boats during WWII. She was made for a lone cruising gent who used to cruise the Western Isles of Scotland. A chain-winch was installed for him to assist in solo cruising and possibly the boat had an open cockpit at that time where now the wheelhouse exists.
Originally there was a mast with jib and trysail with a boom going over the wheelhouse with a sail of 180 sq ft. This was removed in 1981 and finally replaced in 2000 by a 12 inch Douglas Fir signals mast with mahogany crosstrees.
Some interesting history of ownership is available from 1968 onwards as the boat slowly makes its way to a Thames based owner who used the boat with his children of 7 and 10 accompanied by a Bassett hound who apparently loved to dive in for a swim.
At that time the boat still had its sail and a handsome brass light on the wheelhouse roof, a horn and decks of painted canvas in beige. Mr Stead and family relocated to Kent taking Thelmarie with them and enjoying cruising in waves with '6 ft drops from peaks to troughs'. For a while she became a live-aboard while he was house hunting. Finally in 1980 he sold the boat to a Mr Casey who kept her in Folkestone Harbour. Somehow the boat made its way back to the infamous Eel Pie island moorings where a retired Royal Navy officer bought it in July 1991. He spent 7 lonely years restoring her, completely replacing the entire wheelhouse and aft cabin roof together with some of the ribs and transom. After all that work including rebuilding the engine and rewiring Thelmarie with the help of his marine engineer brother, he decided to sell the boat at Racecourse Yacht Basin where she changed hands for the second time in 27 years to Andrew and Cathy Scott in 1998.
The Scott family enjoyed owning the boat for nearly two decades and did some extensive cruising as a family both around the East Coast and even ventured across the Channel to Paris in 2001 and 2006. Much of the history we have on the boat is thanks to the research carried out by for which we are very grateful.
Susequently Mark Stanley ended up as owner and it was thanks to his care and attention that the boat was not scrapped. This was the point at which the current owner became custodian and thus in 2016 a thorough survey was carried out with the yard being instructed to act on every one of the recommendations in the report. This is available for a future owner to see.
The Lloyds register has Thelmarie as number 399157 while the Thames Vintage Boat Club has her as number 54 according to the plate in the wheelhouse. The survey describes the vessel as a round bilge double diagonal motor cruiser with raised fore and aft cabins and a central wheelhouse. I noticed also the bilge keels on either side making the boat useful for tidal and estuarial areas. In fact I could well see her fitting into a maritime setting in Norfolk or Suffolk on the Deben say or even cruising across to Brittany. In other words this is a very versatile vessel for a couple or a family with plenty of sleeping below decks, a galley and a simple heads.
Thelmarie has a full winter cover to protect the varnish on the top sides. She comes with a current Boat Safety Scheme certificate and a 2023 EA licence for any future Thames user.