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35ft. JOHN BAIN, SEABORNE MOTOR-YACHT – Built 1962 – Professionally refurbished – Lying River Thames

35ft. TWIN-SCREW MOTOR-YACHT designed by John Bain and built by Seaborne Yacht Company, Kempsey, Worcestershire for Charles Douglas Barwell OBE, founder of the River Avon Navigation Trust.


Boat Details

Overall Length: 35ft
Waterline: 31ft
Beam: 10ft 6ins
Draught: 3ft 6ins
Displacement: 13 Tons T M
Engine: Pair 46hp Perkins 4108 Diesel Engines
Berths: Five Berths in three cabins
Sail: Steadying Rig
Designer: John Bain
Builder: Seaborne Yacht Company
Year Built: 1962
Location: Berkshire


AVIONA was built for (Charles) Douglas Barwell OBE, of Eckington, founder of the Lower Avon Navigation Trust. LANT was formed in the late 1950s to regenerate the Warwickshire/Gloucestershire/Worcestershire River Avon which due to the demise of commercial barges was becoming un-navigable. The section from Tewkesbury, where the River Avon joins the River Severn, just above the Lower Lode tidal lock was opened up to the Georgian town of Pershore and market town of Evesham in 1962. The river had been an important inland navigation since a Royal Charter by King Charles in 1635. AVIONA was completed just in time to be the first pleasure vessel to navigate the re-opened section and locks and therefore named after the River Avon. Mrs Barwell photographed aboard AVIONA cutting the ribbon at the former Cropthorne Watergate to mark the occasion. The Barwells had bought the navigation rights during the 1950s after a 1948 boating holiday was cut short due to the state of the River. The Queen Mother officially opened the Upper Avon section in the mid-1960s. The Avon navigable to Stratford and beyond. Plans to re-open the river to leisure craft up to Warwick by 2024 are underway.

AVIONA is one of a small number of standard motor-yachts designed by John Bain M.R.I.N.A in the 1960s after his break with Silvers of Rosneath. They feature all the excellent design ideas for which John Bain and the Clyde built Silvers boats are famous. She was built at Seaborne Yacht Company, Worcestershire on the River Severn by boat-builder Jim Preen, now in his late 80s. Port of Registry – Gloucester, Official Number – 301948. Currently, Part Three Registered with MCA, Cardiff.

The second registered owners of Aviona, in the early 1970s were Mr & Mrs S L Porter of Dorking, keeping the vessel on a mooring in Hamble. In the late 1970s Major M G Lewis of Wintney, Hampshire bought Aviona. In new ownership, she was brought on to the River Thames at D’Oyle Carte Island where the present owners bought her in 2006. In the intervening years, Aviona had been cruised to the South of France. After some years on the River Thames, the current owners took Aviona through the French Canals.

From 2006-2008 Aviona underwent a two-year refit on the River Thames at Michael Dennett’s boatyard at Chertsey.

In new ownership in 2020, a professional boatbuilder Aviona is now based on the non tidal River Thames. Over the past two years the vessel has been upgraded and partly refitted to provide a very comfortable liveaboard.

Traditional carvel built of Teak below the waterline and Mahogany above, all copper rove fastened to steam bent oak timbers. Varnished Brazilian Cedar sheer planks with teak capping and coamings. Teak laid decks over marine-ply sub-deck. Teak stanchion capped rails aft, teak grab rails port and starboard, teak hatches. Mahogany constructed wheelhouse and aft cabin coamings.

Single Berth Fore-Cabin, currently adapted with washing machine, freezer and shelving/storage for living aboard.
Saloon With Settee Berths and Oil Stove.
Full Width Fitted Galley.
Heads/Shower Compartment, pressurised h&c.
Enclosed Wheelhouse, engine room below.
Aft Twin Berth Stateroom.

46hp PERKINS 4108 FOUR CYLINDER DIESEL ENGINES as fitted in 1962. Port engine rebuilt in 2008, approx 500 hours since rebuild. Last serviced in 2016. Two 40 gallon fuel tanks. Three-blade bronze, elliptical propellers. Two bilge fans. Approx speed 10 knots. Whisper Power 12 volt, 40amp battery charger. Six batteries in built-in housing, two solely dedicated to engine starting. Two 75 gallon freshwater tanks. Two separate ring mains installed in 2006, one for 240-volt shore power the other for 240 volts obtained from the 4 x 12-volt domestic batteries through the Master-Volt 2000 Inverter.

BERMUDIAN KETCH RIG with timber masts. 16ft mizzen, deck-stepped in the extended tabernacle for ease of lowering for bridges. Current (replacement) main mast used as passerelle support with brackets fitted. Stainless steel standing rigging. Three sails.
FIVE BERTHS IN THREE CABINS in traditional, well-appointed accommodation with varnished mahogany joinery throughout with white deckhead and saloon panels.


Dickinson Newport Oil stove
Electric Heads
Standard Horizon Quest VHF
Standard Horizon GPS
Navico DS200 Sounder
Navico DL2000 Speed Log
Manual Remote Autohelm
Selection of Charts, English Channel, French Canals, River Seine
CQR Bower Anchor
Danforth Kedge Anchor
100 metres chain
Manual Windlass
Mooring Cover (renovated and re-waterproofed 2016)
Three Bilge Pumps
Fenders & Warps
Teak Boarding ladder
Wind Generator
Rope Ladder
Fire Blanket
Four Self-Inflating Life Jackets
Four Dry-powder Extinguishers
Gas Alert
Radio/CD Player


Classic Yacht Brokerage has been associated with the Seaborne Yacht Company and the John Bain motor-sailers produced by the yard for nearly forty-years and know the shipwrights and boat builders well. AVIONA was a special commission for the prominent Industrialist C D Barwell and since has been extensively cruised, particularly in the current knowledgeable and dedicated husband and wife ownership. Maintained in excellent order Aviona is reluctantly being offered for sale due to the owners advancing years. She is one of the last few John Bain designs built and as such highly sought-after. Comfortably fitted out for extended living aboard.

September 2019 excellent survey, full hull re-paint November 2019 and new boat safety certificate.

GUIDE: Sold – June 2023

LYING: Wallingford


DISCLAIMER: Classic Yacht Brokerage offer the details and photographs of this vessel in good faith as a guide but cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information or images, or warrant the condition of the vessel, machinery or rig. Buyers should instruct their representative, agents or their surveyors to investigate such details as the buyer requires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice