Traditional boats appear to be back in fashion as I find myself doing boat viewings on a daily basis. It’s really satisfying to be introducing new customers to the joys of vintage boats, and I hope we will see some new faces at this year’s revitalised TTBR Traditional Boat Festival.

Jobelle rejoining the charter fleet

Preparation of Jobelle for launch

Preparation of Jobelle for launch

Easter comes early this year and everybody seems to want their boat back in the water for the first weekend in April.

We hope to have Jobelle back on her Henley mooring and available for charter in time for the Easter weekend. She remains the only slipper launch available for self drive hire on the Thames.

Our recent Cornish adventure

Malahne after her restoration at Pendennis

Malahne after her restoration at Pendennis

During a recent visit to Cornwall I was lucky enough to see the classic 50m motor yacht Malahne in the final stages of preparation for its relaunch into Falmouth harbour. Until then the 30 month project had been shrouded in secrecy. She was designed by his eminence Charles E. Nicholson and built in 1937 by Camper & Nicholson.

Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth Docks

Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth Docks

I was blown away by the Pendennis shipyard, which has had millions of Pounds of European funds invested into it, creating this amazing facility for super yachts. It is a testament to the vision and professionalism of the Pendennis board of directors.

We had dinner with Hank Wiekens who is joint managing director at Pendennis and who made his home in Cornwall over 20 years ago. Over dinner at the Pandora Inn near Mylor, Hank’s passion for the business and its 370 strong workforce came across very strongly.

Pandora inn in Falmouth near Mylor Bridge

Pandora inn in Falmouth near Mylor Bridge

If you are in the area this summer and are looking for somewhere to tie up and have a pint and a pasty, the Pandora Inn is the perfect place.

While we were in the Falmouth area not only did we enjoy a visit to the wonderful maritime museum, but we also were shown around the Cockwell “estate”, which essentially is a series of boatsheds straddling Mylor Creek. Each shed reveals another example of Dave Cockwell’s boat building skills and enterprise. In fact it was Dave’s team who built a beautiful traditional tender for Malahne.

Electric launch wins Powerboat award

Lady Charlotte in all her glory

Lady Charlotte in all her glory

Although Cockwell’s “Ocean Fugue” did not carry of the Classic Boat Award on this occasion, Henwood & Dean’s “Lady Charlotte” was a worthy winner.

Powerboat of the year is a slightly misleading title in this particular case as I found the boat for the current owner complete with steam plant on the river Dee some years ago. Colin Henwood then worked his magic and the result is this sleek electric gentleman’s launch. She may not win the “Round the Island” race, but she will turn many heads on the Thames this summer.

If you are interested in a sleek electric launch with an interesting history Hero (as seen at the top of this newsletter) is for sale through HSC.

Boat of the month

If speed is your thing and you are tempted to join the Classic Motor Boat Association (CMBA), whose members organise some rather exciting events around Britain and indeed in Europe year around, then J4 may be the boat for you.

An Albatross - as photographed by Gillian in Falmouth Maritime Museum

An Albatross – as photographed by Gillian in Falmouth Maritime Museum

Albatross Marine (1949 – 1966) was a British manufacturer of very light aluminium speedboats primarily used for water skiing on lakes. The company was created by two English engineers, Peter Hives (son of the Rolls-Royce Limited director of that time, Lord Hives) and Archie Peace (an aeronautics engineer trained up by the Bristol Aeroplane Company), in St. Olaves (Great Yarmouth, England). By applying the techniques they knew, and using the post-war surplus of aluminium, they created the first Albatross Mk1 runabout in 1949.

Names of owners include: Stirling Moss, Brigitte Bardot, George Formby, Prince Rainier of Monaco (owner of six craft), Prince Philip and Jon Pertwee.

Around 1300 Albatross boats were built, including 800 two-seaters (715 Mkl/2/3), and 267 four-seaters. The Sports Runabout Mark III model is a two-seater speed boat, fitted with a Ford 100E engine.

J4 on her trailer

J4 on her trailer

CMBA member John Dunn remembers seeing this Albatross, with her distinctive J4 number, being skied regularly in Beadnell Bay, Northumberland in 1964. She had unusual factory fitted electric ski-rope rewinders, operated by the control panel on the dash.

Subsequently J4 was used regularly at the Ullswater Ski Club and still sports her club registration number from that period.

Later J4 moved south and frequently skied the Poole Harbour in the company of other Albatrosses throughout the late 70s and early 80s.

You can see J4 on her trailer at Beale Park Boat Store after Easter. Just contact me to make an appointment.

Flotsam and jetsam

For sale: 1940 6 cylinder Grey Marine engine

For sale: 1940 6 cylinder Grey Marine engine

On the subject of engines, who will offer me a couple of hundred quid for this 1940 6 cylinder Grey Marine engine, which would be perfect for a vintage motor launch of that era? Call our office if you are interested.

For sale: Elizabeth Green

For sale: Elizabeth Green

If you have got the engines but you don’t have a boat, you could consider Elizabeth Green, a 43ft twin screw Dunkirk Little Ship. It is rare for a Dunkirk little ship of this size to come up for sale.

She is being sold in mid-refit with all her mahogany and chrome fittings intact as well as many meters of sawn planking. However you won’t be afloat for the Dunkirk Return this May!

Are you ready to take on this project? Please contact me for more details.

If you’ve got the mooring and some spare time then Sonbar could be the boat for you. She is a 35ft Stebbings cruiser built in 1947 in Burnham on Crouch, which has had a substantial external rebuilt. Unfortunately the ageing owner has run out of energy for the interior, but she is afloat on the Medway awaiting a new owner.

Call me for photos and details as a decent offer would buy this appealing twin screw vessel.

Rehomed by HSC

Lady Beatrice

Lady Beatrice

 

Lady Beatrice found a new owner last summer. I came across her wearing a new outfit earlier this week. She looks extremely smart with her navy blue hull. The owner usually wears a cream blazer so look out for the smartest duo in Henley this spring.

Walk the plank at Boatique

Looking for classic style? Look no further than the original boat shoe from Sperry. This authentic shoe is based on the first real boat shoe from 1935 and features the highest quality materials to stand the test of time.

Sperry deck shoes on sale at Boatique from £65

Sperry deck shoes on sale at Boatique from £65

This is America’s favourite deck shoe.

Drop by any day to try a pair, or book yourself in for our VIP shopping evening on April 15th (from 6.30pm to 9pm) when there will also be an opportunity to sample tasty morsels from the company ‘Time for Tea’.
We will be working with ‘Time for Tea’ on some of our charters this summer.

Dates for your diary

Dates for your diary

Hope you’ll join us for these events.

 April 15thBoatique VIP Shopping evening
 May 13th Wine Tasting with Perfect Friday Wine’s Jo Randell
June 5-7th Beale Park Boat & Outdoor Show
 July 18-19th TTBR Traditional Boat Festival