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The history behind the Henley 50 Umpire Launch

The Thames has a long history of launches specifically designed to support the rowing and racing scene of this busy river.  Originally these were steam powered craft which had poor low wash hull characteristics.  The development of the lightweight 'Saunders' stitched hulls with tunnel sterns finally allowed long streamlined launches to travel to speeds of 25 knots with minimal wash.  Although many of these launches were in private hands the Henley Royal Regatta decided to commission a 50ft Umpire Launch based on the best of the current boats in existence.  From this design by Andrew Wolstenholme the Steam & Electric Launch Company was asked to produce a GRP mould and to follow this up with four new Regatta Launches.  Powered with inboard petrol engines of 165bhp these more than fulfilled all expectations of speed and acceleration. The added benefit of this was, of course, a low maintenance hull with truly graceful proportions.

Creative Marine acquired the mould tools to the Henley 50 Umpire Launch in Summer 2002 and hope to develop this launch.  We are currently working on a launch with day cabin that can be used for corporate entertainment.


The Umpire Launch
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