Vagabond

built 1937 by Saunders Roe, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Designated ensign Designated house flag

1560

Registered


Leisure Craft

Yacht


Portsmouth


Private use

Private Use


No

No


16/05/1999

10/11/2017




Propulsion

Motor

Diesel


None

None


Dimensions

4.27 feet (1.30 metres)

10.98 feet (3.35 metres)


43.05 feet (13.13 metres)

5.54 feet (1.69 metres)


0.00


History

VAGABOND was one of eight vessels in the ‘Medina’ class built by Saunders Roe at Cowes, Isle of Wight between 1933 and WW2.  With a hull of teak, English oak and elm, Canadian Rock Elm and Oregon and Norway pine, VAGABOND was the only version to have a cruiser stern which ‘gave her a naval air, setting her firmly apart from the common transoms of her peers.’

Advertised for sale by The Tatler (January 29th 1936) as, ‘The finest value afloat’ for £2.400. VAGABOND was designed and built to order, with this particular ship bearing the number 1798, having been commissioned by one Captain Hubert Broad of Schneider Trophy (2nd place twice) and Gypsy Moth test pilot fame.

Captain Broad’s personal specifications included a folding Pullman berth to starboard in the saloon, a large double berth for himself in the aft cabin with writing desk, dressing table and mirror, upholstered armchair and washbasin. He also had a bath fitted which required a fully baffled 300 gallon galvanised water tank in place of the standard 135 gal tank.

It would appear that she was used as a floating weekday home and entertaining venue whilst Broad undertook his test flying from the Isle of Wight. Accompanying him was his factotum who resided in the forepeak. The Graham ‘Triton’ electric ‘butler’s summoning bell’ is still present and operational. At weekends VAGABOND provided transport to the mainland and Broad’s home in Hampshire.

The outbreak of war saw VAGABOND move to the non-tidal reach of The Thames at Teddington where she appears to have continued to be used for accommodation, when Broad was working at Hawker Siddeley.  

From here she moved on several times with much work being undertaken to improve and maintain whilst preserving much of her Art Deco style.

Many original features listed in the original Specification have survived such as the ‘Easy Veer’ anchor windlass on the foredeck, the Johnson patent ‘Quicktho’ sash windows, railway type drop windows with leather straps in the wheelhouse and Broad’s mirror lined cocktail cabinet in the wheelhouse.

VAGABOND’s current owners aim to use her in the waters that she has occupied throughout her lifetime, with a view to operating her commercially in the future.

Key dates

  1. 1937 Built for Captain Hubert Board MBE AFC by Saunders Roe Ltd at Cowes
  2. 1937 First service 3 May 1937
  3. 1937 Vagabond’s maiden cruise along the South Coast to Torbay for Edward Vlll’s Coronation Regatta ‘The Motor Boat’ magazine, August 6th  1937 remarked that, “The boat acquitted herself very well on this maiden voyage to the West Country.”
  4. 1949 Owned by Frank Hucks of HUCKS YARD (unable to confirm) on River Thames The flying bridge was added. Unconfirmed voyage to the Baltic and along the south coast
  5. 1980s Owned by Helen Jane Morris of Shrivenham, Wilts until 1995
  6. 1990s Vagabond had fallen into disrepair after years of use as a ‘house boat’ and was ashore at Dennett’s Boat Yard where she was found by her subsequent owners.
  7. 1990s Extensively rebuilt with new beam shelves, deck beams, laid decks, s/s tanks etc
  8. Late 1990s Owned by Mrs Alison Anne Kennedy Cade & David Cade and moved to Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne. Coombes Boatyard in Bosham replaced timbers, new oak deck beams, new teak-on-ply deck and fresh keel bolts. Moored on Isle of Wight
  9. 2007 Up for sale in Michael Dennett's boatyard on the Thames in a fairly poor condition
  10. Early 2009  Complete repainting of the hull, re-varnishing of entire exterior
  11. 2012 Purchased by Iain McInnes and comprehensive refit undertaken
  12. 2014 Located in Port Solent Marina with plans to move to Portsmouth Harbour
  13. 2015 In new ownership and based in Norway
  14. 2017 New ownership and based in UK
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

parrel:

a rope, chain or iron collar which attaches the yard to the mast but which allows vertical movement