Fellow musician and boat nut Alan Lamb is looking for someone interested in taking on a Royal Navy launch – he has found that he will be unable to use it for his original purpose.
If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch.
The 28ft, 10ft beam double diagonal construction mahogany on oak launch comes with a 68hp diesel engine. The boat was originally the launch for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary salvage vessel Kinbrace. It was built in 1945 and saw service during the Suez Crisis in 1956 and with the UN in Somalia in 1994.
The mother ship was broken up in 2004 and the launch was used for mackerel fishing out of Pool Harbour for some years.
He bought partly as a piece of experimental archaeology: I had moved to a cottage on the banks of the upper Severn near Bridgnorth. Knowing that much larger boats used the river until about 1900 (although they often had to wait till the water was high enough) I intended to restore the boat and see if it was sometimes still possible to use a boat of this size on the river – the boat has a fairly shallow draft and a large engine.
However, as I have got to know the river better over the last few years I realised that the fish weirs that used to be common on the river increased the depth of the pools.These fish weirs and the barge gutters that bypassed them were crucial to the former navigation by large boats, so I had to abandon my plans.
The planking seems sound and in general it seems a strong boat but there is some rot at the top of some of the ribs. A poor quality plywood and fibreglass deck was added at some stage and this would need replacing as would the steel sheathing on the keel timber. When I bought the boat two years ago I was told that it floated and that the engine was in working order but I have not tested either of these claims. The engine is out of the boat at present
The boat is on blocks outside building eight, The Royal Ordnance depot, Weedon, Northants and can be viewed at any time. It has to be moved as soon as possible and in view of this any reasonable or even unreasonable offer will be accepted. The new owner would be responsible for moving the boat and should make their own enquiries about haulage costs, if necessary.