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Dartline Frobisher


Lottie
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Back in 1976 I hired a boat from Napton Marina called Kennet Navigator, pretty sure that was a Dartline boat.

Blue 25 foot steel hull with a white GRP top and wooden hand rails.

The sweep of the bow, the curves on the cabin and the staggered windows plus the hardwood doors and handrails made for quite an elegant small boat.

I've often wondered if it still exists.

 

ps It's noisy little Lister engine could barely push it along, so 3hp seems optimistic :)

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The hull of Sir Edmund was built by SeaSteel of Nassington, so it looks like the hulls were contract built and subsequently delivered to and fitted out at Norbury and/or Bunbury. I have, some time back, spoken to Jim Dyche and John Stothert? who were, I understand directors? of Shropshire Union Cruisers, later Dartline and worked out (from the hull number) that Sir Edmund was built early 1974. I have no meaningful history other than that and Dartline, in 1994 when I enquired, had kept no records of boats that had been sold out of the fleet.

 

This craft has the diesel tanks built into the swim (both sides, with a balance pipe) and was apparently their 'experimental' boat, whatever that means. All their boats had blue hulls completely down to the water line and were painted with 'epoxy' paint. The GRP tops were in white gelcoat. The 'parallelogram' windows were supplied by Severn Yacht (now defunct)

 

Do you have a hull number, scripted in weld, on the front of the weedhatch box?

I can not comment on that particular boat but the original hulls were built at Norbury the early few by John Stothert assisted by myself( when not involved with engineering bits) & then Seamus Walsh was brought in to do the steelwork, at around the time I left SUC was sold to a Liverpool company A.E.Smith- Coggins in 1969/70 From then on I can not be of any help as to who built what or where.

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  • 6 years later...

I believe John Williams was a key player in the development of these craft. He worked at SUC in the early 70's before moving to Porter and Haylett on the Norfolk Broads helping them develop their famous Connoisseur range of boats, later versions are still in hire today with Herbert Woods. He then had his own yard in Stalham. Sadly he passed away a couple of years ago.

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5 hours ago, J.kirk said:

Do you remember the plate thicknesses by any chance ?

In those days probably 1/4" bottom 3/16" sides.

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1 hour ago, RS2021 said:

I believe John Williams was a key player in the development of these craft. He worked at SUC in the early 70's before moving to Porter and Haylett on the Norfolk Broads helping them develop their famous Connoisseur range of boats, later versions are still in hire today with Herbert Woods. He then had his own yard in Stalham. Sadly he passed away a couple of years ago.

He was also well into steam launches, I bought a Rangerover from him some years back

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