Surf Boat ’38 – 1930s thrills and spills on Bondi Beach

My thanks to excellent dinghy designer and sail maker Mik Storer for passing this one along.

Does anyone know the story of Interlude?



Eighty-year-old Interlude built by Hornby in 1938 to a design by A H Comben is now the property of Steve Whittle, who saved her from destruction two years ago and now plans to get her back as close to her original condition as possible, and to take her up to Lake Windermere.

Once she’s there he intends to take groups on trips round the lake and its beauty s pots, stopping at hotels for lunch – and all in a 1930s style.

It sounds like a good wheeze to me! Steve hopes that this work will fund Interlude’s upkeep and make sure she’s around for at least another 80 years.

From a comment by a G Newstead on this post, it seems Interlude was the subject of a write up in the boating magazines when she was built, due to her design and speed. There also this tantalising entry on the National Archives website.

In the meantime she’s at Taylor’s Boatyard in Chester (the final photo above shows her being craned into the Shropshire Union Canal), and Steve would very much like to gather some more information, as up to now he has had little success in learning about Interlude’s story.

If you have anything to add, please send it to me at, and I’ll forward it to Steve.

There’s more on the Gadfly II story – but can anyone fill in the ‘missing years’?

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The Kent-built Gadfly II

Simon Papendick has written to give us an update to the earlier posts about the small cruising boat he’s currently restoring, Gadfly II, and to ask for help in finding more information. (For more on Gadfly II, click here.)

Here’s what he has to say:

Hi Gavin:

Thanks to Classic Boat, I now have some new information about my yacht Gadfly II.

It would appear that the boat was build in the 1930s in Whitstable, Kent for a local builder, and that she was the second of three boats he commissioned. I have information about her first years in Kent from the 1930s through to 1949, and then I have more details about her whereabouts in the early 1960s – but then the trail goes cold from 1964 until the early 2000’s when the last owner purchased bought her.

If anyone has any information about Gadfly II’s whereabouts in the missing years, could they please let me know?

During the World War II I gather she had a small mishap when she was almost destroyed by German bombs that where dropped near where she was being stored.

The original owner of the boat only passed away a few years ago, as did the foreman of the yard that build her.

If any of your readers can come up with more information about the boat it would be most helpful.



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