52ft DUNKIRK LITTLE SHIP designed and built by J W Brooke & Co. Ltd. Oulton Broad, Norfolk in 1931 for George Smart of Westcliffe-on-Sea
BOAT NAME: Breda
BOAT TYPE: Motor Yacht
BOAT LENGTH: 52ft 7ins
BOAT BEAM: 12ft 6ins
BOAT DRAFT: 3ft 4ins
BOAT DISPLACEMENT: 34Tons TM
BOAT CONSTRUCTION: Carvel Pitch Pine on Oak
BOAT DESIGNER: J W Brooke
BOAT BUILDER: Brooke Marine Lowestoft
BOAT YEAR: 1931
Breda was in a terrible condition when she came to us in 2017. Alain and Michael were existing clients owning a delightful Osbourne called Little Ann, this had given them the boating bug and their search ( specifically looking for a Dunkirk Little Ship) led them to the dilapidated Breda.
Commissioning the help of our interior designer Alain & Micahel wanted to incorporate their love of Art Deco into the restoration.
In turn, Breda has become one of our most beautiful & intricate restorations.
Breda is a period masterpiece, follow her story below
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BREDA, ex: DAB 11 was built in 1931 for George Smart of Westcliffe-on-Sea by J W Brooke & Co Ltd. to their express cruiser design, as per sistership ST. JOAN
In 1940 the Royal Navy requisitioned DAB 11 from Heybridge Basin, Essex to take part in Operation Dynamo. Lieut. R W Thompson RNVR crossed the Channel no less than three times in six days bringing back a compliment of Dutch soldiers from Breda in Holland. Later Colonel Hardie changed the boat name to honour the rescued Dutch soldiers.
TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING
2017 I 2019
The work started in December 2017, with the removal of the rotten planking on the sides. It became rapidly clear, much more of the ship was rotten than we had previously thought. 19 ribs, 18 planks and 15 deck beams starboard, 34 ribs 17 planks and 15 deck beams port side, gunwale both sides, beamshelves, full aft cabin rebuild and transom replacement.
Once all the exterior and structural re-build was completed attention was focused on the new interior. Designed in collaboration with designer Heather Dennett who worked closely with Alain and Michael who's fabulous sense of style clearly had a driving factor within the new interior.
2017 I PRESENT DAY
Arguably one of the most decedent boats on the Thames. Breda is sensational design masterpiece: Charm and elegance of the 1930s will never go out of style.
We wish Alain and Michael many years of happy cruising and will enjoy spending time with them on the water.
I met Dennett Boatbuilders at the 2014 Southampton Boatshow when looking for a traditional boatbuilder to help me restore our first classic boat Little Ann II. She is a 26ft Swift Junior class built by William Osborne in 1946. She had developed a few small areas of dry rot on the hull above the waterline, and a few leaks from the roof and superstructure. So, from summer 2015 she was care for by Steven Dennett and his team of talented craftsmen. Being of a very curious nature, I came over to the boatyard at weekends to check on the progress, and very quickly was offered the possibility of working on Little Ann myself at the yard in between phases. A very kind offer indeed, and the start of many visits and hard work over the 6 years to follow. It feels hard work when you are not a professional and you witness everyone else accomplishing amazing work with such ease and speed!
In 2017, I had the great opportunity of acquiring Breda, a 52ft Dunkirk Little Ship built in 1931 by JW Brookes of Lowestoft, in need of much lifesaving work. The initial assessment visit saw Steven show up with his traditional screwdriver and hammer and performed a full survey of her condition, like an attentive wood doctor!
This was the start of an incredible 3-year adventure. Being such a large project, I am glad I chose again Dennetts for its entirety. From the outset, with the design meetings determining how to plan the project financially, to the execution in stages of the hull repairs to enable Breda to float again safely, all was done with considerations to my timeline, my budgets, and my needs personally. Like previously, I was invited to work myself on Breda to the limits of my ability, generously coached by the boatyard’s team from time to time.
The works came to 19 ribs, 18 planks and 15 deck beams starboard, 34 ribs 17 planks and 15 deck beams port side, gunwale both sides, beamshelves, full aft cabin rebuild and transom replacement. Followed by design and built of the interior for almost a year. Heather Dennett manage to take my brief and Art Deco specifications into an incredibly sumptuous design, that their team of skilled carpenters and varnishers delivered on fully. I cannot recommend enough the patience and care taken to deal with a very specific customer like me. I am delighted about the end result and look forward to cruising on Breda in style and comfort for many years to come. Thank you
Alain Lamens – Little Ann II – Breda