Previous names

  • 1922 - 2018 Growler
Certificate no 3565
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Barge
Location Burnham Overy
Vessel type Pleasure Yacht
Current use Sailing
Available to hire No
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No


Builder Unknown
Built in 1921
Hull material Wood
Rig Sloop
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Petrol
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
34.00 feet (10.36 m)
Breadth: Beam
9.50 feet (2.90 m)
2.00 feet (0.61 m)
Tonnage: Gross



GROWLER was built as a third-sized version of the legendary racing Thames barge SARA. Little is known of her history. We know that she spent the Second World War laid up at the Benfleet yacht club, and that she was then refitted.

In the 1970s she was restored to her original rig. Sometime after that she fell into disrepair, was rescued, and then taken to a barn in Dedham, Suffolk.

For the last 25 years she has been undergoing restoration, with new frames and chines installed. In August 2018 she was taken on by a private owner and she is being shipped up to Norfolk where the restoration will be finished in an attempt to get her on the water for September 2019.


Classic Boat: The schoolboy and the Thames barge, March 2019
Classic Boat: Project Growler - Winner of the 2019 Jotun restoration competition, August 2019
Classic Boat: New kid on the block, February 2020

Key dates

  • 1922

    Designed by the architect T H Hughes and built at Ipswich.

  • 1939-45

    Spent war laid up at Benfleet Yacht Club

  • 1970s

    Restored to original sloop rig

  • 2018

    Transferred to Norfolk for completion of restoration


  • July 2020

    A Sustainability Grant of £800 towards the cost of the engine was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

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