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Merlin - a Brooke launch


Merlin bears the Broads registration Y5 and as such is an early and historic JW Brooke runabout. One could write a book about the history of the family run Brooke yard from its origins to the building of a Bannenberg superyacht in the nineteen eighties. Unfortunately the yard is no more but the boats certainly live on.

Merlin is a 20-foot carvel mahogany-on-oak Brooke Marine launch, originally called Pamela, ordered on 9 September 1926 and built in time for delivery to its first owner, Mr E C Hulse of Brundall, on 7 April 1927. The owner has a copy of the original build sheet in the history file as well as all invoices from recent years including those for the propulsion conversion done by Swallowtail Boatyard for the previous owner when the boat has a complete restoration with the excellent Colin Buttifant.

Since 2011 the boat has lived in a delightful tiled boathouse with its doting owners. I have sold boats for them before and the emphasis is on high quality maintenance. Certainly Merlin is a very chic bijou launch with seating for five, a folding hood and a full length cover.

It is interesting to note from the Brooke catalogue of the times that the runabout was built to "fill a gap in the market" for a family launch, equipped with a 10hp engine capable of 10 to 12 mph and ideal for fishing, picnics or even as a tender for a larger motor or sailing yacht.

The current search for a new custodian, almost one hundred years on, is simply due to old age and an increasing lack of mobility for boarding. This is a great opportunity to buy a true British classic in concourse condition.

Please register your interest with the office by phone or email. The boat is available for viewing at Beale Park boat store by appointment.


JW Brooke
Year of build
5ft 6ins
Electric Brooke runabout

Please call Gillian on 01491 578 870 for more information


Henley Sales and Charter Ltd have gained a reputation over the last 30 years for selling and chartering beautiful, classic boats. Experience of operating and selling boats on the river Thames enables us to offer expert objective advice to prospective owners on all aspects of boat ownership including purchase, surveys, repairs and moorings. We will do our best to find the ideal craft to suit your individual needs - for a day or for a lifetime.

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29 Station Road
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire


01491 578 870

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