Description by Julian Mannering (2014):
Bird of Dawning, built by Frank Shuttlewood of pitch-pine on oak, along the lines of a Paglesham smack (above the waterline anyway), was launched on 17 July 1937. Mr H Kemloe, the owner, had previously had built in 1932 the Boston smack yacht Privateer but wanted a smaller and more yacht-like vessel. In Bird of Dawning, with her rockered keel, outside ballast, deeper profile and broad shoulders, Shuttlewood succeeded in designing a remarkable little yacht: fast, seaworthy, roomy and dry.
Kemloe enjoyed her for only a couple of years before the War in which he lost his life, and Bird spent the war years on the beach at Whitstable in the yard of R J Dudley & Perkins, well covered up and maintained. In 1946 John Mannering purchased her and sailed her, mainly engineless, out of Dover for twenty years, cruising the Channel, the East Coast and France and Holland. A Stuart Turner engine was fitted, with a quarter prop, in 1962. In 1966 she was sold to Wilf James who kept her at Heybridge Basin and raced and cruised her extensively. Then in the 1980s and early ‘90s she was owned by John Harris and then Chris and Sue Briggs. In 1997 she was bought by Julian Mannering and since then has been based at Hollowshore, on Faversham Creek.
She remains pretty much as she was built. Chris Briggs made improvements to the saloon and cockpit and added two new deck beams; recently, she has had new keel bolts fitted, been recaulked and partly refastened, and had a small 16hp Beta diesel fitted. She is as fast and handy as many boats seventy years her junior and in 2010 she cruised the Channel and French coast, her crew as comfortable and safe as could be wished.
Dimensions: 30ft LOA, 26ft LWL, 9ft beam, 4ft 6in draft