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Designer John Bain
Builder James A Silver Ltd., Rosneath
Date 1935
Length overall 42 ft 0 in / 12.8 m
Length deck 42 ft 0 in / 12.8 m
Length waterline 39 ft 6 in / 12.04 m
Beam 10 ft 0 in / 3.06 m
Draft 3 ft 6 in / 1.07 m
Displacement 13.99 Tonnes
Construction Carvel teak on oak
Engine 2 x Nanni 5.280 5cy 60hp Diesel (2009)
Location United Kingdom
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended




KINGFISHER is a very fine example of a classic motor yacht from one of the great British yards: John Bain designed; James A. Silver of Rosneath built. Her first owner kept her from launch into the early 1960s, and in recent ownerships she has received just deserts, and been navigated extensively and successfully on coastal and offshore waters - and inland on rivers and canals where her dimensions fit perfectly. Recent refits have left KINGFISHER even more practical, modern and comfortable than ever - while losing nothing of her old world charm and good looks. With KINGFISHER, stylishly adventurous holidays with family and friends can be the norm.



Like all the Silver yachts, they look fairly similar on the outside but often fundamentally different on the inside. This is indicative of the bespoke nature of each boat, as the owner had the the opportunity to discuss the internal layout with the designer and thus create his or her bespoke yacht.

Over the years there would have been a number of upgrades or improvements as the various owners left their mark, but Kingfisher was typically a Gentleman’s Launch. The owner and his crew of one would either use it as a day boat or on occasions longer cruises. There are wonderful features such as the small hinged shelves upon each ‘bunk’ on which the master would be served his tea whilst still in bed. The lead glass doors to the drinks cabinets, the dovetail joints and exquisite joinery through out.

It would appear that at some point the wheelhouse was converted from being open at the rear to becoming both extended and fully enclosed. The hatch leading aft from the wheelhouse is the original water-tight teak hatch that enters the saloon. This makes for a very cosy wheelhouse and the addition of 5 cylinder Nanni engines and reasonable soundproofing make this an extremely pleasant place to be when cruising.

Other upgrades, adding to the level of comfort include: the double berth in the main cabin, full central heating, pressurised hot and cold water, full shower etc.

An extensively well travelled boat and now fitted to make it the most comfortable and enjoyable vessel.



When KINGFISHER launched into the Gareloch in the early spring of 1935, that year’s edition of Lloyd's Register of Yachts listed 83 vessels built by the Rosneath, Firth of Clyde yard James A Silver Ltd., which must have been just the tip of the iceberg in recording their productivity. Mid 1930s yard numbers were by now in the mid 500s, and KINGFISHER was one of 20 vessels totalling 249 tons yacht measurement completed by Silvers that year ranging from 36 tons to sailing dinghies. Yet quality of design, workmanship and materials remained exceptionally high.

'Silvers' had existed before the First World War, but really began to flourish in the between the wars years after hiring John Bain as naval architect: not just an innovative and artistic yacht designer; also a man with a flair for efficient yet high quality production boatbuilding - and, very importantly, marketing.

Bain's "self-drive" 30 ft 'Silverette' design cleverly carried the firm through the austerity of the Great Depression years, and from 1932 the mid-range 'Silver Leaf' type signalled a gradual return to prosperity with a thoroughly modern look that has stood the test of time. A most notable feature in 1935 would have been the raked bow profile of which the designer commented: "The slightly overhanging bow is a striking feature of this yacht and, being a logical development of the flaring topsides forward, makes for a dry boat and good sea-going qualities." It is also very attractive: KINGFISHER is a Silver Leaf that still turns heads, not least because she is so well maintained.

The commissioning owner was 48-year-old Staffordshire ironfounder Henry W Mould; obviously a discerning buyer - he chose the teak planked option, apparently one of just two boats thus planked in 1935 - and a man of regular habits, keeping KINGFISHER until his death in 1962. Mould's cruising beat was the River Severn and the Bristol Channel, in particular Barry Island on the Welsh side and the attractive Somerset harbour of Porlock Weir, where she was recorded lying during the earliest days of the Second World War. But his membership of the Royal Scottish Motor Yacht Club also suggests cruises further north.

Nothing is yet known of KINGFISHER's wartime activities, but a vessel of her size and handiness would undoubtedly have been government requisitioned. Fortuitously she was returned to Mould who enjoyed her for the rest of his life, towards the end replacing the original Morris Navigator petrol engines with BMC diesels.

Between 1962 and c1970, KINGFISHER's 2nd and 3rd owners, Ronald FG Hanbury of London (Colne Yacht Club and Little Ship Club), and MV Johnson, a local, based her at Brightlingsea, Essex, after which she disappeared from Lloyds Register of Yachts. Thankfully KINGFISHER's citation in the UK National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) fills some gaps, stating that she remained on the Thames estuary until 1982, and was moored at Exmouth from 1986 into the mid 1990s.

Under the owner before the present one, KINGFISHER enjoyed an extensive mid-1990s refit at Bristol after which her range and capabilities truly came to the fore. She cruised to the Mediterranean via Paris and the French canals and rivers, eventually returning via Canal du Midi and the Bay of Biscay.

In present ownership KINGFISHER has been significantly upgraded to combine great comfort with undoubted style and seaworthiness, and there is no reason why that can't continue into her second century.



- Carvel teak planking on oak frame
- Pitch pine deck epoxy sheathed (originally canvas)
- Raw teak laid deck aft, in way of cockpit
- Teak wheelhouse and deck furniture



From aft

- Comfortable sunken cockpit
- Taking some shelter from the raised deck
- 30mm plywood and epoxy sheathed cockpit sole and new frames (2018)
- Raw teak cockpit sole gratings
- Lockers and access to the rudder stock and emergency tiller

- Guardrail with teal capping extends 75% of length
- Slightly higher than original for comfort and safety

- External steering position at aft of wheelhouse (2012)
- 2 x Teak veneered plywood storage boxes aft of the wheelhouse
- Cushioned covers for seating
- Port locker holds 3 x butane gas bottles
- Starboard locker holds warps etc

Forward of the wheelhouse
- Original skylight above the main double berth
- Teak hatch with ladder access to forward accommodation
- Modern weatherproof hatch giving light to forward cabin

- Electric horizontal windlass and capstan; foot controls + wheelhouse remote

- Substantial Danforth bower anchor
- c50m of galvanised chain attached
- Substantial fisherman kedge anchor
- c50m of galvanised chain attached



KINGFISHER sleeps 2 in absolute luxury, 4 with comfort and 8 when needs must. There are 2 heads, hot and cold pressurised running water from a 70 litre calorifier, a very well fitted galley with full size oven and 3 burner gas hob. The colour scheme within the boat is a combination of slightly off white eggshell paintwork, varnish and beige carpets giving an exceptionally cosy and homely feel, enhanced by the full heating system of 5 radiators powered by a 4kw Eberspacher Hydronic. Days, weeks and months can be spent in period style with complete comfort.

- Galley to starboard
- Aft heads to port via sliding door

- 3 x Burner gas hob with oven (takes reasonable sized roast chicken) and grill (2012)
- Mahogany worktop; inset porcelain sink sunk & mixer tap
- Fridge under worktop
- Locker under worktop with cedar storage box
- Gauge for fresh water tanks
- Plate/crockery drying/stowage rack over sink
- Shelving above the worktop
- 2 x Brass portholes
- Access to water tanks aft of companionway ladder
- 240V Extention lead for immersion tank in aft head (on shore power).

- Shower with thermostatic mixer
- Small hinged seat
- Manual toilet with soft flush lid (2018)
- Small sink
- Heated towel rail (via Hydronic heating system)
- 70 litre hot water tank/ calorifier
- Shelving
- 2 x Brass portholes.

- Sideboards port and starboard with leaded glass cabinets above
- Sofas/ Pullman berths port and starboard on either side
- Carpets (2012)
- Teak centred table
- Radiator with chrome pipes and valves
- Original lights and fittings, including chrome switches, on aft bulkhead

- Via door and original sliding hatch
- Varnish finish
- Carpet and sound proofing on the sole above the engines
- Db levels, when cruising at 2,100 rpm are c72-74db
- Sliding windows/half doors port and starboard
- Ship's Mastervolt switch/ breaker panel
- Door offset to starboard to double cabin forward
- Hatches port and starboard: fuel tanks access, and stowage
- Steps port and starboard with 'school desk' type access (2012)

- Entered down steps from wheelhouse
- 1 x Double and 1 x single berths
- Extensive stowage under in matching drawers and lockers
- Radiator and small hinged shelves
- Original chrome light fittings and switches
- 3 x Port lights port and starboard
- Original teak prism hatch make this cabin both very cosy and very light
- Original flag locker with a full set of original signal flags

- Forward of the main cabin, to port
- manual toilet with soft close lid (2018)
- Sink with hot and cold running water
- Heated towel rail via Hydronic heating system
- Original chrome light and switch
- 1 x Brass port light

- Single berth to port
- Extensive stowage under in matching drawers and lockers
- Shelving
- Radiator
- Original chrome light fittings and switch
- Port lights port and starboard
- Modern hatch above
- Access to chain locker



Engine space under wheelhouse sole
- 2 x Nanni 5.280HE 5cy 60hp normally aspirated Diesels (2009)
- Port engine c 850 hours (the charging engine at rest)
- Starboard engine c750 hours
- Range with 20% reserve @ 8 knots: 400 miles
- Consumption: under 10 L/hour, both engines, at a comfortable 8 knots
- Python-Drive thrust bearings
- Recent stainless steel propeller shafts

- Hydraulic steering system; internal and external helm positions
- Autohelm with hydraulic pump; fluxgate compass to be fitted

- Full 12V DC circuit and 240V AC circuit, via a Mastervolt 1.8kW inverter in wheelhouse
- Shore power connects via a separate fuse board
- Provides charging of both house and cranking batteries together with 240v circuit
- 4 x 110Ah 12 V house batteries (due for replacement Spring 2019)
- 2 x starter batteries
- 110W Flexible solar panel on the wheelhouse roof
- Capable of keeping batteries in charge (with fridge running etc) on sunny days

- 4kW Eberspächer Hydronic (hot water) heating system; 5 radiators.

- 2 x Stainless steel fuel tanks, to port and starboard of the engines (2016)
- Total fuel tankage: 500 litres
- 2 x 200 litre water tanks with gauge under cockpit
- Total water tankage: 200 litres
- Water fillers and vents in aft cockpit



- Garmin 10 inch chart plotter with full integration (2010)
- Garmin 360 degree sonar/depth tracker (fore, aft, port, starboard)
- Garmin digital radar; separate screen or overlay (2010)
- Garmin AIS transponder and receiver (2010)
- Icom DSC VHF (2010)



- Varnished wood mast
- Stainless steel rigging (2010)
- Steadying sail
- Hatch covers (2018)



- Automatic engine room fire extinguisher
- Fire extinguishers in all cabins
- Fire blanket in the galley



During the last 12 years, the following work has been done:

- Teak handrails fitted on both guard rails; port and starboard, fore and aft
- Deck covers for forward hatches
- Covers and cushions fitted to storage boxes on aft deck
- Electric windlass and capstan with foot controls
- Flexible solar panel fitted on wheelhouse roof for battery top up
- Bearers and sole of cockpit floor replaced, epoxy sheathed
- Hydraulic steering fitted (including pump, currently not integrated), external steering added
- Galley refit, including; new oven, new work top, bespoke teak plate rack, porcelain sink
- New water pump for domestic water system
- Water gauge fitted for twin 2 x 200 litre water tanks
- 70 litre hot water tank fitted in aft heads
- 4kw Eberspacher hydronic (hot water) heating system, 5 radiators
- All keel bolts replaced with stainless steel bolts
- Twin Nanni 5 cylinder 60hp engines
- Twin python drives
- New stainless shafts
- Garmin electronics as detailed above
- Twin stainless fuel tanks
- Carpets throughout
- Saloon re-upholstered


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts