Lisbeth is probably the last of the great saloon launches built in wood by Borwicks of Windermere. The brief was for a 40 + person passenger boat to replace a previous model operating in Oldham, north of Manchester in Alexander park where their original Mayoress I from 1903 was due for replacement. In 1953 a launch party celebrated this new mahogany on oak Mayoress II. Park trips on electric boats were popular from the beginnings of electric boating in the late nineteenth century when electricity first appeared on the scene as some kind of magical power source, whether for lighting or propulsion, and so much more. The great advantage as we all now know is the lack of pollution, but the silence and smooth running are both hugely attractive whether for private or commercial use.
Anyway back to Mayoress II which summarily bottomed out when the man-made lake dried out in the early nineteen seventies resulting in the boat having to be craned out and laid up for the next twenty years. In 1990 she found a new role on the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester before heading down to the Thames for the new millenium. Here her new Henley based owner entrusted a major facelift to Mark Stanley in Windsor which cost the best part of £90,000. Mark had a wood carver add some attractive kingfishers to the cabin sides and transformed the boat completely making it suitable for luxurious entertaining. The kingfisher symbol continues even inside the heads where there is also a shower. The refit invoice includes replacing the decks, making a new clerestory cabin with a separate toilet/shower fitted with a corner basin. The cabin was fitted out in solid varnished teak with bevelled solid panels and rounded corner posts. A drop leaf saloon table also in teak matches the close boarded teak floor. All the seating is also in this precious hard wood and is complemented by olive green cushions throughout. An acrylic canvas canopy with scalloped edging and roll up side curtains offers all weather protection.
Lisbeth is a great entertaining vessel with her capacious forward cockpit matched by a similar sized cabin which has a triple burner stove in the cabin galley with sink and fridge as well as heads with a shower above the wash basin on the port side aft of midships. For ease of manouevring while in locks there is also a comfortable aft cockpit which seats four to five guests.
In 2019 Lisbeth had a new generator, controller, batteries and some replacement planking.
She is now seriously for sale through Henley Sales and Charter and awaiting the next phase in her long and interesting history.