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Delphi - a Bates Starcraft


In 1960 the Bates fleet dominated the Thames holiday scene with a fleet of hire boats and many privately owned boats between 20 and 45 feet. Influenced by the Chris Craft cruisers of the nineteen thirties these post war beauties offer light airy accommodation, lashings of varnished mahogany and outside seating. I thought it would be fun to quote from the original sales catalogue :

Design :

Fairline round bilge-type constructions to the specification and general arrangement plan, giving excellent maneouvring characteristics, stability and relative high speed. A wide range of petrol or diesel engines in twin or single screw, is available to meet each individual requirement and speeds up to 20 knots have been attained. Copper sheathed to 9 inch above the water-line if required for tropical service. The superstructure is famed in mahogany and varnished; spruce cabin roof covered with canvas.

Accommodation :

Sleeping accommodation is provided for six persons : Pullman type seats on port and startboard sidees of saloon are constructed to quickly permit conversion to single sleeping berth or sofa-settee on port side. Upholstery throughout is in natural or dyed real hide, with interior of rubber or plastic foam. Flybridge which has control seat port side, passenger seat for two starboard side with opening roof and side windows. Seating arranged to give maximum view through forward screen when sitting. When standing a clear view over top of screen is obtained. Going forward, galley on port side with stainless steel sink; fresh water pump, draining board with drawers and cupboards below. Calor gas oven cooker with protective screen and folding stainless steel shelf over, with stowage for utensils below. Elsan type W.C. and wash basin with water supply on starboard side, opposite galley, with sliding door. Forward cabin fitted with two single bunks with linen covered rubber or plastic foam mattresses and wardrobe at head of starboard bunk, and dressing table fitted with drawer and cupboard shelves etc at head of port bunk. Hinged hatch in forward cabin gives access to foredeck. Chain locker forward. Aft cockpit fitted with wide lounge hide settee to convert to double bunk. Side lockers port and starboard for stowage and entrance steps. Folding car type hood effectively encloses aft cockpit. Mahogany floor throughout aft cockpit, sallon and flybridge; all floors built in trap formation to permit ease of inspection and cleaning of bilge. Power unti below saloon floor conveniently installed to facilitate inspection or maintenance with minimum effort.

I think that there is little to add other than that Delphi has been refurbished recently and comes with a new survey as she leaves the boatyard for summer 2021 in new ownership. The Bates Starcraft Club is a lively members club with occasional meet ups and a newsletter. Members are valuable sources of spares, history and maintenance tips.

If you think you would like to take on this lovely example of a Thames classic please call the office for an appointment to view. 01491 578870


Bates of Chertsey
Year of build
10ft 3ins
Single Nanni diesel (2001)

Please call Gillian on 01491 578 870 for more information


Henley Sales and Charter Ltd have gained a reputation over the last 30 years for selling and chartering beautiful, classic boats. Experience of operating and selling boats on the river Thames enables us to offer expert objective advice to prospective owners on all aspects of boat ownership including purchase, surveys, repairs and moorings. We will do our best to find the ideal craft to suit your individual needs - for a day or for a lifetime.

Henley Sales & Charter Ltd

29 Station Road
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire


01491 578 870
[email protected]

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