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Silvers John Bain 46ft "Silver Leaf" Twin Screw Motor Yacht 1937/2001 - Sold



Silvers John Bain 46ft "Silver Leaf" Twin Screw Motor Yacht 1937/2001

Designer John Bain
Builder James A Silver Ltd., Rosneath
Date 1937
Length overall 45 ft 11 in / 14 m
Length deck 45 ft 11 in / 14 m
Length waterline 43 ft 6 in / 13.25 m
Beam 10 ft 10 in / 3.3 m
Draft 4 ft 7 in / 1.4 m
Displacement 21.6 Tonnes
Construction Carvel teak on oak
Engine 2 x Thornycroft T-150 Diesel
Location United Kingdom
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended




Silvers manager and designer, John Bain, perfected the art of building motor yachts in volume, yet at such a high quality and so effectively marketed that even through the Great Depression years they almost couldn’t keep up with demand. And they are still coveted, these superbly stylish yachts so ahead of their time in terms of comfort and sea keeping. MERIDIES, a longer than usual, teak planked Silver Leaf Class, has benefited over the years from owners who changed nothing of her authenticity, and more recently have dealt with the structural needs of this young at heart octogenarian. With MERIDIES, vintage style meets practicality in symbiosis.



All by John Buckley/ Harbour Marine Services, Southwold

2018 to present
- Wiring reworked
- New bridge built to outer helm
- New radar, plotters, AIS, depth, log, panels etc
- New table to aft deck
- New windlass
- Various other numerous works

- Ballast keel landing and keel bolts replaced
- Lead ballast adjustments
- Hull stripped and primed below waterline
- Minor structural work
- Some remedial maintenance to deck
- Re-varnished
- Kent screen removed
- New seals to portlights
- All new covers ready to be fitted in the spring
- Liferaft replaced
- All safety gear updated
- Skin fittings dealt with
- General service of engines as usual
- New fuel filters and filters
- New cutlass bearings
- Replace all anodes
- Masts removed and re-varnished
- Gas hose done
- Replaced all fire extinguishers
- Flares updated

- Various equipment improvements
- Improved ventilation
- Engine reconditioning

- Most floors replaced
- Several keelbolts replaced
- Deadwoods fore and aft replaced
- All original wrought iron deck fittings re-galvanised
- All bronze fitting paint stripped and restored to unfinished or chrome
- Adjustment to fwd accommodation to allow more spacious galley
- Forecabin returned to original configuration
- Installation of shower in aft heads
- Aft cabin alterations to give a double berth
- Outside steering position created
- Original mizzen mast reinstated



A 2015 Classic Boat magazine feature recounts the story of MERIDIES's penultimate owner David Worthington's 2001 search for a pre-war motor yacht much larger than his previous three 24-28ft motor-sailers. Before he encountered this impressive and relatively rare, longer than standard 'Silver Leaf' type, David had been considering a 1935 Staniland of Thorne boat, but first impressions of MERIDIES stuck: he told Classic Boat's Peter Willis, "She was more of a yacht, and all teak". And thus began a love story of sixteen years, and much attention to her structural needs and on board comfort by John Buckley's Harbour Marine Services at Southwold; care that has continued for the current owner.

There's a fascinating comparison here with MERIDIES's first owner H. Leslie Brookes's pre-commissioning thought processes. When driving in August 1936 from his Birmingham home to the west coast of Scotland to meet the Silver yard's enigmatic designer/ manager, John Bain, and to check out his very modern production facility, former Severn Motor Yacht Club Commodore (and future President), Brookes - a manufacturer of metal and plastic components whose business survives to this day making yacht fittings - was owner of the Staniland 36ft twin screw motor yacht SOUTH WIND. In trading up, he too had decided that his next yacht would be a Silver, and he stumped up the extra £100 over the £2000 contract price to have her planked in teak. Brookes captured this summer 1936 visit to Rosneath. and the snowy drive north for MERIDIES's 27 March 1937 launching, on film; remarkably it has survived to be digitised as part of this presentation.

Of all the Silver yard between-the-wars production, it was arguably the 'Silver Leaf' type - mostly 43 ft overall, but with variants ranging from 39 to 48 feet - that Bain truly imbued with his unique, stylish and practical stamp: moving away from the traditional cruiser stern and straight stem; carrying greater than previous beam further aft for improved stability and volume; equal amounts of accommodation fore and aft of a central, spacious wheelhouse-come-deck-saloon. Bain created something that, despite the Great Depression years, the yard couldn't build fast enough, and this alongside many 30-36ft 'Silverettes', 50-60ft 'Brown Owls', and one-offs up to around 80 feet. It was no wonder he lived next door to the yard, and built apartments on site for his employees; they must almost have worked around the clock. A February 1933 local newspaper photo shows all five building bays occupied by three Silver Leafs of various lengths and two Silverettes, and the bays required for a further two motor yacht builds in waiting of 40 ft and 47 ft, together with three sailing yachts. Great Depression? What Great Depression?

Brookes and family enjoyed three seasons of cruising with MERIDIES before the outbreak of war, initially on the west coast of Scotland. In 1940 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and delivered by Brookes south on the Severn to Sharpness, eventually becoming a Bristol Channel port vessel and seaplane tender out of Avonmouth. In 1941 she was purchased by the Ministry of War Transport for only slightly less than she'd cost four years earlier and at some point operated by Wrens. After a refuelling fire in April 1945 which destroyed the wheelhouse, Leslie Brookes was able to buy her back that September for only £150 and returned her to Silvers for a replacement wheelhouse and other fire damage repairs. But according to interviews with his son Bob - the 13-year-old in school uniform in the movie - Brooke's heart was no longer in it and she was sold in 1947 to fellow Severn Motor Yacht Club member and Dudley motor car dealer Percy T. Whittingham, who may have based her summertime out of Portishead. For Whittingham it was like buying a new yacht, with a 1946 pair of Morris paraffin engines replacing the fire-damaged 20-40 hp Morris Navigator petrol originals.

Then, prior to David Worthington, from 1952 a series of ten owners based MERIDIES at various British Isles and Channel Islands ports, including Jersey, Fowey - even a return to the Clyde and a mooring at Rosneath - before arriving at Southwold in the mid 1980s. All these owners thankfully left her almost exactly as built while attending to her structural needs, so that now MERIDIES is a gem of authenticity and as strong as ever.

©2022 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



- 1¼ in Teak planks on 2 in x 3 in sawn oak frames
- 2 x Intermediate steam bent 2 in x 1½ in oak timbers
- Sawn oak 3 in floors
- Iron ballast within the protecting wood keel
- Plate rudder
- Teak laid deck on plywood



- Predominantly teak carpentry
- Grey painted, sound insulated plywood sole
- Lifting ring for engine space access
- 2 x 5-Step ladders port and starboard at entrances
- Discrete access panels to systems
- White painted v-grooved deckhead with varnished oak beams
- Steering position offset to port
- Traditional ship's wheel; hydraulic steering (in parallel)
- Adjustable helm seat
- Moquette fabric (vintage London Transport) upholstered banquette to starboard aft
- Footrest/ stowage locker below
- Fiddled sideboards; stowage pockets
- Polished stainless steel engine space ventilation ducting
- Polished stainless steel grab rails at companionways port and starboard
- Small side table and stool
- Vintage electric reading lamp
- Companionway to aft accommodation slightly offset to port
- Signal flag pockets
- Ship's barometer
- 2 x Sliding windows aft
- Deckhead lighting
- 1 x Mushroom ventilator
- Searchlight manual lever


- 3-steps companionway ladder
- Teak sole with lifting panels for bilge and systems access
- Carpentry in solid walnut and some mahogany
- Hull sides boarding lined over sawn frames; boxing fitted around the portlights
- Book shelves in aft bulkhead
- L-settee dining area to port
- Upholstery plain blue woven fabric
- Covering sculpted and buttoned foam cushions
- Varnished mahogany drop leaf table
- Sideboards to starboard
- From the window line upward, and deckhead, painted white
- Mahogany deck beams picked out in varnish work
- Taylors polished stainless steel 2.1 kW diesel stove in fireplace at port forward bulkhead
- Flue exits via galley to deck
- Chromed ship's bulkhead mounted barometer and clock; mirror
- Butterfly skylight in deckhead
- 1930’s art deco wall lights and reading lights
- Danish stainless steel hanging oil lamp
- Deckhead lighting
- 4 x brass opening ports
- 2 x larger chromed brass framed deadlight windows
- 12v/240v TV/DVD

- Chromed grab rail to port

- Teak sole with lifting panels for bilge and systems access
- Ample lockers, shelves, crockery racks
- L shaped worktop
- Force 10 3 x burner gas cooker; oven; grill
- Isotherm refrigerator with ice compartment
- Double stainless steel sink
- Stainless steel flue from saloon stove with grill protection
- 220V power socket
- (Gas cylinder stowage at aft deck)
- 2 x Brass opening ports
- Deckhead lighting
- Stainless steel Dorade vent flues either side of door to forecabin

- Teak sole with lifting panels for bilge and systems access
- En-suite heads to port
- Ceramic tiled bulkheads
- RM69 inward facing sea toilet
- Separate shower; moulded tray; teak grating
- Stainless steel hand basin; adjustable mirror
- Hanging locker to starboard
- 2 x Overlapping berths
- 4” thick Dunlopillo type latex foam
- Upholstery plain blue woven fabric
- Bookshelves
- Access hatch to chain locker
- Forehatch to deck
- 4 x Brass opening ports; canvas blinds
- Deckhead lighting


- Passage
- Teak sole with lifting panels for bilge and systems access

- Fore and aft sliding door access
- Ceramic tiled bulkheads
- Porcelain hand basin; 2 x shaving mirrors
- Blakes Lavac vacuum operated toilet facing forward
- 2 x Brass opening ports; canvas blinds
- Deckhead lighting

- Teak sole with lifting panels for bilge and systems access
- Fore and aft sliding door access
- Pullman berth
- Sideboard and drawer
- Bookshelves
- Railway carriage style rack
- Brass opening port; canvas blind
- 2 x Brass opening ports; canvas blinds
- Deckhead lighting

- Teak sole with lifting panels for bilge and systems access
- Full width
- Double Pullman berth to starboard
- Sideboard with drawers
- Upholstered seating area to port
- 4 x Brass opening ports; canvas blinds
- Deckhead lighting
- Access aft to steering flat



From aft

- Raw laid teak on plywood
- Varnished teak covering board and flush taffrail
- Galvanised mooring fairleads and cleats port and starboard
- Bronze ensign staff socket
- Galvanised stanchions; varnished teak capping rail
- Liferaft attachment to starboard
- Varnished teak seating around stanchions
- Stern light
- Varnished mahogany steering flat hatch
- 3 x Mushroom ventilators
- Varnished teak step
- 2 x Opening ports in aft cabin aft bulkhead
- Faired, chromed capped coamings port and starboard

- Raw laid teak on plywood
- Varnished teak covering boards and toerails
- Galvanised stanchions; galvanised top rail
- Gates port and starboard at wheelhouse
- Galvanised tender davits port and starboard
- Tender stowage chocks
- Varnished teak hatch with round prism offset to starboard over aft cabin
- Varnished mahogany drop leaf table (2018)
- Galvanised mizzen mast tabernacle
- Galvanised substantial double mooring bollards port and starboard
- Teak bench seat at wheelhouse aft bulkhead
- Shore power connection under

- Roof of t & g pine; Cascover canvassed; non-slip painted
- Outside steering position (bridge revised 2018)
- Traditional ship's wheel; hydraulic steering (in parallel)
- Duplicate engine and steering controls; chart plotter; rudder indicator
- Reinforced glass/ chromed bronze windscreens and sidescreens
- Traditional Sestrel aviation type steering compass
- 3 x Pairs of chrome/ stainless steel grabrails port and starboard
- Mainmast book sheet purchase padeye
- 2 x Varnished Dorade boxes with chromed brass cowls
- Access via port and starboard sliding doors and hatch companionways
- Varnished teak port and starboard light boxes
- Searchlight
- Double chromed horns

- Raw laid teak on plywood
- Varnished teak covering boards and toerails
- Galvanised stanchions; galvanised top rail
- Galvanised athwartships top chain between forwardmost stanchions
- Butterfly skylight hatch over saloon; reinforced glass; brass bars
- Galvanised substantial double mooring bollards port and starboard
- Galvanised mainmast tabernackle
- Butterfly skylight hatch over galley; reinforced glass; brass bars
- 2 x Varnished Dorade boxes with chromed brass cowls
- Varnished teak hatch over forecabin with bullseye light
- Galvanised and teak mooring cleats port and starboard
- Lofrans Tigres 1500 W 12 V windlass; up and down foot controls (2018)
- Chainpipe to chainlocker
- 2 x Stainless steel bow rollers
- Stainless steel cap to stemhead
- Lewmar Delta anchor (2019)
- Fisherman anchor



- 2 x Thornycroft T150 4-cylinder Diesel engines
- Mechanically fuel injected 2,495 cc, naturally aspirated
- Rated 55 hp at 3,000 rpm continuous
- Fresh water cooled
- Bowman combined water cooled exhaust manifold/ heat exchange
- (Land Rover 15J series base)
- Newage PRM 160 hydraulic reduction/reversing gearboxes
- Cooling water sea cocks, strainers and piping new

- 4 x Mastervolt 130 A/h AGM batteries in 2 x banks
- A bank is engaged to each engine
- Charging is via the engine alternators and 2 x Durite electronic charge splitters
- Both banks can be simultaneously charged by either engine.
- Electric battery charging by a Victron 50 amp switch mode charger
- Dual isolated outputs
- 2 x Domestic isolator panels: 1 x at helm; 1 x below
- 240 volt shore power input

- Fuel tanks under wheelhouse side decks
- Directly above deck fillers
- New electronic fuel level indicators
- New Racor 500 micron glass bowl fuel filters
- Siphon fitting in starboard tank for saloon Taylors diesel heater
- Siphon fitting in port tank for 2 x Webasto diesel warm air heaters

- Welded HDPE holding 50 L under the aft cabin bunk

Fresh water
- 2 x Welded painted steel water tanks; flush deck fillers port and starboard
- Pressurised hot and cold water system to 2 x heads, and galley
- 50L Hot water tank; engine calorifier or 220V shore supply immerser

- 2 x Webasto Air Top Evo 3900 3.9 kW diesel warm air heaters
- Aft unit in steering flat
- Forward unit in engine space port side
- Insulated foil ducting and outlet vents throughout vessel



- Auxiliary ketch sailing rig
- Low aspect Douglas fir main mast and boom with spreaders
- Spreader lights
- Wind instruments
- Anchor and steaming lights
- Low aspect Douglas fir mizzen mast and boom
- Radome and Glomex tv antenna at mizzen
- New rigging

- Mainsail - traditional roller boom worm-drive roller furling
- Mizzen - traditional roller boom worm-drive roller furling
- Hanked headsail

- Sunbrella acrylic covers for:
- Wheel house
- 5 x hatches
- Nav light casings
- Aft deck seats



- 14 inch Simrad touchscreen chart plotter
- Anchor indicator
- Full AIS
- Hydraulic auto helm
- Speed transducer
- Radar
- Depth sounder
- 2 x ICOM VHF radios
- ICOM handheld VHF



- 8-Person canister liferaft
- 8 x auto inflating lifejackets
- 2 x Plastimo survival grab bags
- First aid kit
- Flares
- Danbuoy
- Plastimo gas detector; sensor in the galley bilge
- Electric 2000 Gal / hour engine space bilge pump
- Whale 'Gusher 25' 2 x action manual engine space bilge pump; handle in saloon
- 2 x Horseshoe lifebelts with floating lights
- Searchlight on wheelhouse can be operated inside and out
- Twin electric horns at wheelhouse roof



- Full set signal flags in compartmented storage
- The original Accommodation boarding ladder
- Inflatable Honwave 3.5 m rigid aluminium floor tender
- Yamaha 4-Stroke 6 hp outboard with aux tank/hose and primer pump (2017)
- Portable Fast Inflater with mains and 12 V chargeable battery
- Boat hook
- Deck scrubber
- Fenders
- Dock lines



Underway images: Emily Harris, classicyacht.tv


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