The boat featured is not currently for sale by Boatshed. The boat information and images presented are part of Boatshed’s back catalogue of the 20,000+ boats we have listed in the last 15 years and appear here for general information and guidance purposes about Boatshed and our boat selling systems and services

Osborne Swift Class

£0 Sold / Unavailable
  • Boat REF#  ·  261255
  • Length  ·  7.92m
  • Year  ·  1950
  • Construction  ·  Wood
  • Underwater profile  ·  Long Keel
  • Sleeping berths  ·  2
  • Engine  ·  2 x diesel 25hp, Vetus M310 A503 3 cylinder (1994)
  • Lying  ·  Lancashire
Boatshed Lancashire
Boatshed Lancashire
Paul Diffin
The boat featured is not currently for sale by Boatshed. The boat information and images presented are part of Boatshed’s back catalogue of the 20,000+ boats we have listed in the last 15 years and appear here for general information and guidance purposes about Boatshed and our boat selling systems and services

Extra Details

Designer William Osborne
Builder William Osborne, Littlehampton
Lying Lancashire
Fuel capacity 109.0 ltr (24.0 USG) Total - 2 Tanks
Water capacity 181.8 ltr (40.0 USG) Total - 1 Tanks


Engine 2 x diesel 25hp
Engine make and model Vetus M310 A503 3 cylinder (1994)
Engine Hours Not Recorded
Engine Cooled Indirect
Steering Wheel
Drive Shaft
Fuel consumption (approx) Not Recorded
Cruising speed (approx) 5 knots
Max speed (approx) 9 knots

Props contra rotate via 2 x Hurth Gearboxes - twin rudders

Two new engines were installed in 1994 and have had minimal use.


Length 7.92m
LWL 7.62m
Beam 2.44m
Draft Min 0.76m
Airdraft 1.83m
Displacement 3,500kg (7,717.5lbs)
Storage Ashore

Electrical Systems

12 volt, 2 batteries charged by: engine


Construction Wood
Underwater profile Long Keel
Finish Paint finish


Total # of berths 2
No. of single berths 2
Cabin(s) 1
Heads 1 heads (Manual)


Manual water system

Deck Gear

Cockpit cover
Swim Ladder

Nav Equipment

Navigation lights

Safety Equipment

Life buoys

1 bilge pumps (0 manual / 1 electric)

Broker's Comments

This is a truly beautiful and lovingly cherished original William Osborne Swift class boat, and comes with an outstanding history from the day it was launched until today. Every detail from 20th July 1950 to now has been recorded. She has recently undergone more restoration but there are still a few small jobs to be done as per the photographs.

She was launched in Littlehampton on April 8th 1950 as Osborne boat number 308, and boat number 12 in her class. Her original b/w sea trial photograph taken by the Osborne Yard is still held, and such is a rare item.

Over the years she has had her share of change and transition, but her fixtures and fittings remain as original. These include her Simpson and Lawrence deck fittings, her bespoke cockpit bathing ladder and her original Osborne cabin layout and joinery.

She has spent most of her life on the Thames, and was found by her present owners, in Bourne End in 1993. She needed some serious renovation, and this work was carried out to a high standard in 1993/4 at Woottens Boatyard in Cookham. The starboard hull was totally replaced using the original Osborne double diagonal, copper riveted construction methods. The old Morris Vedette twin side valve engines were no longer dependable, and were reluctantly replaced with a handed pair of Vetus 3 cylinder 25hp diesels as the only sacrifice to modern technology to make the boat both reliable and seaworthy. Vetus engine controls and Morse twin throttles and gears were also fitted.

The original mahogany decks were seriously degraded, and these were replaced by laid teak giving a better non-slip surface.

As an improvement and the need to provide better ventilation in the forepeak,She was given portholes. These also have a history. They were originally fitted on the Dunkirk Little Ship Doutelle, originally White Orchid, and were given to the current owners by Ben Cannell, one time Commodore of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, and a friend and neighbour in Bourne End after the sad demise of his well-known boat in 1986.

This boat was re-launched in 1994 and every year attended the Thames Traditional Boat Rally in Henley. Over the years she was regularly cruised from her moorings in Bourne End from Lechlade to Tilbury, and was a well known, much admired craft on the river. Her collapsible rear cabin frame / cover and wind screen allowed her to pass under Osney Bridge in Oxford, and so she was able to navigate the entire length of the River Thames.

The large open cockpit is ideal for those lazy summer days. This forms a roomy second cabin if required, and the dining table can be fitted either inside the main cabin or in the cockpit.

Her high steering position makers for easy navigation and control, and gives the skipper good all round visibility.

Her twin engines and rudders allow great maneuverability, and with skill she can be made to turn within her own length – a party piece at Rallies and very useful when moving around in tight spaces. And twin power units mean if a propeller does get fouled (not uncommon on the lower tidal Thames) she can always get home – an essential safety feature for both tidal and coastal waters.

In 2004 her port hull was replaced, and when her owners retired to Cornwall, she found herself moored on the River Tamar. She proved her Osborne pedigree as a very sound sea boat and made regular local coastal runs. Her stern ‘tumblehome’ and forward hull sheer and low centre of gravity, plus her twin engines made her a very competent estuary and coastal vessel in all weathers.

In July 2005 she won her class as ‘Best Motor Boat’ at the Plymouth Classics Rally, once more causing great interest as a rare craft from one of Britain’s historic classic boatyards.

In 2010 her then owners decided they needed a smaller craft, and the decision was made to move her back up to the Thames. She was handed over to Michael Dennett’s Yard in Chertsey to check and overhaul her prior to survey and sale.

She is an elegant head turner – a pretty but tough William Osborne classic with a complete history that will give much pleasure and serve for many more years either on the river or sea.

The complete provenance file for this boat will go to the new owners, including the original launch photograph, British Registry Certificate, and all held maintenance invoices and receipts.

These boat details are subject to contract.
Note: Offers on the asking price may be considered.

This Osborne Swift Class has been personally photographed and viewed by Paul Diffin of Boatshed Lancashire. Click here for contact details.
The particulars herein are intended to give a fair description of the vessel but are not guaranteed as accurate. They shall not form part of any offer or contract for the sale of the vessel. The prospective purchaser is recommended to independently check the particulars. The vendor is not selling in the course of a business unless otherwise stated. Personal property is excluded from the sale of the vessel unless specifically included in the listing specifications above or in a Purchase Contract. Personal property may be equipment or gear not permanently attached to the vessel including but not limited to: artwork, entertainment equipment, fishing equipment, TV receivers, recreational equipment, kayaks, tools, and personal appliances. Photos that may incidentally depict owners' personal property do not convey that such items are included in the sale of the vessel unless specifically listed herein.

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