Certificate no 1834
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Staines
Vessel type Humber Keel
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No
Web address www.hkdaybreak.info


Builder Dunston, Richard, Thorne
Built in 1934
Hull material Steel
Rig Square
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
15.50 feet (4.73 m)
3.00 feet (0.92 m)
Length: Overall
61.50 feet (18.76 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



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.

Key dates

  • 1934

    Built by Richard Dunston of Thorne as a Humber Keel for Hanley’s, a firm of flour millers based in Doncaster, Yorkshire

  • 1939

    Fitted with a 2CYL Lister engine and all sailing gear removed.  She continued to carry grain from Hull to the mill at Doncaster

  • 1979

    Sold to present owner and fully restored to 95% external appearance, the interior was converted for residential use

  • 1981

    New engine installed (Gardner 5LW)

  • 1986

    Restored to sail

  • 2012

    Selected for the Avenue of Sail at the Queens Jubilee

  • 2014

    Winner as Flagship of Year by National Historic Ships UK

  • 2015

    Vessel is thought to be in Staines, in good condition and in use as a Houseboat

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

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