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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All

Mods - I am not sure which section to use for my enquiry. If you think there is a better place for the thread, please move it.

I am trying to piece together the history of a yacht that was built by J.Adam in Gourock in 1938. She was called Bethamar originally but her name was later changed to Shianne and she was registered n Goole in about the 1950s.

I've seen Shianne. She is about 43 ft LOA and I'd say that she was built to be a Gentlemans Motor Yacht, with a couple of short masts that would carry steadying sails. (The recent buyer (an American) says she is a "motor sailer" but the surveyor says she is a motor boat with steadying sails.)

She is very strong, beautifully built with some lovely attention to detail inside. She is very similar to the boat in the link below:

http://www.adls.org.uk/t1/content/white-heather-now-riis-i-3

Like RIIS I, Shianne was designed by WG McBryde but Shianne was definitely built in Gourock, by J. Adam.

From the research that I've done on the Web, it seems that J. Adam was a yacht builder, not a ship builder. What happened to the yard?

Shianne was built for a man called Eric MacLeod Gardiner, whose address was Barrhead, Renfrew.

She is such a good quality boat that I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Gardiner was a big wheel in the Royal Gourock Yacht Club. Does anyone who knows Gourock think this is likely, please?

I have not been able to discover anything about WG McBryde. Is anyone able to tell me anything about him, please?

I am told that Shianne was "on the Mersea" by 1940. Would this be likely to be the River Mersea or the Trent & Mersea Canal, do we think? I discovered that Goole is near Hull (when I had thought it was near Glasgow) so I am wondering whether the boat made her way through the Trent & Mersea Canal to the East Coast? The draught is shallow enough for this to have been possible.

Apparently Shianne is probably built of mahogany and she is definitely splined according to the surveyor. I don't know whether that is important to anything.

What we know is very patchy because the American chap who owns her now bought her from the personal representative of a man who had owned her for 25 years before his death in 2010. The PR doesn't really know very much about her - he has only been able to mention bits and pieces that he thinks the previous owner told him but we don't know how much of the previous owner's memory was based on hard facts about the boat.

Would it be worth the American's while to go to Gourock for a week to poke around, or has the area changed immeasurably since the end of WWII, please?

Any information at all - no matter how trivial it might seem - would be enormously welcome because it is usually possible to discover a great deal about a unique boat like Shianne. It is just a matter of finding out how and where to start looking, I reckon.

Many thanks

Gill
 

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J. Adam Gourock is listed as a builder in Clydesite http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/search.asp, but only six vessels are recorded. Of those, only one is a motor yacht: Musette (1934). The last build listed was 1947. (Small vessels may not be fully recorded on Clydesite though).
While the Gourock Library may have some local information, I doubt if a visit to the town now would reveal much else of relevance.
A possible route from the Clyde to Goole for a small vessel in the 1940's would have been through the Forth & Clyde Canal, then down the east coast.
 

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Adams' - Cove Road, Gourock

Hi Gill,

What a coincidence, my childhood home was in Steel Street, a couple of hundred yards to the east of Adams' Boatyard. I suspect that the Yard closed down in the 70's although I can't be sure of that. It's difficult to find any photographs however, I will keep my eyes open for you. In the meantime, the following may be of some interest:

This shot here shows the Yard in it's heyday and certainly a good time before my childhood recollections from the late 50's and early 60's.

The photograph of the slipway here shows all that is left of the Yard nowadays.

Adams' Boatyard was located by the tree in the bottom right of this photograph.

Another present day shot of the slipway here with the remains of the Admiralty Jetty in the middle distance.

This Google Maps view shows the position of the Boatyard. "John Campbell Street" is where the Yard was located - in fact, the road running into "John Campbell Street" was the landward entrance to Yard and is still known as "Adam Street." The area immediately to the right of "John Campbell Street" was part of the Yard and the slipway shown in the earlier links can be clearly seen running into Cardwell Bay from "Cove Road."

Finally, it appears that the McLean Museum and Art Gallery in Greenock may hold some information on Adams' Yard. Their contact details are available here.

Cheers (Thumb)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hi Scurdie and Ray

Thank you so, so much - both of you - for the information and the photos you have provided.

It is fascinating to see the slipway and to know that Shianne must have been launched down that slip. It is also very interesting to know exactly where the boatyard was.

I intend to pass on all of the information that you have so kindly provided to Phil, the American guy who bought the boat recently and has had her moved to the Thames, since he lives near London. The boat is now 72 years old but she doesn't look it at all. She has the air of a boat that has been very well maintained all her life and she's still going strong, which is a real credit to her builders.

Mrs Phil is not that impressed at the moment! She thinks that her hubby has taken leave of his senses. However hopefully she'll cheer up now that the weather has improved so that they can cruise up and down the Thames with Shianne. I'm hoping to get her involved with researching the boat's history so that she'll become "their boat" rather than being "hubby's strange idea of a toy."

Phil will be thrilled with the information that you two people have provided. When I first saw the boat, I asked about her history. He said he didn't know her history and didn't know that it would be possible to find out. I said that although we probably can't discover everything, we can certainly discover more than he knew when he bought her. So far, we're making some good progress and Phil will be enormously encouraged and will want to delve deeper.

It is actually possible to get a professional researcher involved - a woman who has a degree in maritime history and her father is a very well known yachtsman. However she charges £60,000!!! (I am not kidding.) That is more than twice as much as Phil paid for the boat so I've told him that with some effort, he can find out quite a bit by himself.

He loves his "new" boat so I am confident that he will succeed because I'm sure he'll put in the effort. He just needs a bit of help and encouragement to get started.

Very many thanks, once again.

Gill
 

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The Cardwell Bay Sailing Club had their dinghy park and winter storage right opposite the yard on the shore side. We used their slipway to haul up and launch our yachts. Certainly from early seventies they never built any boats but operated for repairs only. Biggest job I saw was conversion of a former Inshore Minesweeper in to the yacht Derona for a local owner, unfortunately lost by fire in Greece shortly afterwards.
 

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Very interesting to know that Shianne is still going strong. My late father was probably one of the boatbuilders who built her in 1938. There was a 1930s photo of everyone at James Adam & Sons in the Greenock Telegraph last month.


Here is an extract from a survey undertaken by Kathleen J. Kilbey I.Eng MRINA & Associates

This particular yacht had been lurking in an Inland Waterways Marina for quite a number of years and we therefore took particular care to check on areas of the hull where decay would be most likely. The boat had been built on the Clyde by a well known pre-war (WWll) builder and was found to have been built like the proverbial brick……. Probably one of the best built boats ever surveyed by KJK irrespective of time or place.

The link is:
http://marinesurveying.info/past-marine-surveys/1938-classic-wooden-motor-yacht-marine-survey/
 

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Name Official number Flag IMO
BETHAMAR 300205 GBR
Year built Date launched Date completed
1938 05/1938
Vessel type Vessel description
Yacht Wood Motor Vessel
Builder Yard Yard no
James Adam, Gourock


Tonnage Length Breadth Depth Draft
17 grt / 13 nrt / 19 tm 41.0 ft 10.5 ft 3.7 ft
Engine builder
Engine detail
Twin paraffin, 2-screw.
Re-engined 1950, 2 oil engines, each 2cyl, Gardner.
Later re-engined? Newage B.M.C. Commodore 3.4 Litre.

First owner First port of register Registration date
Eric MacLeod Gardiner, Barrhead, Renfrew
Other names
SHIANNE
Subsequent owner and registration history
195x ?? - reg Goole
By 1961 owner N. R Sunderland, registered at Glasgow, home port Sandbank.
c1985 ??
2010 ??, USA
Vessel history
Designed by W G McBryde

2010 on the River Thames

Remarks

End year Fate / Status
2010 In Service
 

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Great to see Gourock mentioned. Even if I cannot help too much regarding the boat yard it is good to see the old home town getting a bit of publicity. Did take a girl out once who lived close to the yard but she dropped me after a few dates!
 

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Not sure if the original poster is still looking for info on Shianne (Bethamar). My father in law is the maternal grandson of the original owner. She was named for his two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret. They also owned the Marabeth which is of a similar vintage. i am currently trying to find any photos we have of her, but we do have an old video with old film of Bethamar being launched.

let me know if you are interested.
 

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Probably before she was born. I loved and left many Gourock girls!
When I was an apprentice in The Cowal in Tarbet Street my colleagues sent an engagement congratulations card to my Gourock GF. Needless to say, we weren't engaged - barstewards!

Cowal, McLeans, Adams, Davey Jones Locker* - all gone; but The Bluebird and The Cardwell appear to have survived.

* Where a bunch of TEE 'big boys' got a little 16yo v drunk one NY (Pint)
 

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The Mall is in trouble. M&S gone to Port Glasgow and Body Shop is closing.
PG? I ask you?! Even in Greenock we used to look down on The Port which is why we put The Gibby at their end of town (Jester)

I guess the liners come into Greenock for the berthing facility - and a coffee at Spella's AKA Twist IIRC :)

Would be better if they could berth at Ardrossan giving pax the opportunity to visit Burns Cottage, Dumfries House, Culzean Castle etc.
 

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As a former member of the Gourock navy I must advise that enough Gourock
refreshment centres survive to accomodate any number of inmates of the floating concentration camps that visit summertime Greenock. As Bas says , the Cardwell still does the business but also the Vic , Cleats and the Kempock continue to go from strength to strength.
 
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