Previous names

  • Brown Owl of Rosneath
  • 1928 - 1930 Brown Owl
  • 1930 - 1932 Brisk
  • 1932 - 1945 Wairakei
  • 1945 - 1993 Vivanti
Certificate no 419
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Teddington
Vessel type Motor Yacht
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Silver, James A Ltd, Rosneath
Built in 1928
Hull material Wood
Rig Bermudan Ketch
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
10.79 feet (3.29 m)
4.98 feet (1.52 m)
Length: Overall
41.97 feet (12.80 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


Built in 1928 by J. A. Silver at Rosneath, BROWN OWL is an auxilliary ketch. Her hull is carvel built of oak frames and pitch pine planking and her current engine is an inboard diesel made by Lister, 40 hp fitted in 1999. She was the first of a class of yachts named after her and the design was very popular. She was requisitioned for service in World War II and participated in the Dunkirk evacuations. Later she returned to Scotland and was reported to be part of the River Clyde Small Boat Pool. Dame Vera Laughton-Matthews, Commandant of the WRENS, bought her from the Admiralty in 1948. There have been other changes in ownership since and the following name changes: BROWN OWL 1928, BRISK 1930, WAIRWAKIE 1932, VIVANTI 1945-1991. In 1991 she reverted to her original name of BROWN OWL. Her present owner keeps her in Ramsgate and she attends the annual Association of Dunkirk Little Ships reunions in Dunkirk.


Christian Brann, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990 (1989) pub: Collectors Books Ltd
ADLS News (Spring, 2015, pp13) Fleet News
Chris Jardine, Classic Boat (July, 1994, pp27-28) Alchemy on the Clyde
Yachting Monthly (January, 1929) Advance in Motor-Cruiser Design

Key dates

  • 2012

    Vessel selected for  Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012

  • May 2015

    Took part in the 75th Anniversary Return to Dunkirk commemorations.  Source: ADLS

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact

More like this

Albaquila sailing

Registered, built 1947 by Osbourne, William, Littlehampton

Photo of Maid of Conway @ 2017 lying at Gweek Classic Boatyard before start of Mr Paul Morgans restoration.

Registered, built 1960 by Crossfield Brothers, Conway

Token exterior August 2020

Registered, built 1948 by Silver, James A Ltd, Rosneath

Monya - starboard view

Registered, built 1933 by McBryde, W G