St Joan was built in 1929 by well-known
shipbuilders JW Brooke & Co Ltd of Lowestoft, for Nigel Guinness
who was the brother of Ken Guinness, the then-famous racing driver.
She was based on earlier successful Brooke designs and is 52ft in length,
with a draft of 3 ft and a beam of 11ft. She was constructed from Canadian
Redwood on Steamed Oak and Elm frames and ribs, with decks of vanished
Described as a Gentleman's Coastal Express
Cruiser, St Joan was originally built for cruising the canals of Europe.
However she has spent most of her life cruising British coastal waters
and rivers, including the coasts of Wales, the Isles of Scilly, Ireland
and South Devon. (It was not until 1999 that her owner of the time embarked
on a cruise of the river Seine, taking her at last to the inland waterways
After Nigel Guiness St. Joan passed through
several private owners. Then in 1940 the British Government requisitioned
her from a Major Frey (her current owner). She was used for Air/Sea
Rescue, and was in the ownership of the Ministry of War Transport until
1948. St Joan is included in The National Registry of Historic Vessels
in recognition of her active service during WW II as an Air/Sea Rescue
Launch from 1940 to 1948.
From 1948 onwards she passed through
several owners, until in 1990, she changed hands yet again and her new
owners moved her to South River Marine's St. Olaves yard on the River
Waveney, very near the site of the Brooke yard where she was built.
A major refit and restoration project
was then undertaken between the years 1990 and 1995 by the highly skilled
craftsmen at SRM , at a cost of some £270,000. The quality of
the workmanship employed during the restoration period can clearly be
seen. The interior is particularly impressive having been restored very
closely to the original design but sympathetically incorporating modern
equipment, facilities and controls. These include 2 showers and electric
flushing loos, and up to date navigation and safety equipment. The galley
was equipped with gas hob and oven, microwave, and 2 refrigerators.
Twin Cummins 115HP diesel engines, together
with hydraulic steering, were also installed, making her capable of
capable of cruising at 10 knots all day with a maximum speed of 13 knots.
Original or early equipment was all refurbished, including many of the
deck fittings. Where some items could not be restored, facsimiles were
recast from the originals.
She was purchased towards the end of
the restoration and her new owner commissioned the construction of her
elegant tender "Flame", a traditional mahogany-on-oak hand-built
lugsail/rowing tender on removable davits. She was then moved to the
River Thames, but was returned her each year to SMR at St. Olaves for
Tony Goodhead, her current owner, purchased
her in 2003, after many months of searching for a vessel such as St
Joan. He fitted a new prop shaft, a new oak keel band and other below
the waterline improvements. She is now berthed at Teddington on the
river Thames, at the site of the famous Tough Brothers' boatyard, where
many of the Dunkirk Little Ships were assembled in 1940 prior to braving
the channel crossing.
The vessel is currently a picture of
classical elegance from a byegone age. Virtually original redwood on
steamed Canadian Elm and English Oak comprise the hull, with a Mahogany
transom, and Pitch Pine decks. The Brazilian Mahogany and Pitch Pine
panelling of the fitted interior produces a rich and classic appearance
and is in immaculate condition.
St. Joan combines elegant lines with
the capacity to serve as a comfortable cruising boat, and is excellent
for entertaining. There is ample room below for up to twelve guests
for a buffet style lunch whilst enjoying a peaceful cruise on the river.
The large fore deck and the stern cockpit are perfect places to sit
at ease and enjoy the beautiful scenery passing by.
Her sleeping accommodation consists of a master suite forward, plus
three additional cabins, thus accommodating a total of six people in
four cabins in great comfort. She has two electric-flushing toilet compartments
that also include electric showers with hot and cold water handbasins,
plus a fully fitted galley. The boat is well heated from bow to stern
by 2 Mikuni heaters.
The two powerful Cummins 115 horsepower diesel engines have had less
than 500 hrs usage. Hydraulic steering is fitted and all systems are
regularly serviced. Her well equipped and spacious wheelhouse provides
excellent vision and control. Navigation equipment includes Log, Echo
Sounder, Raytheon Radar, GPS SatNav and VHF Ship-to-shore radio.
Safety equipment complies with the Boat Safety Scheme and includes a
six-man life raft, fire extinguishers and blankets, Firetrace automatic
engine compartment fire extinguishing system, lifebuoys, and life-rings
St Joan won the Penton Hook Trophy at
the 26th Thames Traditional Boat Rally at Henley in 2003 for "Best
Restoration to Original Design" and was Runner Up for "Best
Presentation of Boat and Crew".