Starcross (F-Type Butty, 1936)

Location: River Lea


71 ft F-type butty, built in Rickmansworth by W.H. Walker Ltd.  A Town Class Large Ricky, she was one of 62 vessels commissioned by the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company.  Used as a working boat for haulage of goods and coal connections, and would have been towed by a buddy Ricky tug boat and pulled by horse.  Previously owned by the Welsh Legion for volunteers to live on while working on canal restoration. 

In 2020, the current owner rescued Starcross from sinking; she was refloated, surveyed, reblacked, recaulked and slide plate added to helm.  

Starcross was a museum exhibit at the London Canal Museum in November 2022, with many visitors interested in her build, materials, design and traditional boatbuilding methods. 

Work carried out:

Starcross has had various owners through the years all contributing to her maintenance and preservation.  Major restoration works have been carried out over the last decade with a majority of the hull and keelson renewed, bow completely renewed in 2004, this included replacement of stem post, knees, deck beams, decking.  Previous hull survey carried out by Whitling Marine September 2012.  Full oak cab fitted in 1980s for modern day living (liveaboard) at Jem Bates Boatyard. Jem Bates has a long relationship with and good understanding of Starcross, having worked on the vessel several times and owned similar vessels himself.  The owner recommends Bates Boatyard for maintenance and any works to be carried out.  

Last dry docked in June 2021 at Jem Bates Boatyard where work carried out included decking, caulking the hull, seams and skid plates added.  A 2021 Survey deemed Starcross fit to be reinsured fully comp. 


The majority of the furniture and fittings were removed, including the steel water tank, in order to access all areas of the vessel for restoration.  Starcross is now a blank space ready for her next adventure, with some original furnishings and fixtures remaining.  She has lots of space inside and good headroom. 


  • Believed to be only build of her kind that the owner knows of
  • Made from all oak, 75% of the hull has been replaced and 25% remains of the original hull
  • Last blacked July 2023
  • New Transom fitted
  • Fitted with Mercury Bigfoot 2.5, extended and strengthened gear box, long arm outboard, with ignition on the controller including tilt facility, a quiet, powerful, smooth, economic outboard engine
  • A majority of the shearing is original as is the back cab
  • Solar set up bow and stern
  • 4x bilge pumps including original hand held pump in back cab
  • Insulated panels fitted on cab
  • 2x wood burners if required
  • Original elum stored at Bates Boatyard if required

From the owner:

Starcross has been an absolute privilege to have owned, but sadly ill health forces a sale.  On a guardianship level she needs to be with a pretty hands-on type of person with a good knowledge of wooden boats.  I'm a qualified mentor capable of transferring subject knowledge if needs be.   

Price: £45,000 ono 

Please email to be put in touch with the owner, or to arrange a viewing.

For further images and spec, please see the vessel record link at the top of the page.


Starcross Zone South East