What a treat to see such an interesting boat with fabulous brightwork and chic interior. I doubt that in 1946 the builders, relieved finally of their war work, would have seen a boat as fine as this leave their yard. The owners have exquisite taste reflected in both external condition and the internal fit out of the boat.
Osbornes of Little Hampton were commissioned to build Little Anne II was for Gerald Turnour as a replacement for the original Little Anne, built for Gerald by Osbornes in 1938 and subsequently lost after being requisitioned for the war effort.
William Osborne Ltd. was one of the principal boat-building firms on the South-Coast from the 1920s to 1980s. In addition to their range of motor yachts Osbornes built many of the twin diesel R.N.L.I. lifeboats which served the UK coasts during the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. The double diagonal hull construction technique used in the R.N.L.I. boats is a feature of all post-war Osborne Craft, giving great strength and durability.
Little Anne II was built to conform to the Swift Junior Class specification, being one of a full range day and weekenders produced post-war by Osbornes. Other late 1940s designs being the Swallow, Falcon and Eagle Classes. A further ‘bird’ range continued in the 1950s with designs such as the Curlew (20ft.) Martlet (28ft.) and Osprey (31ft.) Here at HSC we sold a rather lovely Osprey about twenty years ago which is believed to be in East Anglia now.
The Swift Junior design features in The Yachting Year, volume 11, published in 1947 by the well known maritime writer Eric Hiscock. He wrote ‘William Osborne Ltd specialise in the production of standard cruisers. The firm has brought its designs thoroughly up-to-date and a number of vessels have been built. These are shapely, able looking little ships.’
Gerald Turnour only kept Little Anne II for a few years, selling her in 1949 to P B Myers LDS RCS. She was stationed at Poole in Dorset near to Myers' home. In 1951 he decided to re-engine Little Anne II replacing the original 20hp Morris Vedette with a 35hp Austin engine. About ten years later and still in Myers ownership he again re-engined Little Anne II this time with a 60hp Gray Petrol engine which must have added considerably to her speed and performance. In total Myres owned the vessel for almost twenty-five years. Her subsequent history is rather sketchy. The current owner found her for sale at Gallions Reach Marina in East London.
Little Anne II is of double diagonal mahogany construction copper fastened to steam bent oak timbers with mahogany laid decks and varnished superstructure. She features a long keel, round bilges, a straight, raked stem and transom stern.
John Tough carried out a full survey in July 2015 a year after the vendor acquired the boat. As a result of the recommendations a full restoration of the hull, deck and superstructure took place at Michael Dennett Boatbuilders on the middle Thames in Chertsey. The meticulous owner restored the floorboards, the cabin space, berths, cupboards, table and galley. He painstakingly sanded everything back to bare wood before applying 12 coats of varnish, which took 1000 hours over a period of 8 months. He also replaced the electrics and had all the deck fittings re-chromed. Penton Hook Trimmers made the cushions for the cockpit and interior.
Little Ann II won Best Amateur Restoration from the TVBC in 2017 and runner up Amateur Restoration at Henley TTBF in 2018.
The forw'd heads feature an original Baby Blake toilet. However at present this is not in functioning order. There is a service kit available with the boat in order to re build if needed.
The galley area is complete with a sink unit, cooker and lockers.
All in all this is an exceptional weekender for a purchaser who wishes to buy something in pristine condition with a well documented history.
To view please call the office on 01491 578870.