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Sold – 28ft. OSBORNE MARTLET MOTOR-CRUISER – 1952 – Part Project – Lying: Norfolk



Boat Details

Overall Length: 28ft.
Waterline: 25ft 9ins
Beam: 8ft 9ins
Draught: 2ft 8ins
Displacement: 8 Tons Thames Measurement
Engine: Pair 35hp BMC CAPTAIN Diesel Engines (1965)
Berths: Four Berths in two cabins
Sail: n/a
Designer: William Osborne (Junior)
Builder: Osbornes of Littlehampton
Year Built: 1952
Location: Norfolk


William Osborne senior (1880-1931) established a business in London in 1912 building motor car bodies, first in Pall Mall and later in Piccadilly. In 1919 William decided to expand into boat-building after receiving an order from the Sussex Motor Yacht Club for a one-design 20-knot powerboat series. William found suitable premises fronting the River Arun in Littlehampton. Motor-yacht commissions soon followed. First from W J Pearson for a 40ft. motor-yacht MA JOIE in 1919 followed by a 60ft. MA JOIE ll in 1920. Three orders for 1921 and two in 1922. The company quickly became known in the industry for their ‘Osborne Finish’

In the late 1920s, William produced a one-design series of 9-ton motor-yachts called the ‘Everymans’ Further one-designs cruisers followed in the 1930s mostly named after birds. Swallow and Swallow Senior. In 1931 William Osborne junior took over the running of the business following the death of his father aged only 51.

Osborne’s were fortunate in receiving orders to build lifeboats for the RNLI and they incorporated this high standard of double skin construction to their range of cruisers from the 1940s to 1960s. The bird theme continued with single or twin-engined cruisers, hard-chine designs from 25ft to 50ft. These included the Swift, Osprey, Falcon, Kestrel, Martlet and Eagle. By the late 1960s, Osborne’s introduced a range of up to date stylish cruisers, the early examples built to their exacting standards, well above Lloyds requirements of the time. Later these designs became available as GRP moulded hulls with the King series, notably the Kingswift and Kingfalcon production cruisers.

The Martlet design is named after the English heraldic symbol, a mythical Swallow type bird. Six gold Martlets form the design on the Sussex County flag, appropriate, that a Sussex based boatbuilders should choose the name for one of their cruiser designs. Osborne’s introduced the Martlet design in the early 1950s before updating to the Kestrel design. The Martlet is an extremely rare and desirable motor-cruiser built to Osborne’s usual high standard using quality timbers and fittings.

SALLY ANN was commissioned by Albert Pitt from Haywards Heath, Sussex in 1951 and launched during the spring of 1952. During the late 1950s, SALLY ANN was briefly owned by F F Parnham. In the Early 1960s, L E Billington from Chigwell became the third registered owner. He stationed SALLY ANN at Leigh on Sea together with his two other motor cruisers. In the early 1970s A S T Adaway from Shipston Bellinger, Hants, bought SALLY ANN and moved her to a mooring at Wareham above Poole Harbour. In later ownership, SALLY ANN became a familiar sight on the Norfolk Broads before being laid-up some five years ago in a dry boat shed. She has remained in remarkably original condition and is something of a ‘barn find’.

SALLY ANN is of carvel construction, mahogany planked, all copper fastened to steam bent oak timbers. Sheathed pine deck and coachroof, varnished mahogany cabin coamings, cockpit and brightwork. Raked straight stem, transom stern, round bilges and long keel. Original bronze deck hardware and fittings.Traditional interior with polished mahogany joinery throughout which benefits from diesel blown warm air heating. Covered helm with wheel shelter and large aft cockpit ideal for family picnics, fishing trips and socialising.

Heads Compartment forward with Jabsco marine WC.

Fore Cabin with upholstered berths to port and starboard having drawers below. Fore hatch. Athwartships bulkhead with mahogany door to:

Saloon with port and starboard upholstered settee berths. Gimballed brass oil lamps. Shelving and lockers. Aft port side of saloon galley area with sink unit, pantry and crockery lockers. To starboard gimballed Taylors two-burner paraffin cooker.

Wheelshelter with helm position to port with a spoked varnished wheel. Engine controls and instrumentation. Autopilot. Helm and crew seats above engine casings. Built-in lockers and wide aft bench seat with upholstery and access to stern lazarette. Cockpit canopy/cover.

PAIR 35hp CAPTAIN BMC DIESEL ENGINES fitted new in 1965. In running order.

Full winter cover in two sections.

CQR Anchor.

Original folding boarding ladder.


An extremely rare opportunity to acquire an early 1950s motor-cruiser in remarkably original condition. A straight forward part project. SALLY ANN with her low air-draft is an ideal boat for the Broads, Thames and Severn or for estuary or coastal use. Original registration document and superb scale model.

GUIDE: Sale Pending – December 2020

LYING: Southern Broads

VIEWING: Through the brokers CLASSIC YACHTS

DISCLAIMER: Classic Yacht Brokerage offer the details and photographs of this vessel in good faith 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.