HJ Mears restores a 1920s river launch

Ales Mears of Axmouth boat builders HJ Mears & Son has written to tell us about a recent job, that he has clearly greatly enjoyed.

Gavin:

We’ve had lots of work since we last spoke and many boats have been through our barn doors, but I thought this recent restoration may be of particular interest to you and your readers. 

She is an 18ft LOA river launch, double-diagonal spruce construction with laid mahogany decks. She is believed to have been built in the 1920’s.

Her beautiful shape evident for all to see despite her poor condition.

She’s now had the thorough Mears Boatyard treatment. She needed lots of extra strength added due to her lack of ribs and longitudinals. It would’ve been quicker to build from scratch but we were faithful to her and her original builder and reused as much of her original timberwork as feasible during her restoration.

Her original means of propulsion isn’t known but she is now 100 per cent electric and a joy to use; peaceful, powerful, smooth, simple and very responsive. I think o0f her as a a 1920’s Tesla of the Waterways!

Her owner is chuffed and looking forward to showing her off on the Thames soon. Hopefully your readers will enjoy the photos and seeing the 21st century Mears treatment being faithfully applied to something from the early twentieth century!

Merry Christmas, Alex

Thanks Alex. I think she’ll be something a little different and will surely cut a fine dash along the river this summer!

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What is the story of this 1937 Liverpool-built towing boat please?

 

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis has this new motor launch restoration project to work on this winter, and would very much like to know more about it, if anyone can help.

He knows that the launch and was built as a towing boat in Liverpool in 1937, and has a builders plate of  Burton and Fawcett, Liverpool.
It is carvel built with battens inside every seam. Unusually, the steamed ribs are in contact the battens, not the carvel planks.

The boat was Henry, but is is now named Clarence and has spent some time around Norfolk.

If you know anything about this boat and its type and can help Marcus, contact him directly or write to me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message on.

Faber Navalis: a film about a substantial restoration project in Norway by Maurizio Borriello

This is a lovely, rather romantic piece of work! My thanks to reader Don Gray!