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James Taylor & Bates 55ft Motor Yacht 1933/2018



James Taylor & Bates 55ft Motor Yacht 1933/2018

Designer James Taylor & Bates
Builder James Taylor Bates, Chertsey
Date 1933
Length overall 55 ft 0 in / 16.76 m
Length deck 55 ft 0 in / 16.76 m
Length waterline 52 ft 0 in / 15.85 m
Beam 12 ft 6 in / 3.81 m
Draft 5 ft 6 in / 1.68 m
Displacement 25 Tonnes
Construction Carvel Oregon and pitch pine on oak
Engine 2 x Iveco FPT NEF 100hp
Location France
Price EUR 450,000

These details are provisional and may be amended




KARABOUDJAN is quite simply one of the most versatile and usable vintage motor yachts we've come across; the result of the commitment and love of her two most recent owners in the rescue, stabilisation and comprehensive restoration of this absolute classic. She began life as MARGO III, the dream boat of committed motor yachtsman and Royal Motor Yacht Club member Henry Greene Heap of Boscombe, England, who would have applied everything he had learned from his previous MARGO II in selecting her builders carefully. Taylor & Bates had a fine reputation for quality of design and build. That, and a succession of mostly loving owners over the years has secured this gem for the future. KARABOUDJAN now ticks all the boxes, benefiting from the most modern of engines, systems and comforts - so much so that her present owners are confidently considering an extended cruise from northern France to the Baltic to follow their return to her River Thames birthplace last year.


Restoration / refit

KARABOUDJAN's appearance and condition may fairly be said to be the combined result of the vision of her recent two owners: in recognising the potential of an apparently down at heel classic, and in achieving a very acceptable fusion of provenance and modern comforts in her two-stage restoration, which has dealt with all the structural, practical and comfort elements of such a vessel in the 21st Century - so that she is eminently capable of extending the range ever perceived by her original designer, builder and owner, whilst looking as they would remember her. She's been through open-heart surgery with traditional replacement of keelbolts, frames and floors, whilst being re-powered, re-plumbed, re-wired, re-galleyed, re-toileted and re-upholstered to suit modern comforts and standards.

Full details and photographs of this process are available on request.



KARABOUDJAN was born MARGO III, the second (read on) of Boscombe (Bournemouth) resident and Royal Motor Yacht Club (Poole) member Henry Greene Heap's motor yachts named after his then 20-year-old daughter Edith Margot. Heap's previous, smaller twin-screw motor yacht MARGO II had been designed and built locally at Hamworthy by the short-lived Hoyal Boat Building Corporation and used for cruising, and even racing, around Poole and the Dorset coast. But for the significantly larger MARGO III, he chose the Chertsey, River Thames-based yard, James Taylor & Bates. This well established partnership, with William B. Bates as uncredited designer, had gained an increasingly excellent reputation and press through the 1920s and 30s for their elegant river launches, river and seagoing motor yachts, and in particular, by the early 1930s, for a standard 55ft/17m canoe-sterned model, designed with much thought, well built from good materials, and fitted out with the most modern comforts at a time when plentiful running hot water and refrigeration were far from the norm.

As launched at a cost in excess of £3000, MARGO III was fitted with twin electric start Parsons 6 cylinder 40 hp petrol engines, a Latham pressure paraffin cooker, an Electrolux paraffin refrigerator which could apparently produce ice within three hours, and a Latham copper coil hot water heater supplying the bath - she still has a bath! - and two wash basins. However, despite all mod cons, for some reason Heap sold MARGO III after only three seasons (and seemingly gave up yachting altogether) in 1936 to fellow Bournemouth resident and Royal Motor Yacht Club member J. William Davis. It's surely just a coincidence that 1936 was also the year Edith Margot was married. When asked about the first MARGO, Heap would apparently reply, "She, of course, is my daughter!"

During the Second World War, MARGO III was requisitioned to serve as a barrage balloon tender at Portland Harbour, and may be considered lucky to have survived that, as from 1940 the huge Dorset harbour came under fierce air attacks - 48 of them - in which 532 bombs were dropped. She may also have witnessed there the US 1st Division embarking from Portland for "Omaha Beach" on D-Day in June 1944.

On post-war disposal, Davis seemingly didn't take up the option to have MARGO III back, and once again her new custodian was from Bournemouth, garage proprietor George Ray who eventually changed her name to the one that may be best recognised in living memory, NERISSA. Her last Dorset-based owner was Mrs H.M. Veal, a member of Parkstone Yacht Club, Poole. From 1958, during increasingly short term subsequent ownerships, as NERISSA she had home ports further afield: at Beaumaris, Wales; Ramsgate, Kent; and, for a time, Gibraltar.

Last owner but one, sculptor Gerald Saich purchased her at Southampton in 2013 and began the process of restoration to the very fine yacht she is now - and always deserved to be – eventually completed in 2018 under present ownership.



- Pitch and Oregon pine carvel planking on oak frame
- Iron ballast keel
- Teak deck joinery
- Bronze rudder


Deck layout equipment and ground tackle


- Stern light
- Bronze ensign staff socket
- Emergency steering screw-off plate
- Bronze mooring fairleads port and starboard
- Bronze capped Sampson posts with bronze pin port and starboard
- Teak lazarette/steering flat hatch with mushroom ventilator

- White painted aft deck continues to side decks fwd until foredeck step
- White painted galvanised stanchions stern to foredeck port and starboard

- Teak panelled sides; white painted roof
- Fiddles/grabrail port and starboard
- 2 x Round bronze port lights aft
- 4 x Oval bronze port lights port and starboard
- Mahogany clinker dinghy on chocks to port
- Tender-launching davit at port aft corner of trunk
- Teak towage box to starboard
- Bronze mushroom vents port and starboard
- Athwartships teak sliding hatch tp aft accommodation to starboard
- Teak hatch over head to port
- 2 x Bronze mushroom vents
- Teak butterfly skylight
- Outside helm position at aft of wheelhouse
- Traditional teak and bronze ship’s wheel offset to port
- Side Power bow thrusters control
- Morse engine controls
- Windlass control
- Steering compass in brass binnacle
- Window to engine instrumentation
- Wheelhouse roof mounted grab rails port and starboard of wheel
- Protective white painted and varnished teak rail enclosing steering position

- Teak panelled uprights; white painted roof
- Sliding door access port and starboard
- 2 x Cantilevered windscreen wipers
- Bronze and rod handrails port and starboard of wheelhouse sides
- Varnished, hinged burgee mast
- Bronze klaxon
- Searchlight
- Running lights port and starboard
- 4 x Dorade boxes each with a brass cowl vent
- 2 x Boat hooks
- 2 x Solar panels

- White painted
- Storage boxes port and starboard
- Bronze mooring cleats/fairleads port and starboard
- Larger butterfly skylight
- 2 x Large mushroom vents
- Smaller butterfly skylight
- Forehatch
- 3 x Bronze mushroom vents
- Teak spray deflector

- Quick 24 V Electric vertical windlass with chain gipsy and warping drum
- 1 x 45lb/20kg CQR-type galvanised bower anchor
- 60m of 12mm anchor chain
- 1 x 45lb/20kg S-L CQR galvanised anchor
- Anchor davit with wood blocks tackle
- 2 x Bronze capped Sampson posts with bronze pin
- Bronze mooring fairleads port and starboard
- 2 x Bow rollers either side of stemhead
- Stainless steel anchor holding shoe to port


Accommodation and domestic equipment

Accommodation for 5 or 6 in three cabins
Varnished Muiracatiara sole throughout

- Enter via port and starboard sliding doors
- Helm position to port
- Traditional teak and bronze ship’s wheel
- Adjustable height steering stool
- Isolator panel
- 2 x FPT Engine controls
- Lockers under
- Sidepower bow thruster controls
- Wiper rocker switches
- Ship’s clock, barometer and thermometer
- Simrad GPS Plotter
- Simrad VHF
- Pioneer CD Radio DEH SO 40
- Hatch access to engine room
- L-Upholstered banquette to port aft
- Folding card table
- 3 x Deckhead lights
- 2 x Oil lamps
- 2 x Opening windows aft

Via double door and 3 x steps down to owner’s cabin

- Varnished teak and mahogany furniture and doors; white painted bulkheads
- Varnished mahogany sole
- Large athwartships double berth to starboard
- Drawers under
- Small bunkside sideboards fore and aft
- 2 x Deep and large hanging lockers to port
- Chest of many drawers to port
- Philips flat screen TV to port
- 4 x Round bronze opening ports
- Butterfly skylight in deckhead
- Deckhead light
- 2 x Reading lamps

- Sliding steps and rail to companionway to starboard side deck
- Locker outboard
- Deckhead light
- Shared head compartment to port

- Jabsco Electric WC
- Full size panelled-in bath and shower
- Sink with mixer tap – locker under
- Hatch in deck head
- White slatted hull sides
- Oval opening port
- 2 x Deckhead lights

- Entry via door offset to starboard
- Single ship berths port and starboard with drawers under
- Chest of drawers with mirror over at forward port bulkhead
- Shelves at aft bulkhead
- Crawling double door access aft bulkhead to steering flat/ lazarette
- 5 x Oval x round opening ports
- 1 x Deckhead light
- 2 x Reading lights

- 4 x steps down
- L dinette to port – converts to double berth
- Drawers under
- Teak table
- Original dresser/ sideboard/ writing desk to starboard
- Many lockers
- Butterfly skylight in deckhead
- 3 x Period bulkhead lights
- Deckhead light
- 4 x Oval opening ports

- Entry via centreline door
- Curved beech work surface to port
- Small stowage shelves outboard
- 4 x Burner Whirlpool ATK 2000 gas hob
- Airlux AFSCW21BKN gas oven under
- Inset stainless steel sink; mixer tap
- Stowage under including wine rack
- Parallel to centreline beech work surface to starboard
- Fiddles stowage outboard
- Stowage under and -
- 2 x Isotherm DR 49 slide out fridge
- Whirlpool dishwasher ADG 402
- Electrolux washer dryer WDA 96160
- 4 x Oval opening ports
- Butterfly skylight in deck head
- Forehatch
- 3 x Deckhead lights

- Manual Jabsco WC


Mechanical, electrical and tankage

- 2 x Iveco FPT NEF 100hp Main Engines (2017)
- 2 x Bronze external shaft tubes and A-brackets
- 2 x Stainless steel propeller shafts
- Mase I.S. 5.0 B 50 Hz Generator
- Hydraulic steering via ram at bronze rudder post tube
- Side Power SE 210 TC bow thruster
- Eberspächer Hydronic M-12 12V central heating
- Hot and cold pressure water system
- 2 x Engine start batteries 200 Ah
- 6 x Service batteries 200 Ah
- Battery management system
- Shore power charger
- 2 x Solar panels 120 W
- 2 x Fresh water tanks total 2,250 L
- 1 x Hot water tank/boiler 120 L with flow metre
- Black water holding tank 48 L


Navigation, communications and electronics

- Binnacle mounted compass
- Simrad GPS Plotter NSS evo3
- Simrad AP44+NAC-2 auto-pilot
- Nais 500 class B AIS
- Simrad VHF Radio RS 20



- 9ft 2in/2.8m Mahogany clinker tender; acrylic cover
- Suzuki outboard motor 2 hp
- Mooring lines
- Fenders
- Dying out legs
- Covers for deck joinery



Thanks to David Knight, owner of KARABOUDJAN's predecessor MARGO II, for image no. 88.


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