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Roxy Music

Printed From: BMPT Forum
Category: Boats (In alphabetical order)
Forum Name: Range Safety Launches
Forum Description: Discussion on Range Safety Launches
Printed Date: 25 January 2021 at 11:23pm

Topic: Roxy Music
Posted By: barnacle
Subject: Roxy Music
Date Posted: 09 August 2007 at 11:37pm
Currently out of the water at Holyhead

close inspection of the hull doesn't reveal any hull numbers, usually the scribe marks will show through the paint coverings but the hull is unmistakably RSL.. The majority of the deck fittings are original, fuel tank vent pipes, fairleads etc, and she still has the lifting brackets

the vent on the casing top looks like the one that was usually on the cabin top and i see one of the internal 24v lights has been pressed into service for lighting the foredeck

Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 10 August 2007 at 9:42am
Well spotted barnacle, she is indeed an ex-R.S.L. and the first 1640, built at Thornycroft,s and taken on charge in 1955, when she was sold out of service in 1979 she was taken to a little Village in N. yorkshire and was converted into a motor yacht by a fairly wealthy chap in his rather large back garden, she was then operated out of Whitby for a time and then went to the Baleric's for many years until returning back to Wales. As you will see bearing in mind you have served her conversion was quite extensive and expensive at the time which supports the old saying of quality counts.

Posted By: barnacle
Date Posted: 10 August 2007 at 8:59pm
ive been told by one of the guys where i work that theres another one laying at the dock at Bangor in N Wales, next time im over that way i'll have a look around for her

As you look around RM it would appear that not a lot went to waste from the original fixtures and fittings. The wheelhouse windows are still in use - complete with Kent screens. Port holes and cabin windows are in evidence. Even the nav lights have been pressed into service.

She has however been re-engined, she now uses a pair of Gardiners i think, ill check that out later

Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 11 August 2007 at 11:00am
As you are aware Barnacle M.O.D. kit is top spec which is most probably why the first owner a Mr Foster kept it and used it, why pay a boatbuilder a lot of money when you can buy a quality built hull cheaper and then convert it to how you want it. Speaking to a friend of Mr Foster he told me that only quality materials were used which is why she has lasted so long, that is the style in which she was first converted. As far as I am aware she had either Cummings or Volvo diesels fitted when first converted, her internal design was taken from a company who built 45ft steel motor cruisers in Darlington many years ago called C.E.B.E.C. which I did some work for when they entered a triple engined boat (C.E.B.E.C 3) in the Round Britain powerboat races. Unfortunatly she hit a underwater object which ripped some of her stern gear off! They also built a superb boat for John Bloom (the washing machine man) where the "extras" he had fitted cost as much as the standard boat!!  

Posted By: barnacle
Date Posted: 11 August 2007 at 12:29pm
Originally posted by wrote:

why pay a boatbuilder a lot of money when you can buy a quality built hull cheaper and then convert it to how you want it.

y'know, I put that down to the care and maintainance they received from our excellent Boatwrights, It was a sad day when that trade was closed and they were replaced by Carpenters. Nothing against the Carpenters I might add and I'm sure they tried their best but they were not Boatwrights......... of course, with the advent of the metal and fibre glass hulled craft there was fewer and fewer wooden hulls left for the Boatwrights to look after and it was only a matter of time before another cost cutting measure was bought into action.

I used to love taking the shortcut through 'B' Flight at Mount Batten, on my way from the Mess to the Marine Dock, always at least 2 pinnaces in there in various stages of rebuild, 2748 parked in the corner . Thinking back on it I wish I'd had my camera with me.

Posted By: barnacle
Date Posted: 16 August 2007 at 10:26pm
Took the opportunity today to take a wander around underneath Roxy Music, inbetween the downpours of rain). As you know shes out of the water now and a looking even more sorry for herself..

A question for the statisticians .... are you definitely sure she was hull number 1640 when in RAF service? the reason i mention this is... all the varnish has been taken off the transom and on close inspection the bare planking reveals the number 3 scribed in... Its definitely a 3 but unfortunately its the only number showing.
The paint is still on the bow area and its quite a thick coat so no help there

What was the number range of the RSL's? 1650's to 1660's? that should narrow it down it bit

Posted By: rafwebfoot
Date Posted: 17 August 2007 at 1:01pm

RAF 43ft RSLs were numbered 1640 - 1645 and 1648 - 1668.

hope this helps


Posted By: barnacle
Date Posted: 17 August 2007 at 8:06pm
Thanks for that RWF..well, using those numbers its either 1643, 1653 or 1663. I'll take another look after the weekend.

as an aside, the plugs are still in place for the beaching legs, in all my time i never saw one with the legs fitted, did anyone else?

Incidentally, any idea why theres a gap in the numbers? didn't the powers that be like the numbers 1646 & 1647? Build started and not completed/cancelled?

Posted By: rafwebfoot
Date Posted: 19 August 2007 at 7:23pm

Hi Barnacle,


notwithstanding what number you may have found on her transom, ROXY MUSIC is ex 1640.  She was transferred to the MoD(N) department at Bath DC11(1)N on voucher MC6/79.  On the 23rd April, the RSL was formerly declared for disposal after having her engines removed.  The instructions were in reference FD1 N0.39 which indicated that the craft was for disposal "as lying".  Subsequently the craft was advertised for asle by tender in Motor Boat & Yachting lying at 100 Marine Craft Unit, Alness, but reported to be at Invergordon (she would have been moored in the old harbour near the Marine Craft pier hut).  The tender closing date was 31st July 1979 and the craft was sold out of service to Mr.P.Foster. Her new owner was running a fishing charter business from Whitby. 

1640 underwent a total conversion to motor yacht which spanned some yeares and she weaqs re-engined with twin Cummins 275HP diesels giving her a top sped of 20 knots. AS ROXY MUSIC, she was crewed by three persons and chatrered to tourists in the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean.  After around ten years in the 'Med' she appeared for sale at Dickies in Bangor in the early 1990s.  She was later sighted on Dickies slip on 29th May 1993. She was seen again at Conwy on 13th July 1998 and apparently has remained in the local area since then.

1643 is currently in the Portsmouth area as KELLY ONE.

1653 is currently ANNETTY at Amble marina.

1663 was lost at Lyme Regis on 25th November 1959

So that accounts for all the RSLs with a number '3'




Posted By: Antonytycoon
Date Posted: 02 July 2011 at 12:43am
Hello there, I'm the son of the current owner of Roxy Music, shes in a poor a state than ever because of my fathers ill health, we do plan on fixing her up, its so sad to see her in this state, she has been raided and things have been stolen such as the wheel, does anyone know the best place to get some information on restoring her, even if its just restoring to sell her to an owner whod fully restore her to her former glory. 

Posted By: MrBob
Date Posted: 06 August 2011 at 12:10am
Hi there,
I'm posting on behalf of my dad (I'm his other son!).  He owns  RAF Launch 1640 aka Roxy Music.  She's been out of water for some time, and has taken some weathering since, but still in solid form.
He's finally admitting to not being able to do the restoration himself, and so it's time someone else took up the job.  He's open to offers, and so I thought I'd post here first in hope of someone with a love for these boats would also be reading and fancied the job, or knows of someone else.

I've uploaded an extensive image gallery of her current state here: -

Please reply or message me and I'll pass them on to him.

Posted By: MrBob
Date Posted: 03 June 2012 at 2:33pm
Hi,  ok dad has finally buckled and is offering Roxy Music for sale.  He's currently trying ebay, so for anyone interested in an ambitious restoration: -

Posted By: billbus
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 9:46pm
I worked for C,E.B.E.C in the early 70s and this looks very much like the the one I worked
on in DARLINGTON in 1971 I understood there design was based on the navy boats.
The directors where men called Hopkins and Briggs.
Mr briggs was an ex navy man. I recogonise the teak decking we worked on.
these boats where made from scratch in the old railway workshops using the original overhead
cranes to move them along the production line
We also built 35 ft fibeglass power boats'
I worked on John Blooms boat and can tell you a few stories about that.
We also built and fitted out a 45ft power boat for Rodger moore in 1972, When he played
james bond for the first time.
Peter Burton.

Posted By: billbus
Date Posted: 11 July 2012 at 10:02pm
If the hull was constructed of plywood I was wrong. ours were steel
Peter Burton.

Posted By: abrown4407
Date Posted: 02 November 2020 at 3:35pm
Had a holiday on this boat in the Ballearics as a kid.
Great fun!
Thirsty though!

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