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Bowling and Clyde boats

Printed From: BMPT Forum
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: Where Are Those Boats Now
Forum Description: Tell everybody where those old boats are
URL: http://www.bmpt.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=711
Printed Date: 19 October 2021 at 3:29pm


Topic: Bowling and Clyde boats
Posted By: spacemutt
Subject: Bowling and Clyde boats
Date Posted: 05 September 2010 at 9:48pm
Ok..I was going to wait until I got some pictures to go with this, but that may not be until the middle of next week. So I shall post the facts now, and pics later.

After reading a lot of hearsay a rumours about boats from Bowling and the surrounding area, I thought I would set the record straight. I grew up in Bowling harbour, and was there in the days of the old soap-box boats, through to the post-refurbished harbour with shiny boats. I saw all the old boats get cleared out, and we even helped salvage some of the sunk boats. I shall list the boats in no particular order, and tell you all that I know about them.

Zakana. Zakana was a Whale Back MTB that was a residential boat in the upper basin at Bowling Harbour. She was grey, and had a roughly original shaped cabin, but I think this was a later replacement. Her original engines were gone, and she had a single old bus engine fitted. As with all these old boats, rot was well and truely present. Her deck had been concreted to stop the rain getting in. She was latterly abandoned, the owner living somewhere in the south. I used to explore the inside of her. I loved the feeling of being inside one of these boats.
When the harbour was cleared by British Waterways so they could drain and repair the harbour, she needed to be moved. We ended up owning her, as the owner couldn't do anything with her. We pulled her out to the outer harbour where we moored her on the mud until we could figure out what to do with her, or find someone who could save her. But wind blew her up onto the hard standing, and when she dried out at low tide, she healed over. When the tide came back in, the then open exhause ports submerged and she filled up with water. When the tide went out, the weight of the water inside was too much, and it ripped the starboard side of the boat out and broke her back. She was a total loss. The only thing worth saving were some port holes (I still have a couple). One of the other boat owners took the stainless shaft one night. She was later burned by someone. Her keel and lower hull is still just visible as far as I know. We were absolutely gutted about what happened to her. Cry

Luckey Dollar. Yes, it was spelled wrong. Luckey Dollar was, I believe, a 100 class air-sea rescue boat. But I heard she was a bit special too. I heard she was used for smuggling people across the channel during the war, and she was the only one with her original superstructure. I *think* she was a residential boat also. She had no engines (possibly 3 originally?) and was in a very poor state. She was derelict in the upper basin, opposite Zakana. She suffered fire damage, and sank in there. We raised her (twice I think...) for her new owner who had grand plans of repairing her, but as is so often the case, didn't have the financial backing needed for a project like that. She was towed from Bowling to the Cart river at Paisley. She sat on a mooring there for a while until he decided it was in too poor a state and destroyed her with a JCB. A sad loss to a rare boat.

Marlin. Marlin was a 40ft sea-plane tender (as designed by T. E. Lawrence) from the 1930s. Her original cabin and engines were gone. She had a superstructure which was removed and replaced with a different one before she was towed to Greenock to be lifted out of the water. She was found to be in a very poor state. She was offered to the maritine museums, but no-one took her and she was eventually destroyed.

Blue Fin. Blue Fin was, I think, a tordepo recovery craft from Loch Long, or Gare Loch. She had a blue hull and an orangy cabin. She sat quietly in the corner of the lower basin until the clear-out, and I think she went to the river Leven after that. Not sure what happened to her after that, or if she's still there.

Boat at Sandpoint. While we're in the Leven, I'll bring up the boat at Sandpoint boatyard, apparently being restored by the daughter of someone connected to the boat. This was not an air-sea rescue boat. It was a sea-plane tender, the same as Marlin. Perhaps she is being confused with Marlin (the rumour about coming from Bowling). But she was never in Bowling that I know of. I think she was the one moored in the Leven. I saw her in the poly-tunnel, just the hull remained, stripped to bare wood. She disappeared from there and I assume she was taken away by road as she couldn't have been put back together in such a short time.

Osprey. Osprey was bought in Gibraltar, and used as a dive carter boat. He removed her original engines and fitted two smaller ones. But personal problems brought the owner home to Scotland, and he brought Osprey back with him. She was moored in Holy Loch before being sold. She was lifted out of the water at Sandpoint and re-fitted. She was put up for sale again after re-launch. I'm not sure if she sold or what she's doing now.

Aquilamaris. Aquilamaris was a target towing craft, and bought by a chap called Les. She had two big Volvo Penta engines and a hi-ab fitted. Les used her as a work/dive/charter boat for a number of years. He spent a lot of time and money on her. In fact, he once said that his wife got so fed up she said "it's me or the boat". So he went to live on the boat. LOL She was in and out of Bowling and Holy Loch. She wasn't used by the US Navy, though they may have employed Les to do work for them. She was badly damaged at one point. She had towed a boat to Ardrishaig at the Crinnan canal, and Les and his two crew tied up for the night and went to the pub. It turned out to be a rather long night at the pub... After staggering back to the boat at closing time, they turned in for the night. But one of the crew (I can't remember his name..) decided that he wanted to go home that night. So he started up, cast off, of headed straight out of the harbour. But he forgot that you need to turn to avoid the reef outside the harbour...and drove her straight up on the rocks! She was holed and in trouble. They quickly set all pumps running and as the tide came in, they re-floated her. They tied up at Ardrishaig again and sent for a tow and more pumps. I think she was towed back by Morag from Bowling, but not sure. She was kept afloat and taken into Sandpoint where Les and a friend re-built the hull.
He used to live on her and often wintered in Bowling. Once, one of my dogs decided to go pay him a visit...right after he painted the deck! Green paws and footprints everywhere...
He must have sold her as she is not laid up in Ireland. She has lost her hi-ab and the small storage/aft cabin to give her a flat deck.

Voyager. Not a powerboat, but Voyager was in Bowling lower basin for many years and was rumoured to be the Admiral's barge off HMS Hood. She was supposed to have been removed during a re-fit at John Brown's before she sank. Voyager in now at Irvine Maritin Museum.

Vello (P29). This was a bought by Rex Lyonns who brought her over from Holland. She sat in the outer harbour at Bowling for a while. I have heard talk of a German R Class boat being at Bowling, but this is what people are thinking of. She as dark grey (I originally thought green) and had "Vello" painted in yellow on the side. She was sold by Rex, not sure what happened to her after that, but I did hear a rumour she had problems in the Crinnan canal when concrete that had been used to repair holes in the hull fell out! Whether or not that's true I don't know. Vello is mentioned http://www.bmpt.org.uk/boat%20histories/P29vello/index.htm - here .

River Leven boat yard. Not really a boat...but there is an entire boatyard on the shore of the Leven where they built MTBs during the war. And it's all still there....but...under the football pitches! During early ground radar testing on the football pitches next to Sandpoint, they kept finding lumps. Apparently, they are MTB engines! The whole yard was bulldozed and burried after the war. Not sure if anyone can confirm the yard was there?

When I get some pictures of these boats scanned I will post them for you. I hope this helps clear up a few mysteries and puts some rumours to rest. Smile



Replies:
Posted By: spacemutt
Date Posted: 06 September 2010 at 12:42am
Ok, I've kind of answered my own question. 62 Maintenance Unit (MU), Dumbarton, must be the now burried boat yard.

And is http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/ships_register.php?action=ship&id=1223 - ST 1500 the boat from Sandpoint?


Posted By: marksaab
Date Posted: 06 September 2010 at 9:42am
Hello Spacemutt
Great write up!  First hand info is so important.

Look forward to the pics!

Mark

 


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Only yield when you must, never "give up the ship," but fight on to the last "with a stiff upper lip!"


Posted By: spacemutt
Date Posted: 06 September 2010 at 8:27pm
Ok, pictures. Smile Let's hope they're not all life-size!

Zakana, Luckey Dollar and Marlin.


Zakana in the right, Luckey Dollar at the back left, and Marlin is the blue hulled one just in front (not the blue and white one, I think that was an old landing craft that sank in the canal and was broken up).

Marlin.

Seen here with her later cabin.

Death of Zakana.






Blue Fin.

Just....she is there....in the background under the red tarp.

Osprey launch.
























Lots of pictures of Osprey, but I guess no-one here will mind. :)


Posted By: clive
Date Posted: 06 September 2010 at 9:37pm
fantastic pictures Spacemutt, thanks for sharing them

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masbie something in the water.   www.freewebs.com/masb32/


Posted By: marksaab
Date Posted: 06 September 2010 at 11:05pm
Originally posted by clive clive wrote:

fantastic pictures Spacemutt, thanks for sharing them


+1 ! PricelessSmile  Great postClap


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Only yield when you must, never "give up the ship," but fight on to the last "with a stiff upper lip!"


Posted By: Christian
Date Posted: 07 September 2010 at 11:39am
+2!! SUPERB.
These may stir things up even more, as more questions are raised by them than answered;
 

1966 Whaleback Pegasus

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/677814/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/677814/

1966 HDML

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/677806/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/677806/

1970 GSP, Typ 100 and poss JS White

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733525/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733525/

1979 FMB, Whaleback and Thornycroft HSL

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/554133/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/554133/

1966 Whaleback and TRV

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/677808/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/677808/

1970 Gay Class FPB aft

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733528/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733528/

1970 Whaleback fwd

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733529/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733529/

1970 Gay FPB and 200 class BPB ST

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733530/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/733530/

1979 GSP aft

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/791290/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/791290/

1979 GSP and poss JS White

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/554146/ - http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/images/l/554146/



Posted By: spacemutt
Date Posted: 07 September 2010 at 12:48pm
Oh wow, excellent pictures! And some lovely boats there. I spotted Zakana, Luckey Dollar and Marlin in there. Not sure about the other boats though. But I guess, most of those pictures were taken little more than 20 years after the war, but nearly 50 years ago! 


Posted By: Whitelady
Date Posted: 09 September 2010 at 11:10pm
what about this one:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/61959/title/bowling-wreck-15-/cat/505


-------------
You don't own a boat, a boat owns you.


Posted By: Whitelady
Date Posted: 09 September 2010 at 11:10pm
zakena:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/61961/title/bowling-harbour/cat/505


-------------
You don't own a boat, a boat owns you.


Posted By: spacemutt
Date Posted: 09 September 2010 at 11:14pm
oo.Hang on..I need to register..


Posted By: spacemutt
Date Posted: 09 September 2010 at 11:17pm
arrr need to be authorised!


Posted By: spacemutt
Date Posted: 11 September 2010 at 9:15pm
I've just remember about an old chap that lived on one of the houseboats in Bowling. After the war, he made a living in the harbour out of removing all the big engines from the MTBs etc, and replacing them with smaller, more econimical diesel engines. So maybe some of the boats in those pictures were some of his customers. 


Posted By: son of the rock
Date Posted: 01 December 2010 at 1:42pm
Hi Spacemutt
 
I lived in Dumbarton during and after the war.  I can confirm that the River Leven boat yard was located on the right bank of the river opposite Denny's Yard.  There was certainly a lot of activity going on there at that time. However little boys could not get past the road block at the end of Woodyard Road.  To my eyes at that time I thought it was Air Sea Rescue Lauches that were being built but it no doubt was MTB's as suggested.  Certainly for some years after the war there were a large number of Air Sea Rescue Craft either at anchor on the River Leven at Sandpoint or on land in the boatyard.  These were there prior to disposal.  I understand the rest were at Calshot? We knew the boat yard as McAlisters Yard but from recent research I think that yard probably closed in the 1930's. I think the area you describe as being bulldozed after the war with the engines buried in it we knew as Posties Park. I don't know why there would be engines there but there were certainly soldiers stationed there guarding anti aircraft guns I think. 
 
As regards Bowling Basin passing on a rare trip back to Dumbarton I was disappointed to see that British Waterways had not cleared the basin completely.  There is the hull of something still beached inside the breakwater at the west end. It would have been visible in the centre of your picture on the Death of Zakana had it been low water.  


-------------
Son of the Rock


Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 01 December 2010 at 3:26pm
Hi there,
 
Just seen this latest post, fantastic, what a shame re the old MTB that got burst, now regards Vello 2......still going very much strong, berthed here at Chatham Maritime Marina in fact, owner a friend and worked with him on it here on the Medway last 8 years or so, if you search for Flussipioneer Korp there is a site for the German Rhine river patrol of the west german arm, who ran the vessel after it was hand over by the Americans....again many thanks for these posts,
 
Johnk


Posted By: Pathfinder
Date Posted: 01 December 2010 at 3:49pm
For all of you wanting a boat ready to go at a very low price, have a look at Coquet on Boats for Sale.

-------------
Pathfinder - Forum Moderator


Posted By: andyht57
Date Posted: 05 December 2010 at 2:09pm
Re Voyager previously posted, yes she went to the Maritime Museum at Irvine but they Cut her up rather than let someone buy her, another ignominious end for a lady.

-------------
Andy T


Posted By: Jim
Date Posted: 27 January 2011 at 1:06pm
Fantastic pictures.....dont suppose you can name the two MTB's that met their end up the River Leven in the Renton?.. I can remember one sunk but before was used as a houseboat and the other was burned and scrapped in the 80s...
 
 
Regards
 
Jim.
 


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Posted By: Baldwin
Date Posted: 22 June 2012 at 10:12pm
The hull lying next to the Calshot Salar in picture 3 is an Elco PT boat.
 
The Gay Class in pictures 6 and 8 is the Gay Archer.
 
 


Posted By: Baldwin
Date Posted: 23 June 2012 at 8:16pm

In picture 9 the GSP stern showing belongs to the RN torpedo recovery boat Elf. The other GSP on the left is an ex RAF one called Sea Spray.

 
In addition. RTTL 2770 Osprey was very badly damaged at Dumbarton last year when lifting strops cut through her hull. There was talk of scrapping her. Anyone with up-to-date info?


Posted By: blackmount1
Date Posted: 12 October 2016 at 12:43pm
grate photo s do you no what hapend to the boat at top its name was tarrena when it first came in and when photo was taken it was in the top abuve lock for years wher it had sunk a few time s


Posted By: blackmount1
Date Posted: 13 October 2016 at 10:36am
Originally posted by spacemutt spacemutt wrote:

Ok..I was going to wait until I got some pictures to go with this, but that may not be until the middle of next week. So I shall post the facts now, and pics later.

After reading a lot of hearsay a rumours about boats from Bowling and the surrounding area, I thought I would set the record straight. I grew up in Bowling harbour, and was there in the days of the old soap-box boats, through to the post-refurbished harbour with shiny boats. I saw all the old boats get cleared out, and we even helped salvage some of the sunk boats. I shall list the boats in no particular order, and tell you all that I know about them.

Zakana. Zakana was a Whale Back MTB that was a residential boat in the upper basin at Bowling Harbour. She was grey, and had a roughly original shaped cabin, but I think this was a later replacement. Her original engines were gone, and she had a single old bus engine fitted. As with all these old boats, rot was well and truely present. Her deck had been concreted to stop the rain getting in. She was latterly abandoned, the owner living somewhere in the south. I used to explore the inside of her. I loved the feeling of being inside one of these boats.
When the harbour was cleared by British Waterways so they could drain and repair the harbour, she needed to be moved. We ended up owning her, as the owner couldn't do anything with her. We pulled her out to the outer harbour where we moored her on the mud until we could figure out what to do with her, or find someone who could save her. But wind blew her up onto the hard standing, and when she dried out at low tide, she healed over. When the tide came back in, the then open exhause ports submerged and she filled up with water. When the tide went out, the weight of the water inside was too much, and it ripped the starboard side of the boat out and broke her back. She was a total loss. The only thing worth saving were some port holes (I still have a couple). One of the other boat owners took the stainless shaft one night. She was later burned by someone. Her keel and lower hull is still just visible as far as I know. We were absolutely gutted about what happened to her. Cry

Luckey Dollar. Yes, it was spelled wrong. Luckey Dollar was, I believe, a 100 class air-sea rescue boat. But I heard she was a bit special too. I heard she was used for smuggling people across the channel during the war, and she was the only one with her original superstructure. I *think* she was a residential boat also. She had no engines (possibly 3 originally?) and was in a very poor state. She was derelict in the upper basin, opposite Zakana. She suffered fire damage, and sank in there. We raised her (twice I think...) for her new owner who had grand plans of repairing her, but as is so often the case, didn't have the financial backing needed for a project like that. She was towed from Bowling to the Cart river at Paisley. She sat on a mooring there for a while until he decided it was in too poor a state and destroyed her with a JCB. A sad loss to a rare boat.

Marlin. Marlin was a 40ft sea-plane tender (as designed by T. E. Lawrence) from the 1930s. Her original cabin and engines were gone. She had a superstructure which was removed and replaced with a different one before she was towed to Greenock to be lifted out of the water. She was found to be in a very poor state. She was offered to the maritine museums, but no-one took her and she was eventually destroyed.

Blue Fin. Blue Fin was, I think, a tordepo recovery craft from Loch Long, or Gare Loch. She had a blue hull and an orangy cabin. She sat quietly in the corner of the lower basin until the clear-out, and I think she went to the river Leven after that. Not sure what happened to her after that, or if she's still there.

Boat at Sandpoint. While we're in the Leven, I'll bring up the boat at Sandpoint boatyard, apparently being restored by the daughter of someone connected to the boat. This was not an air-sea rescue boat. It was a sea-plane tender, the same as Marlin. Perhaps she is being confused with Marlin (the rumour about coming from Bowling). But she was never in Bowling that I know of. I think she was the one moored in the Leven. I saw her in the poly-tunnel, just the hull remained, stripped to bare wood. She disappeared from there and I assume she was taken away by road as she couldn't have been put back together in such a short time.

Osprey. Osprey was bought in Gibraltar, and used as a dive carter boat. He removed her original engines and fitted two smaller ones. But personal problems brought the owner home to Scotland, and he brought Osprey back with him. She was moored in Holy Loch before being sold. She was lifted out of the water at Sandpoint and re-fitted. She was put up for sale again after re-launch. I'm not sure if she sold or what she's doing now.

Aquilamaris. Aquilamaris was a target towing craft, and bought by a chap called Les. She had two big Volvo Penta engines and a hi-ab fitted. Les used her as a work/dive/charter boat for a number of years. He spent a lot of time and money on her. In fact, he once said that his wife got so fed up she said "it's me or the boat". So he went to live on the boat. LOL She was in and out of Bowling and Holy Loch. She wasn't used by the US Navy, though they may have employed Les to do work for them. She was badly damaged at one point. She had towed a boat to Ardrishaig at the Crinnan canal, and Les and his two crew tied up for the night and went to the pub. It turned out to be a rather long night at the pub... After staggering back to the boat at closing time, they turned in for the night. But one of the crew (I can't remember his name..) decided that he wanted to go home that night. So he started up, cast off, of headed straight out of the harbour. But he forgot that you need to turn to avoid the reef outside the harbour...and drove her straight up on the rocks! She was holed and in trouble. They quickly set all pumps running and as the tide came in, they re-floated her. They tied up at Ardrishaig again and sent for a tow and more pumps. I think she was towed back by Morag from Bowling, but not sure. She was kept afloat and taken into Sandpoint where Les and a friend re-built the hull.
He used to live on her and often wintered in Bowling. Once, one of my dogs decided to go pay him a visit...right after he painted the deck! Green paws and footprints everywhere...
He must have sold her as she is not laid up in Ireland. She has lost her hi-ab and the small storage/aft cabin to give her a flat deck.

Voyager. Not a powerboat, but Voyager was in Bowling lower basin for many years and was rumoured to be the Admiral's barge off HMS Hood. She was supposed to have been removed during a re-fit at John Brown's before she sank. Voyager in now at Irvine Maritin Museum.

Vello (P29). This was a bought by Rex Lyonns who brought her over from Holland. She sat in the outer harbour at Bowling for a while. I have heard talk of a German R Class boat being at Bowling, but this is what people are thinking of. She as dark grey (I originally thought green) and had "Vello" painted in yellow on the side. She was sold by Rex, not sure what happened to her after that, but I did hear a rumour she had problems in the Crinnan canal when concrete that had been used to repair holes in the hull fell out! Whether or not that's true I don't know. Vello is mentioned http://www.bmpt.org.uk/boat%20histories/P29vello/index.htm" rel="nofollow - here .

River Leven boat yard. Not really a boat...but there is an entire boatyard on the shore of the Leven where they built MTBs during the war. And it's all still there....but...under the football pitches! During early ground radar testing on the football pitches next to Sandpoint, they kept finding lumps. Apparently, they are MTB engines! The whole yard was bulldozed and burried after the war. Not sure if anyone can confirm the yard was there?

When I get some pictures of these boats scanned I will post them for you. I hope this helps clear up a few mysteries and puts some rumours to rest. Smile



Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 13 October 2016 at 4:49pm
Hi there,

Many thanks for this great piece on the vessels, fascinating reading..I can say that the Velo 2 P29 is still going strong, post her transit of the canal, she was pumped out and rescued, came to the River Medway, Kent and was bought by a couple I was friends with, helped a bit with the restoration, much work on the hull and engines, chap was a marine engineer/fitter, wife also great help and support, lived aboard for a number of years, but....now sold and berthed at Ramsgate, new owner took her to Dunkirk and took part in the new film of the evacuation...all the best,

Johnk



Posted By: Dumbarton Lad
Date Posted: 13 August 2021 at 11:47am
I cannot qualify the MTB yard under the football fields on the west side of Woodyard Road on the west side of the Leven, But in about 1962 my dad bought an ex-RAF hull from the maintenance yard between Woodyard Road and the Leven. I believe that this must have been part of MU 213, which according to a Web entry: -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Royal_Air_Force_Maintenance_units#No._201_Maintenance_Unit_%E2%80%93_No._300_Maintenance_Unit
incorporated both RAF Dumbarton (marine craft) and RAF Greenock (Flying Boats)
At the time I would be 10 or 11 and was tasked as dogs body to help get the hull seaworthy, and spent some time playing in the yard, which even by then had become overgrown with trees, bushes and brambles. However, there were still numerous complete boats, hulls, and wrecks in the the yard which still had 4 of the 72 ft class boats moored against pilings in the Leven, I believe that one sported torpeedo tubes! Ashore there were numerous 72 and 42 ft hulls and boats a number of which 'vanished' between weekend visits to the yard.
The site was about 150 yards long and 50 yards wide at its widest, bounded on its 3 landward sides by high brick walls. There was a building roughly in the centre of the site near Woodyard Road, with an entry gate to the south of the building, I think that this building can still be seen in the satelite maps of the area, and appeaars to still exist as a private house, though the site has now been leveled and is a park.
There was a slipway into the Leven just to the North of the building, and I can remember trout fry sheltering in the slack water inside the slipway before being swept into the Clyde and then sea by the fast flowing Leven.
I can remember that the upper floor of the house had Link Trainers installed and there were piles of scrapped electronics chassis - including Link Trainer parts - piled round the house.
My memories of what was at the bottom of the site, between the south of the building and the brick wall that divided the site from Denny's Boat and Ship Yard are rather vague, since I was seldom allowed to venture that far down the site. I believe that there was a second large gate into the site at this wall, but I could be confusing the one beside the Building.
The Hull my father bought was a roughly 40ft class boat - but not an ST1500 one - variously described as a Target Towing hull, but it had no superstructure, engine, wiring or stern gear when purchased. The hull was also very narrow being of less than 10ft beam. From memory the hull appeared to be unpainted, and was a dark greyed weathered mahogony colour. It took several attempts at stoppering oiling and red leading to get the hull roughly watertight. There were the remains of both a fore deck and side decks, and two bunks behind the stem bulkhead below which was some sort of rigid dark reddy brown rigid foam, which, since I was still reasonably small, it was my job to strip out. The area was a 'black hole', so must have been completely covered by the fore deck. There was also more of this material further back in the hull.
Internet searches indicate that the site was finally emptied and returned (to the Council?) in 1963. I believe that the hull was finally launched into the Leven in early 1963, and moored in the river below the supermarken carpark.
I have photos of the hull there. it having a number of distinctive features - firstly a straight stem unlike the scymitar profyle of the ST1500 hulls, the deck line was not straight (as with the ST1500s), but had a significant down curve to the deck starting from about 12 ft aft of the stem, which ment that the stem must have 4 or more inches below the position if the deck line had been stright. Finally and interestingly, the boat had a peculial stern, although flat, the lower profile was concave, with with the outer corners of the chines at the stern being noticeably lower than the keel. This again must have been a few inches, and begs the question if the hul was one which had been extended from a shorter design when being built. The hull was of the usual Double Diagonal bottom, with single diagonal side over oak frme construction, typical of all of the inshore launces.
Over the next 2 or 3 years the hull was converted into a 6 berth cabin cruiser with P6 engines and Torqueflyte gearboxes. The stern gear came from the Balloch Sea Scouts written off ST1500 class boat, which had been damaged when the crane lifting it on shore had overballanced falling across the boat, breaking the hulls back. Yes, it was the 'dogs body's job' to burn all of the chopped up parts of the hull and riddle the ashes to recover the copper rivets and bronze screws. I always went home rater grubbier than I arrived!
Now back to Bowling, the Hull became 'Gilhickie' and overwintered at Bowing Basins on three or four occasions, whilst being converted, and for re-painting. In fact the engines and sterngear were fitted at Bowing basin with the boat lifted out of the water just to the Clyde side of the railway bridge, with the boat being moored over the winter in the canal at that position whilst the Engine installations were finished and commissioned. The boat had a white hull, light green decks and a mahogony wheel house in the middle.
The boat was sold in the early 70s and last seen in a poor condition (I believe with a damaged bow) in Bowling Basin in the mid to late 70s.
Any information anyone has of the boat would be appreciated.



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I remmber it well



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