Atta Boy is a stunning and historic launch with an amazing naval history. The launch is in amazing condition and is available for viewing on the discreet mid Thames mooring near Marlow. The current owner has been in possession of Atta Boy since 2009, but it had undertaken a complete restoration by the previous owner between 1989 and 2004 but had been left languishing Windsor and not touching water for many years. Chris had been looking for something interesting and he decided to take it on as a project with the help of Mark Stanley of Stanley and Thomas. Chris is now looking to buy a larger boat on which he and his family can sleep and explore further afield.
I was impressed by the condition and beauty of this centenarian which has clearly been maintained in tip top condition during its current ownership. It is not hard to imagine an Admiral being swept across a harbour at speed by a rating at the helm. Of course this is only the first part of the boat's long history and there have been many owners since including a family who took the boat back to the Norfolk Broads and added an aft cuddy for shelter. I could imagine a canopy or pramhood working equally well to provide all weather boating.
There is plenty of grunt guaranteed by the Rover V8 under the forward 'bonnet' and undoubtedly in times past there would have been an engineer in the dicky seat or maybe even a gunner. There is storage aplenty but no sleeping arrangement which would be acceptable to a 21st century owner. This is now purely a dayboat for the connoisseur.
We know that the boat left the Brooke yard in Lowestoft as boat number 436 having been finished on the 10th August1915 as one of a number of pinnaces ordered by the Admiralty. Her first duty was to serve 'Calliope' at Chatham and then in 1919 she was sent to Rosyth as a tender to 'Royalist'. According to the Brooke record she was sold in 1923. All these boats had early Brooke petrol engines. I could write reams about Brooke and indeed there are articles for the enthusiasts in back copies of Classic Boat Magazine as well as books referencing this famous British yard which built one of the first superyachts in the nineteen eighties designed by Bannenberg. Unfortunately none of the boatbuilding family is still working in Lowestoft in the industry but I was lucky enough to know John, grandson of the founder who had many documents and stories to tell. I think that the Brooke society has some of these documents and a Brooke called Bullfinch carried off a trophy this year at the Traditional Boat Festival as has Atta Boy in previous years. A regular attendee at river events including the TTBF this remarkable launch took its place at the Jubilee pageant in 2012 and proudly flies the burgee which all participants were presented with prior to the event.
We have clear evidence of the middle years of Atta Boy's live when she was purchased in 1923 from the naval fleet and repatriated to East Anglia where she appears to have operated for many years including some where she was owned by Broom, possibly as part of their hire fleet. We do know that she belonged to a Mr. A.B. Dobbs of Mayfair between 1933 and 1954 at which point Broom once more bought the boat back.
Atta Boy has a remarkable turn of speed so could be suitable for use away from the temperate Thames. However for a local owner she does have a BSS (also required for the Norfolk Broads were she to return) to May 2026 as well as a current EA licence.
To view close to our office by appointment please call Gillian on 01491 578870.