Bates Starcraft have become increasingly popular in the twenty first century as mid century boats, like mid century furniture, have come back into vogue. It is easy to see why this is the case. Indeed at the Queen's diamond jubilee the Starcraft had a whole section to itself in the parade with boats up to 45ft in length.
Carefree is at the bijou end of the scale and at 20 feet is one of only five Starcraft built of this size at a cost in the late nineteen fifties of £2,676. River lore has it that on the occasion of the Richmond Lock and Weir Centenary celebrations Carefree was spotted by Diana Bates of the original boatbuilding dynasty and purchased that very day from Jeff Chipps, then commodore of the Thames yacht Club. She was restored for Diana by Terry Dann who had served his apprenticeship with W. Bates and Son in 1961 and where he continued to work for the first 21 years of his career. Most recently Terry sold a 35ft Starcraft on which he had been working privately for many years.
The hull construction is double diagonal mahogany with a large open aft cockpit making her a great boat for entertaining as well as an ideal occasional weekender. The Ford Watermota was replaced several owners ago with a diesel beta 37.5 hp engine. There are 2 Bosch 70 amp batteries with selection control and isolator. Included in the extensive inventory are nav lights, warps, fenders, a full canopy and a winter cover.
In the aft cockpit there is seating for six and the aft bench can convert into a berth or a sun lounger. In the cabin there is a folding wash basin and a concealed Porta-potti. As is shown in the photos there is a table which allows four people to gather below decks and which lowers down to create a comfortable double berth in the bow. The boat has a current BSS certificate and a licence for the Thames.
In the winter of 2019/20 Carefree's owners sent her west to Norfolk where Landamores of Hoveton carried out some essential hull work prior to returning her to the Thames for a somewhat delayed 2020 cruising season. All invoices are available to view.
Carefree is a beautiful, roomy classic Bates Starcraft, maintained in good condition and can be viewed afloat in Berkshire by appointment. However this boat would be equally at home on an estuary or lake.
Call the office on 01491 578870 for more information and an appointment to view.