St Joan – an historic Brooke motoryacht

A beautiful motoryacht with an amazing British heritage

This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a splendid Gentleman’s classic motoryacht with a very comfortable period interior and sea going capability. She has just returned from a commemorative round Britain 2000 mile circumnavigation prior to which the hull was inspected, repainted and antifouled while the varnish was touched up throughout.

I particularly love the layout of St Joan with her aft cockpit, wide decks and cosy interior. However unlike many boats of this era she has large cabin windows rather than portholes in the main saloon making her exceptionally light on board.

The owner tells me that she consumed 4000 litres during her 2000 mile circumnavigation and has dual fuel tanks, dual water tanks and two black water tanks, one for either head.

Sleeping is in three cabin areas with 2 heads and showers, the double is forward with good hanging space while aft of the saloon there are two single cabins with washbasins. For additional guests the dining table can be lowered and matching cushions added to make a comfortable double.

We have many photos available on request so please call 01491 578870 for a chat about this wonderful little ship.


ST JOAN – a Brief History


St Joan is a 52ft (15.85m) fast coastal cruiser built in 1929 by JW Brooke & Co Ltd of Lowestoft for Nigel Guinness who was the brother of Ken Guinness, the then famous racing driver. She is constructed from Canadian redwood on steamed oak and elm frames and ribs, and the decks are varnished pitched pine while the wheelhouse and interior is mainly mahogany. St Joan feels super spacious on board with seating around the main saloon table for 8. There is a nifty opening hatch from the galley which is very useful for entertaining. cupboards along the starboard side of the saloon allow owners to conceal a dinner service for 12, glasses, bottles and much more. There are two fridges on board, one in the saloon mainly for drinks and one in the galley itself. 

A full history and also a book about her restoration is included in the sale along with a very large folder of documents dating back to her early days of ownership.


She is powered by two 115hp Cummins diesel engines and has a 5KVA generator, which were all new and installed during the major refit and restoration project between 1990 and 1995. Her maximum speed is 13 knots, with an economical cruising speed of 10 knots.


She was returned almost to the original internal layout with sympathetic adjustments to make her even more elegant and with modern equipment in the galley  and in the wheelhouse. State of the art Raymarine navigation/auto-pilot and DSC radio equipment was installed in 2003 and upgraded for the 2018 circumnavigation.


St Joan is included in The National Registry of Historic Vessels, in recognition of her active service during WW II, when she was based at Holyhead as an Air Sea Rescue Launch from 1940 to 1948, after which she was again bought back into private ownership.


She won the Penton Hook Trophy at the Thames Traditional Boat Rally at Henley in 2003 for Best Restoration to Original Design, and was also Runner Up for Best Presentation of Boat and Crew and she has continued to be maintained to very high standards.


From June 2003 to June 2016, St Joan held a Licence for Boat Hire issued by the Port of London Authority for up to 12 passengers and was inspected annually for compliance with the Small Passenger Boat Regulations.


St Joan took part in the recreation of Lord Nelson’s funeral procession on the River Thames in 2005 and also in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012.


In the summer of 2018 St Joan completed a circumnavigation of the UK. She re-visited her WWII base in Holyhead and continued on to the Isle of Man and the Western Isles of Scotland before transiting the Caledonian Canal to return to London down the East Coast.


Currently berthed on the River Thames where viewing is strictly by appointment. It is possible that her excellent berth in Teddington may be available by separate negotiation. 


List of owners to date :

 1929 – N Guinness, placed the order in 1928, keel laid in January and boat delivered for sea trials in May 1928.

1934 – P Christie

1936 – F Hayworth

1937 – Major Frey

1940 – Air Sea Rescue Service (Ministry of War & Transport)

1948 – H Fletcher

1951 – R Hyett

1975 – J Watt

1980 – J Reyner

1987 – D Smith

1990 – Frogmore Developments

1996 – D Taylor

2003 – T Goodhead