HISTORY & DESCRIPTION:
In the early 1960s, William Osborne (junior) introduced a series of three hard chine motor cruisers, the Swift, Kestrel & Osprey. The Kestrel proved to be the most popular design being a medium-sized vessel with a creditable performance when fitted with the twin-engine option or an ideal cruiser with the single installation with optional convertible wheel-shelter or sports windscreen.
Osborne’s need little introduction as one of the premier South Coast boat-builders situated in Rope Walk on the River Arun. William Osborne established the yard in Littlehampton in 1919 building a series of 20-knot powerboats for the Sussex Motor Yacht Club. Building commissions for motor-yachts soon started to come in and the company grew considerably during the 1930s. Wartime work included the high-speed Motor Torpedo Boats and Gun Boats. The company having built up a reputation for quality craft received orders from the RNLI to build lifeboats. Continuing also with the expanding range of motor cruisers they adopted the same high standard close seamed double diagonal mahogany construction to the cruisers as in the lifeboats. In the industry, the company were known for their ‘Osborne Finish’
BEBAS was owned during the 1960s by Anthony Prior of Buckinghamshire who moored the Osborne in Southampton. Flight-Lieutenant J H Hoggart-Hill of Folly End, Hamble bought BEBAS in the early 1970s continuing to keep her on the South-Coast. In new ownership, BEBAS was moved on to the River Thames where the current owner bought her some years ago. He had her moved to Dorset where a comprehensive restoration began under the supervision of a marine surveyor.
Double diagonal mahogany hull on oak timbers and frames. Oak centreline all keel bolts fastenings replaced. New mahogany superstructure and coachroof.
Pair 65hp VOLVO PENTA MARINE PETROL ENGINES, four-cylinder, BB70 with 1.9:1 reduction gearbox.
Propeller shafts: aluminium bronze. All shaft brackets, logs, propellers and rudders are bronze.
Fuel tanks: two 30 gallon, made in copper, removed cleaned and painted.
Major works carried out included ensuring that both engines ran well prior to the boat being lifted, oil changed in both and new spark plugs, ignition points were fitted. Gearboxes worked well and thermostats opened correctly. Both engine charging systems also worked. All cooling hoses and hose clips replaced. Throttle cables lubricated and the steering box oil has been changed. Engines have been regularly turned over throughout the project.
All timberwork which had de-graded has been dismantled and removed. The inside of the hull has been thoroughly cleaned and painted with two coats of Vinyguard primer. Some bulkheads have been replaced as well as engine cases and cockpit floor framework. The coamings and cabin deck beams have been replaced with the finest quality Utile and Mahogany, fastened with West System epoxy and the new cabin deck is top quality marine ply sheathed in cloth with epoxy. The Utile coamings have been coated with seven layers of Le Tonquinois varnish and look stunning.
Following an extensive inspection by a specialist wooden boat surveyor, the repairs to the hull, framework and underwater fittings have been carried out according to his instructions.
All keel bolts have been removed, inspected and refitted with new bronze washers and nuts. P brackets have been removed, bolts checked, cleaned, new cutlass bearings fitted and replaced. The bronze shaft couplings have been removed, inspected and replaced with new hoses. Rudder glands have been re-stuffed.
All original aluminium cabin windows have been stripped and have had new seals fitted.
Other original parts and fittings included but not all fitted:
Interior lights, Mahogany dinette table, Mahogany drawers (re-varnished), and hanging cupboard doors.
Gas alarm, compass, dashboard with its instruments, navigation lamps, spot lamp, deck fittings, ladder, swim platform and pulpit. The trim tabs are fitted and work. Engine controls, gear lever and mechanism and steering wheel. Speed log with impeller fitted and connected to the original Sum log gauge in dashboard.
Plans for a new windscreen frame have been drawn up, to be built from Utile using original glass in front screen, new glass for side screens.
Work needed to complete the project:
Fitting new bronze stem/keel band (supplied)
Refit and fabricate new deck level rubbing strake
Complete foredeck teak pieces
Fit side deck teak pieces
Refit pulpit rail, original one supplied
Refit anchor windlass (serviced and working)
Refit rubbing strake at waterline when planking has taken up following launch (timber supplied)
Fit finishing trim batons to front and sides of new cabin deck (Mahogany supplied)
Sand and varnish/paint interior to cabin sides and deck beams
Final fitting of windows with neoprene seals (provided)
Refit toe rail sections
Refit two handrails to the cabin deck
Fit original navigation lamps (supplied)
Fit cabling for interior lighting (cable and lamps supplied)
Fit insulation and lining to deckhead
Make and fit top screen assembly
Forward cabin fit-out to requirements
Saloon fit-out to requirements – includes galley area
WC compartment fit-out to requirements
Complete interior finishes
Install electrical components to requirements
Fit new batteries
Fit new water tank to requirements
Fit bilge system
Fit new exhaust hose hangers (supplied)
Complete the rebuild to the cockpit
Refit original cockpit drains and hoses (supplied)
Refit fuel tanks and reconnect (supplied)
Reinstall cathodic protection if necessary
Fit new alternator belts
Make and fit new upholstery to requirements (originals supplied which could be used)
Fit cockpit flooring as required. (ply flooring supplied)
Fit bronze capping to coaming (supplied)
Fit lockers to the cockpit
An extensive list of original and re-furbished fittings and equipment included.
A part completed project with all the major work and principal expense undertaken. Original interior is available to replace or re-model to suit. A great opportunity to acquire a 1960s Osborne Classic at a fraction of the restoration cost which has been meticulously undertaken over a good few years at a well established traditional boatyard. Full tented cover and storage space available to complete the re-fit. Full photographic record available.
VIEWING: Through CLASSIC YACHT BROKERAGE