Certificate no 2105
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Launch
Location Barton Turf
Vessel type Saloon Launch
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Horshams of Maidenhead, Maidenhead
Built in 1912
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
6.60 feet (2.01 m)
1.90 feet (0.58 m)
Length: Overall
50.00 feet (15.25 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


Built in 1912 by Horshams of Maidenhead, LAUGHING WATER II is a Thames saloon launch of timber construction with a Vetus M3.10 diesel engine of 20 horse power. She was built for Lady Astor, Britain's first woman MP who lived at nearby Cliveden where the boathouse still remains. Subsequently, LAUGHING WATER II was modified and changed ownership on several occasions. Mr Walter Scott bought her from Lady Astor and sold her to Mr George Wilson in the mid 1950s. The next owner, Mr Jack Tomkins became Deputy Chairman of the Upper Avon Navigation Trust and LAUGHING WATER II was the first boat to navigate the restored Southern Stratford Canal in 1964. In 1974 she was purchased by Mr Paul Wallace who took her to The Trent & Mersey Canal where the present owner's father found her sunk and derelict and bought her in 1976. After a substantial restoration she was relaunched in 1987 and regularly travelled the UK canal and river network until 2000. The present owner inherited her in 2006 following the death of his father and intends to restore and use her leading up to her centenary in 2012.

Key dates

  • 1912 Vessel built by Horshams of Maidenhead
  • 1964 Vessel was the first boat to navigate the restored Southern Stratford Canal in 1964
  • 1987 Vessel relaunched after substantial restoration
  • 2012 Vessel's centenary year.
  • 2020

    Vessel refurbishment near completion


  • April 2008

    A Sustainability Grant of £1500 towards remedial works was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

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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