Previous names

  • HSL301
Certificate no 2764
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Launch
Location Brighton
Vessel type Admiralty Launch
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Rowhedge Iron Works Co Ltd, Rowhedge
Built in 1942
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
52.50 feet (16.00 m)
Breadth: Beam
12.50 feet (3.81 m)
Tonnage: Gross
To be confirmed
Air Draft
To be confirmed


ALEST was built as an Admiralty Harbour Service Launch in 1942. The builder was the Rowhedge Iron Works and she is a vessel of teak and oak construction She was floated in 1942 and used in this capacity until the end of the war under her original steam power. After the war she was sold and repurposed in the service of the Felixstowe ferry company. In 1949 she was re-engined with the current Dorman diesel. She was sold again in the 1950s and was used as a yard tug at Wivenhoe until the 1980s when the owner of the company retired and purchased her as his own private yacht. She lay at Wivenhoe until his death, whereupon she was bequeathed to his son who later sold her on. The next owners converted her to a liveaboard and she passed rapidly through many hands in the following years, ending up at Ramsgate by 2009. The current owners bought her at Ramsgate and moved her under her own power to Brighton where they commenced her restoration.

Key dates

  • 1942

    Built as an Admiralty Harbour Service Launch and named HSL301

  • 1945

    Sold to Gray & Thompson Salvage Co. Ltd of Felixstowe and renamed Alest

  • 1950s

    Sold to Philip Pearce for use on the Felixstowe Ferry Service

  • 1953

    Sold to J W Cook for use as a yard Tug at Wivenhoe

  • 1986

    Converted to a yacht by new owner M R Turner

  • 2010

    Bought by current owner as a restoration project

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