by James Howard
(Dorset, UK)

September 2016

Now based on the South Coast in Dorset the project is moving on - four years in.

With the new construction fully bedded in, the first coats of varnish are now going on.

I am using Le Tonquinois No 1 - seven coats on the exterior and I hope it lasts!

The windows were all taken apart last winter and fitted with new seals and are ready to go back in, once varnishing is complete.

Planning the re wiring and refitting the interior next, hopefully to re-launch next spring.

I am very keen to hear from other William Osborne owners, so if any of you see this do get in touch, it would be great to find some other boats of the family.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Wooden Boat Projects...


by James Howard

"Bebas" a William Osborne Kestrel, 28'6" Motor Boat by the Thames

Trying to keep bulkheads in place, will make new laminated deck beams and have ordered new Sapele timber to rebuild cabin.

Cabin top stripped off, deck beams and cabin sides to be removed.

The bottom looks ok! From a distance, but actually is in pretty good condition for 52 years old.

Comments for Bebas

Click here to add your own comments

Bebas in the 1980's
by: Ian Clarke

Bebas was well known to us in the 1980's through to early 90's. She was at Peter Freebody's unused for many years until our friends Mark and Melanie Reed bought her. After a lot work they started using her, coming to TVBC rallies, the Trad Rally in Henley, etc, before eventually taking her up the Grand Union, then somehow onto the Great Ouse. They became more interested in sailing boats, on the East Coast, and so sold her.

I do have a few photo's of her then.

Ian Clarke

Deck beams
by: James

Finally 10 new laminated Mahogany deck beams have been fitted with half dovetail joints.

The beam shelf needs to have a chamfer planed to accept the 12mm Marine ply, sourced from Sykes Timber - much recommended, I hope to fit the new deck next week.

I made a jig from one of the old beams to get the shape and curve and used five laminates of 10mm sawn Mahogany and glued with West System epoxy.

These have been sanded and glued in and like all the other new timber are waiting for varnish.

But which brand to use??

There are so many opinions on this subject.

spring 2015 update
by: James

I have posted a few pictures of the completion of the hull repairs, the arrival of the new Utile timber to construct the new cabin sides, deck beams, wheelhouse etc.

I have drawn three of the original keel bolts and the nuts inside the boat crumble off, the bolts themselves are in as new condition, great quality bronze. So these will all be fitted with new bronze nuts and resealed.

One of the rudder stocks was removed as there had been some damage to the planking when the boat went aground some years ago and the rudder took part of the weight of the boat.
Consequently the surrounding planking was pushed up with some cracking and distortion.
The outer planking pushed back into shape but I replaced the timber inside the boat and reinforced the entire area.

The cabin sides have now been constructed and fitted routing a 6mm groove and fitting tongues to secure the length of the planking.

I used West System Epoxy as the favoured adhesive.

The beam shelves in solid Utile have also been fitted - quite a challenge as the rebate down the length of the boat had to gradually reduce to accommodate the slight reduction in cabin height going forward.

The forward cabin screens are now fitted and the project is definitely looking like a boat again.

Bebas Restoration
by: James

Now some two and a half years into the project the boat is finally starting to take shape.

Since my last post the following work has been carried out.

Repairs to forward cabin deck beam (rotted) and the beam shelf it was fitted to.

The rot had spread through both skins of planking, luckily very localised but repair patches have been fitted so the whole area is now sound.

I noticed a slight bulge under the teak decking at the starboard stern quarter so lifted a few deck planks and found a nasty rotted section.

This has all been cut out, replaced and painted.

The carling had to have a couple of repairs sections let in on the starboard side, this has now been faired and the the new cabin sides have been fitted, along with the forward cabin front screens.

I chose to use Utile not Sapele as the grain pattern was superior and I think the boat is going to look fantastic when it is finally sanded and varnished.

The new beam shelves are now in so the next job is to refit and reinforce the bulkheads and then fit the new laminated Mahogany deck beams which have been made.

I will cut half dovetails and glue and screw these in.

Then the cabin top can go on and this just leaves the wheel house.

And a hundred other jobs!

Osbourne Kestrel
by: Tony Johns

Hi James,

We have an Osbourn Kestrel 1964 based up the river from you at the London River Yacht Club in Surbiton.

It is currently at Chertsey Meads Marine having the bottom anti-fouled and a few minor repairs.

Would love to see how you are getting on with the restoration. 07710 057 257 21.03.2015

Mahogany and Teak timber required
by: James Howard

Do you have any surplus stock of good quality Mahogany and Teak?

I am looking for some boards to complete my restoration project on The Thames in Twickenham.

Thanks James.
by: Anonymous

I will take some photos of the under side rear so you can comment.

If you look at the photos I recently posted you will see the extent of the work to be done.

I would appreciate your remarks.



Thanks for the post James.
by: Graham

Thanks for the post James.

Mine is in a mess some planking to do also the same as yours deck up needs replacing.

The Boat is a Marlet class I think?

I was told not many made, hull number is 365 but i cant find any info.

I wanted to know about the hull shape at the stern mine seems to go up at the stern it looks strange.

The engines are Volvo Penta I think MD2s twin cylinder diesels.

People tell me it is a lot of work, I know that but I want to preserve this old classic!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Wooden Boat Projects...

Want to add more photos?

Photo Uploader

If you are having problems uploading Photos or would like to add more click on this link for the Upload Form.