Thursday, January 11, 2007

Roach – An Adaptation of the Burnham Sloop

I don’t really know that much about Roach’s history apart from the patchy information that the Dallimore Association have mentioned on their web site and the notes from the late Edward Dallimore (the designer’s son) that corresponded with me. So I will begin this section by saying what I do know.

N. E. D. Designed a “Burnham Sloop” in 1936 for Mr. Prior of Priors of Burnham. The yacht was designed to the specifications as written in an article in Yachting World by Francis B. Cooke in 1948 (and posted below on this blog). It must have been this yacht that was reviewed in this article.

According to a previous owners' notes that came with the yacht's papers, this was also the yacht he saw being laid up at Priors of Burnham in the Autumn of 1949 for modifications. Apparently she was too tender and lot of internal ballast was being added. The anonymous owner's note below:

Explanatory note

“Branklet” and her sister ship “Roach” were not built exactly to the Burnham Sloop design.

Prior’s of Burnham built one boat to the original design as soon as timber became available after WW2, but she proved to be excessively tender. With a beam of only 6’8” and a draft of 3’9” on a waterline length of 18” this seem hardly surprising. Anyway, the boat was quickly sold by the first owner and it was this boat that I recall seeing laid-up in Prior’s malting shed where during the winter of 1951-2. They were painting the bottom with red Danboline and I heard subsequently that they had added a good deal of inside ballast.

Meanwhile, Norman Dallimore had re-worked the design, keeping the waterline length the same at 18’ but increasing the draft to 4’. The keel profile was altered to give a concave forefoot, probably for ease of building with the increased draft. Above the waterline the design remains the same.

Two boats were built to this new design by Stebbings of Burnham. Both boats, “Branklet” and “Roach” were in the Maldon Charter fleet for many years and proved very popular.

It would seem that consequently N.E.D. redrew the Burnham Sloop lines to widen the beam to 7ft from of 6’8”, deepen the draft from 3.9ft to 4ft, and increase the length by 1ft to 22ft overall but leaving L.W.L remaining the same at 18ft. Accorindg to the note two yachts were built to this new modification of the design – design number 295; “Roach” and “Branklet”. I am not entirely sure of this as you will see – so please excuse me till I do more research.

“Roach” was drawn in 1948 (I am very lucky to have her original plans) It would seem to make sense as it seems “Roach” was built over the Winter of 1952/3 and her sisters were earlier. I have not seen the plans for “Branklet” but it would be interesting to see if her design differs at all from “Roach”. I am curious as the extract below from corresponding with the late Edward Dallimore, seems to suggest that “Roach” had a higher displacement than the other yachts.

“With regard to a date of build there is a small difference of opinion. You mention 1947 whereas a note in my father’s handwriting says “Design accepted Oct. 1948”. This, I believe, refers to the acceptance of the design by Stebbings. They , like Priors, intended on building a few boats on spec. Incidentally, the design for Prior’s was drawn in 1938 but I do not think any boats were built till after the war. Eventually I believe three boats were built. Namely “Crouch”, “Branklet” and “Truant”. They were slightly smaller than your boa , 2.77 tons displacement compared with 3 tons.”

Interestingly, I notice from the Dallimore Owners' Association web site that niether "Crouch" or "Truant" are mentioned. One yacht is mentioned, and that is "Souris". She is mentioned being built in 1953. Could it be that "Souris" is either "Truant" or "Crouch" after a name change? An old photo of her seems to suggest that she is very similar to "Roach" indeed.


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