wooden ships comments on this Chesford launch
A very pretty classic launch, built by Robin East at his Chesford Marine Boatyard, Frogmore near Kingsbridge in Devon in 1978.
Designed by Alan Pape of Looe, Cornwall.
Chesford Marine produced a number of launches and small sailing yachts, all beautifully built using traditional methods and materials. The yard was closed in the early 1980s when planners gave permission for change of use to 2 houses of unfortunate design thus removing yet another support to the yachting infrastructure. Holiday homes before local jobs.
The design features a large cock-pit with a midships bulkhead dividing the cock-pit from the 2-berth cabin under the forward coach-roof.
This is a particularly good example, clean with a very nice varnish finish everywhere, no apparent faults. Lives in a purpose-built boathouse.
Clinker planked in mahogany, the topsides finished varnished, the bottom anti-fouled, on steam bent oak timbers all fastened with copper nails and roves.
Transom hung rudder operated by cables to a traditional spoked wheel on the bulkhead. Slot in the rudder stock head takes a tiller for emergency or alternative use.
Twin galvanised steel plate bilge keels allow the launch to sit comfortably on a beach or a road trailer.
New deck in 2005, very nicely laid in swept teak over a ply sub deck with varnished mahogany cover-boards. Varnished teak king plank on the fore deck and the aft deck.
Oak Sampson post on the fore deck takes fwd mooring lines.
Single chain roller on the stbd side of the stemhead.
Galvanised chain spurling pipe.
Pair of galvanised cleats on the aft deck take the aft mooring lines.
A very fine ensign staff mounts in a bronze deck fitting on the aft deck.
A small varnished pine mast mounted in a mahogany tabernacle on the fore deck against the fwd face of the coach-roof carries an all round white steaming light.
Coach-roof with solid, varnished mahogany coamings, 2 bronze port holes each side.
Sheathed ply roof, painted cream, renewed in 2009.
Fore hatch on bronze hinges in the middle of the roof, varnished grab rails each side.
Adequate side deck width to safely move forward from the cock-pit to the fore deck with the aid of the grab rails.
Varnished mahogany faced marine ply bulkhead separates the cock-pit from the cabin.
Traditional teak spoked wheel on the port side bulkhead.
Doorway to the cabin to stbd with a sliding door.
Engine switches and dials on a box between.
Morse single lever engine controls on the cock-pit coamings to the pilot’s left hand.
Seat across the back of the cock-pit with blue fabric covered cushion, lift off lid to access the lazarette stowage under the aft deck.
Box seat to stbd by the cabin door.
Engine under a varnished mahogany ply box in the middle against the bulkhead removes to give all round access to the engine. Cushion on the box for additional sea-going comfort.
Painted ply cock-pit sole boards in lift-up sections.
Stuart Turner Sole single cylinder 9hp diesel almost certainly the original engine installed in 1978. Flexibly mounted on long oak engine beds with flexi coupling on conventional shaft drive to 3-blade bronze prop.
Raw water cooled, Filter on the bronze intake sea-cock.
12v electric start.
12v belt-driven alternator.
Water-cooled exhaust, new primary section of the exit manifold pipe.
Approx 5 gall fuel tank under the aft deck with a filler in the deck.
Easy access fuel filter by the engine.
A good installation on flexible mounts and heavy beds under a sound-proofed engine box result in a comfortable 5 knts with minimal noise and vibration and very economical fuel consumption.
The cabin has 2 V-berths fitted with nice quality, white-piped, blue vinyl covers.
Insert between the berths adds to comfort for 2.
12v cabin light.
Galley shelf in the after port corner.
Cooker shelf in the after stbd corner by the door, fire-proof lined.
Comfortable sitting head-room, fore hatch in the deck above gives ample ventilation.
White painted deckhead with varnished deck beams.
White painted coamings and exposed ship’s sides.
Varnished mahogany ply joinery.
Varnished ply baffle forwards confines the anchor chain.
Manual bilge pump. 12v battery
12v all-round white nav light on the mast. Ensign staff and ensign.
Approx 30’ chain and anchor. Cock-pit cover.
Masthead white light Port and stbd nav lights.