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Boat Details

Overall Length: 30ft
Waterline: 28ft 6ins
Beam: 8ft
Draught: 2ft 6ins
Displacement: not know
Engine: None
Berths: n/a
Sail: n/a
Designer: Camper & Nicholson
Builder: Camper & Nicholson, Gosport
Year Built: 1929
Location: Hampshire


CRUSADER is a beautifully designed express launch, formerly the owners tender to the impressive 850 ton motor yacht of the same name. CRUSADER is a rare survivor and would convert to a very smart estuary or river launch or, subject to regulations be a commercial prospect for ever popular leisure trips.

The previous owner Mr David Hardy and owner of the yacht brokerage Trafalgar Yacht Services, Lower Quay, Fareham, sold the launch in 2013 to the present owner before he retired. The boat has since been kept under cover in a shed. Mr Hardy who has been in the boat trade all his life provided the present owner with background information and details on the extensive work that he carried out. He spotted the boat in Fareham Creek and later purchased it through a yard in Gosport as a project of interest. It was in a very poor state and in need of remedial treatment.  In brief he rebuilt the cabin with £3,000 worth of Brazilian mahogany and the hull was epoxied inside and out.

The construction of CRUSADER is a diagonal cedar on the inside, fore and aft on the outside, rock elm timbers every nine inches over her 30ft length, and oak keel. There is a layer of calico between the double skin cedar planking all held together with hundreds of small copper rivets. The cabin has been rebuilt to the exact specifications as the previous one with older parts gently removed and used as templates.

In 2005 the bare hull of CRUSADER was fitted with five transverse beams attached between the gunwales in order to turn the hull upside down without damage. By May 2007 all the outside had been sheathed with West epoxy and GRP matting. Three coats of Alwgrip grey epoxy primer were applied to all the underwater outside surfaces along with one coat of antifoul. Four coats of high build epoxy white primer and  one coat of white gloss.

Over the winter of 2006/7 the cabin sides, the windscreen panel and the main bulkhead were built by Mr Hardy. The timber was purchased three years before and was in the last legal export of Brazilian mahogany. The coamings were purchased in the same consignment.  At the end of May 2007 with the hull now the right way up assembly could begin. By the end of October, the cabin, the coamings and decks were all fitted. The fuel tank fitted in the forepeak along with an anchor shelf. All the interior hull surfaces had been coated with two coats of epoxy resin immediately after righting. The foredeck, afterdeck and very narrow sides have a layer of 6mm BS1088 to ensure all is at same level.

CRUSADER does not have an engine.When Mr Hardy bought her she had an old Perkins P4. He took her down the harbour (Portsmouth) with a trailing log and 16 knots was indicated. The boat has a 12ft x 1.375″ diameter prop shaft, a brand-new propeller, a huge bronze ‘P’ bracket and a bronze spade rudder. There is also a box of parts including an original spot light,
ensign staff, and some hydraulics with cable.

CRUSADER was built as the owners launch for a Camper and Nicholson motor yacht also called Crusader yard number 361,
built in 1929 weighing 850 tons. Crusader is understood to have perished in WW2. The same owner at the time had a similar boat built in 1927 called RADIANT and later renamed to SARACEN.

Crusader’s launch is a smaller version of the elegant and fast Camper and Nicholson Gelyce 50ft launches that used to support the J-classes in the 1930s.  Camper and Nicholson built 9 Gelyces (three smaller and four 50ft still exist) details of the 7 remaining are a 50ft Gelyce ‘Herring Gull’ built in 1926 in Gosport (number 335) has been restored to its former glory by Peter Freebody boatyard in Hurley on Thames and now owned by Peter de Savary in Falmouth. Peter Freebody also restored “Mavourneen” a 50ft Gelyce now in the US.

GUIDE: Sold February 2022

LYING: Hampshire


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.