Boats and Yachts
Thames Spritsail Barge Swift

The Thames Spritsail Barge, SWIFT, moored above bridge at Lymington, Hampshire in 1952.

Some time later she was used by a film company and transformed into a pirate galleon!

Classic Yacht Dyarchy

One of the classic yachts that came to Lymington and stayed was the former Bristol Pilot 'Dyarchy', shown left (photo taken by Bekin of Cowes, circa 1934). She was originally moored next to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, where she provided a good vantage point for the club's regattas. I never saw her away from her moorings or with her sails up.

She was famous enough to have been included in the 'Lonsdale Library Series' 1935 edition of 'Cruising and Ocean Racing'.

Karen III
'Karen III' (also taken by Bekin of Cowes circa 1934) was also included in 'Cruising and Ocean Racing' and she was a regular visitor and usually over-wintered laid-up in one of the big storage sheds at Lymington Slipway. Her owner would often work on her during the winter months.
Motor Yacht Manahine
Moored next to the 'Shell-Mex' oil wharf was a private 'yacht', the converted steel trawler 'Manihine', with her black hull and buff superstructure. She was owned by the then owner of London Brick, Major Hall, who used her to make expeditions to exotic places, especially the Red Sea, to trawl for marine creatures for the British and Natural History Museums in London. She had special holding tanks on board so that she could provide the correct conditions the survival of her 'catch' during the voyage back to Lymington.
Yacht Manahine

The photos above left and left were taken from the Lymington Slipway's powerful black launch which was used for towing all manner of yachts and boats. It always fell to my father to be the one to act as Manihine's tug by turning the trawler's bow around in the yacht basin so that the ship could head off down river I often accompanied him on these occasions. When she returned home she moored port-side to the wharf, hence the need to turn her round.

My head can be seen here as Manahine sails away.Circa 1951

Ron Davanney, 2nd Engineer on Manahine

This photograph of Ron Davanney who was 2nd Engineer aboard "Manihine", together with a copy of his Certificate of Discharge, was sent to me by his son Bill, also from Lymington, for inclusion, which I do with many thanks.
Marine Certificate of Discharge

A link with the past was provided by one of the motor launches which originally belonged to Captain Scott's Discovery ("Scott of the Antarctic") and was painted in battleship grey. She was moored at the yard but was never used during the time we were at Lymington.

The Lymington Slipway closed down (later to become a chicken processing factory) and my father was out of work, but was able to get a job for a few months as helmsman on one of the Isle of Wight ferries, until he was approached by the now main boatyard 'Berthon Boat Company where he worked until we sailed for Australia on 27th May, 1953.


Name plate that went on all the boats built by Berthon. The back of this one bears the initials of the staff with whom my Father worked and was presented to him a few days before we sailed to Australia.

This yard was, and still is,situated nearly opposite Lymington Town Pier and was the inventor of the Berthon Folding Boat. The yard had extensive building sheds and slipways and built some of the, then, new small minesweepers, of similar design to that commanded by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.

Berthon also looked after other peoples yachts and provided all-year round moorings for those who wanted and could pay for them. A large blue painted yacht came into the yard about 1952 and was put up for sale. Her name was Bloodhound and she was soon bought by the Duke of Edinburgh and HM The Queen. I had the excitement of being hauled up her mast in a bosun's chair. Looking down from the mast-top the deck looked a long way down and seemed a bit small from that height!

Dulcibella
of Riddle of the Sands fame
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