Previous names

  • Nivag
  • Kia-Ora V
Certificate no 1633
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Chertsey
Vessel type Motor Yacht
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No


Builder Silver, James A Ltd, Rosneath
Built in 1933
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


Breadth: Beam
9.51 feet (2.90 m)
3.70 feet (1.13 m)
Length: Overall
40.23 feet (12.27 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
23.62 feet (7.20 m)


ZAIRE is a gentleman's motor yacht built by James A. Silver Ltd. at Rosneath in 1933 and designed by John Bain. Her official number is 163033 and her signal letters are MSNK. She was formerly known as NIVAG and KIA ORA V. During the Second World War, ZAIRE was requisitioned by the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC). There is a silica sand quarry at Lochaline which was operated by the RASC who used the sand to make lenses and instruments for the services. ZAIRE was employed to transport personnel and stores between the quarry, Lochaline and Oban. Her hull is carvel built of pitch pine planking, fastened with copper nails and roves onto oak frames. Her topsides are of teak and her keel is iron. Her bow is pointed, with a raked hollow stem and she has a transom stern. Her two timber masts are unrigged. The current engines are twin inboard diesels, BMC Commanders, made in 1957 and offering thirty-one and forty-six brake horsepower.

Key dates

  • 1933

    Built by James A. Silver Ltd at Rosneath and named NIVAG

  • 1980s

    Substantial rebuilt undertaken of after part of hull

  • 2005

    Restoration commenced at Gweek Creek boatyard and renamed ZAIRE 

  • 2012

    Transported by road to Thames to participate in Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant

  • 2013

    Winner of Osland Trophy for Best Structural Restoration at Thames Traditional Boat Rally

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