Certificate no 1560
Status Registered
a12admin

Details

Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Portsmouth
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No

Construction

Builder Saunders Roe, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1937
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None

Dimensions

Breadth: Beam
10.98 feet (3.35 m)
Depth
5.54 feet (1.69 m)
Length: Overall
43.05 feet (13.13 m)
Tonnage: Gross
0.00
Air Draft
4.27 feet (1.30 m)

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

  • 1937

    Built for Captain Hubert Board MBE AFC by Saunders Roe Ltd at Cowes

  • 1937

    First service 3 May 1937

  • 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.”

  • 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

  • 1980s

    Owned by Helen Jane Morris of Shrivenham, Wilts until 1995

  • 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.

  • 1990s

    Extensively rebuilt with new beam shelves, deck beams, laid decks, s/s tanks etc

  • 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

  • 2007

    Up for sale in Michael Dennett's boatyard on the Thames in a fairly poor condition

  • Early 2009

     Complete repainting of the hull, re-varnishing of entire exterior

  • 2012

    Purchased by Iain McInnes and comprehensive refit undertaken

  • 2014

    Located in Port Solent Marina with plans to move to Portsmouth Harbour

  • 2015

    In new ownership and based in Norway

  • 2017

    New ownership and based in UK

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk