Built in 1961 by J Andrews & son, Bourne End, Berkshire, England
Originally named “Susanna”, and later “Halcyon Lady”.
Not known when she was named “Lady of Iona”.
John Andrews was 19 years old in 1912 when he designed his first shallow vee’d flat bottomed motor-boat with a sloping transom. It was purchased by Sir Arthur-Whitten Brown, who named it Merk after his Mercedes motor car. In 1925, John and Frederick Andrews founded a boatbuilding yard at Bourne End on the river Thames. John’s sleek designs were becoming popular and were dubbed ‘slipper launches’. The pair built 20 – 25 boats a year for owners in Britain and as far apart as France, Italy and China. One owner sailed his slipper launch on the river Nile in Egypt.
The boats ranged in size from 25ft ( 7.6m) to 50ft (15.2m) and were powered by six cylinder Gray Marine engines or smaller Morris petrol engines such as the Navigator, Commodore or Vedette. The launches had names like Knight Errant, Maid of Kent and Florence Rose.
Slipper launch construction used varnished mahogany planking on lightweight framing with oak or teak used for heavier members. Automobile type lacquered wood veneer dashboards and steering wheels were fitted and passenger seating areas fitted out for comfort, sometimes with wicker basket chairs custom made for each launch.
More than 500 slipper launches were made by the Andrews brothers. Among the owners were the Maharajah of Jodhpur, car maker Louis Renault, comedian Benny Hill and television personality Michael Parkinson.
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