Humber Keel built 1934 by Dunston, Richard, Thorne

Designated ensign Designated house flag



Cargo Vessel


Humber Keel


Private use

Private Use





Web site









To be confirmed

15.50 feet (4.73 metres)

61.50 feet (18.76 metres)

3.00 feet (0.92 metres)



DAYBREAK is a Humber keel built by Richard Dunston at Thorne in 1934, with official number 163174. She was commissioned by Hanley's, a firm of flour millers based in Doncaster and was one of the last sailing keels built. DAYBREAK initially traded under sail, primarily carrying grain from Hull to the mill at Doncaster. In 1939, her first engine, a two cylinder Lister, was fitted. At this time all her sailing gear was removed. DAYBREAK has now been fully restored and re-rigged with her original keel rig. Her hull is constructed from riveted steel and she has one timber mast rigged with a square sail. The hold is converted to living accommodation, although she still has her original cabin. Her current engine is an inboard diesel made in 1981 by L. Gardner, model 5LW, with five cylinders and seventy-six horsepower. DAYBREAK is normally moored on the River Thames, where she is used as a home. She regularly participates in sailing events and sails the Thames Estuary to the East Coast during the summer.

Subsequent Developments

  1. May 2014 Winner of 'Flagship of the Year' 2014 - annual competition presented by National Historic Ships-UK Source: NHS-UK

Key dates

  1. 1934 Built by Richard Dunston of Thorne as a Humber Keel for Hanley’s, a firm of flour millers based in Doncaster, Yorkshire
  2. 1939 Fitted with a 2CYL Lister engine and all sailing gear removed.  She continued to carry grain from Hull to the mill at Doncaster
  3. 1979 Sold to present owner and fully restored to 95% external appearance, the interior was converted for residential use
  4. 1981 New engine installed (Gardner 5LW)
  5. 1986 Restored to sail
  6. 2012 Selected for the Avenue of Sail at the Queens Jubilee
  7. 2014 Winner as Flagship of Year by National Historic Ships UK
  8. 2015 Vessel is thought to be in Staines, in good condition and in use as a Houseboat
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact

thole pin:

a single pin or one of a pair rising vertically from the sheer and acting in a variety of ways to provide a fulcrum for the oar