Grey Friar was completed by Stebbings in 1925. She was designed by Norman Dallimore and was 26.9 feet over all. She had a beam of 7.9 feet and drew 4’6″.
The first clue to her beginnings are in the photo of her in construction. The photo had originally been inscribed as “6 ton sloop Golden Plover … building at Coles Yard, Maldon”. However, the photo shows that these details had been altered, to read “Grey Friar Ex [Golden Plover]”, and Coles Yard has been struck out and replaced with “Wm. Stebbings & sons, Burnham”.
The second clue comes from the Chelmsford Chronicle, 10th August 1923. This records that the stock-in-trade of Cole & sons was to be auctioned off (following bankruptcy), and that the lots included a 6-ton cutter yacht “Golden Plover” that was under construction. Cole and sons had been based at the Shipways yard, Maldon, behind what is now the MarineStore chandlery.
The evidence seems to suggest that Golden Plover and Grey Friar were the same boat, started at Coles and then purchased by Stebbings at the Coles bankruptcy sale and finished later, presumably in Burnham, with the new name.
Roach was designed by Norman Dallimore and built by Stebbings in 1953. Her design was a re-working of the Burnham Sloop, the first of which was built by Priors. Roach and her sister ship Branklet were both chartered out by Blackwater Yacht Charters of Maldon, as was Souris, who may have been another sister.
Much more information Roach and her restoration can be found on the Roach’s Adventures blog. (A couple of the photos above have been copied from this site, the other is courtesy of Will at the Norman E. Dallimore Association).
Souris was designed by Norman Dallimore and built by Stebbings in 1954. Her design was probably a re-working of the Burnham Sloop, the first of which was built by Priors. As such, Souris may have been a sister ship of Branklet and Roach. She was also owned by Blackwater Yacht Charters, Maldon.
Her current whereabouts are unknown, but there is a note that she had been laid up ashore at Hollowshore, Oare Creek, off the Swale near Faversham.
Thanks to Will at the Norman E. Dallimore Association for permission to use the picture above.
Branklet aground in the Swale, 1969.
Branklet was designed by Norman Dallimore and built by Stebbings in 1952. Her design was a re-working of the Burnham Sloop, the first of which was built by Priors. Branklet and her sister ship Roach were both chartered out by Blackwater Yacht Charters of Maldon.
More information on Branklet and Roach can be found on the Roach’s Adventures blog. (The photo above has been copied from this site).
Doralind was designed by Norman Dallimore and built by Stebbings in 1949. She is 22′ LOA with a beam of 7′. She’s built of larch on oak and is stepped down at the tabernacle unlike three other Dallimore boats built by Stebbings a few years later (Roach, Souris and Branklet), which have a flush deck all the way to the bow. Doralind also has a deeper draught, at 4’6″.
Summer’s Song is an Alan Buchanan designed Diamond class, built by Stebbings in 1963. She is currently ashore in the Humberside area and is for sale through Boatshed Yorkshire. (Thanks to Paul at Boatshed for permission to use the photos. Copyright remains with Boatshed Yorkshire).
Sagittarius is an Alan Buchanan designed ketch built in 1966. She was originally named Moshulu II. The original commissioner of the boat pulled out before completion (possibly because of a considerable overspend on her construction), so a new purchaser had to be found. She was bought by the Argyriadis family and sailed back to the family’s home waters of Greece.
During the 1980’s Sagittarius changed hands within the family and crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice, to Puerto Rico and Cuba, and the Mediterranean Sea from Spain and the Balearic islands, to Sardinia and the Turkish coast. In 1987 she took part in the Transmed Race from Toulon to Gibraltar where she took line honours.
She has been in the Argyriadis family her whole life, and is today back in Greece sailing in the Aegean Sea.
Roxana is the only example identified so far of a Stebbings lifeboat conversion. She was originally named Zena. Between the mid 1950′s and early 60′s she was kept at the Banks Boat Yard, Stanstead Abbots on the River Lea. According to Peter, whose father owned Roxana, she was “a really pretty and beautifully built boat… [and] won many competitions on the Thames”.
Launch of Gladoris, March 1903
Gladoris was a 7-ton bawley built for Mr Vanner during 1902 and launched from the slip at The Pound in March 1903. (Thanks to Pete Pearson for the research).
Alan Buchanan C.Eng, FRINA passed away peacefully at Lakeside Care Home, Jersey, on Monday, 26 January, 2015, in his 93rd year. From the mid-1950’s until it’s close in 1967, nearly all of Stebbings’ new boats were Alan Buchanan designs. Many of these beautiful boats are still sailing and are cherished by their owners. My condolences to his sons Richard and Andrew and their families.