‘Janet’ was built c 1950 by L H Walker, of Leigh on Sea, as a 12ft Tideway sailing dinghy. She is clinker mahogany planked on oak frames and has a beam of 5ft and draught of 14in.
At some stage she was converted to a steam boat and the interior adapted and coaming fitted by Peter Freebody. The unusual brass nameplates date from this time.
In 2003-4 the steam plant was replaced with a Stuart Turner P5M 4hp petrol engine. This was supplied by Fairways Marine and was a rebuild of a 1957 unit. The engine was fitted and renovations were carried out by Henwood and Dean. The engine has an electric starter and electronic fuel pump and is located in an attractive glass-lidded mahogany housing.
Steering is by a brass side wheel through cables attached to a rudder mounted on the transom. She is fitted with a small mast and has detachable copper/brass navigation lights.
In 2015 she won the Stuart Turner Trophy at the Thames Traditional Boat Festival, and was runner-up in 2016. She has a light overall cover which also protects the sides and which packs into a bag. The boat is now at Beale Park boat store on her trailer and ready for a new owner.
This type of dinghy is very much an enthusiasts' boat, easy to trail for participation in classic boat events. Stuart Turner built the majority of small 2 stroke engines for inland waterways boats in the fifties and sixties. They are still based in Henley on Thames where alas they just make pumps. However spares are available for the engines. Janet comes with her own trailer included in the price.