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Star Supreme 1


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I have recently read, with interest about the restoration of Star Supreme 1. I took over the position of Managing Director of Jack Powles & Co Ltd from my grandfather, Jack Powles in 1966.

One of my first tasks was to expand our hire fleet's range of motor cruisers. Our largest boats at that time were The Foam Class which had six berths. I wanted to have some 8/10/12 berth motor cruisers. We had already ventured a little into glass fibre with fitting out two 35ft hulls designed by Rip Martins which we call Star Wonder.

Rip Martins then designed a new hull that was 39ft 6inches long and we built the hull which was to be used as the plug for a new glassfibre mould. This mould and future hull mouldings were going to be made by Bourne Plastics of Nottingham.

The wooden plug had to be constructed in a way that movement did not occur during transportation to Nottingham. so, it was built in an entirely new form of construction which entailed strip planking glued edge to edge. The timber was deal and NOT teak as has been mentioned in articles about the renovation. (sorry to disappoint the owner, but it was definitely deal - teak being a very oily wood would have been totally unsuitable for plug making.

On completion of the mould-making, the hull returned to us which we fitted our as Star Supreme 1. This was the last wooden hull built by Jack Powles.

We, initially, built six of these craft with a mahogany superstructure designed by me. We introduced a new building method by making pre-fabricated units to install. It was this, that led to the formation of Jack Powles International Marine Ltd which sold the sea-going, express cruisers all over the world. We were then manufacturing all our own glassfibre hulls etc.

Interesting times!

John Williams

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as the builder of the model, I can attest to the fact that any replacement wood going into the planking is indeed teak as i have a 3 foot offcut of the teak that has slowly been whittled down into small boards to make some of the wooden parts on the model.

for certain the transom has a skin of teak (about 3/8 " thick) over the boards as when she was out of the water last year and replacing all the rubbing strakes, when i lifted the stern rubbing strake it brought a section of the dressing plank with it which had to be replaced (there was evidence of small patches of rot in the dressing board where water had been trapped behind the rail).

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Well hello John Williams,  

Well chuffed to meet you 'Virtually' if not in person, we need to put that one right - Are you Norfolk based?

Over the years I have spoken with many folk who have had an interest or history to share about Star Supreme 1.  The most notable / trustworthy chap was 'Young' Jack Powles who was responsible and hands on during the construction of R641. (Photo's) We were fortunate enough to welcome him onboard before his passing.  He stated the hull was Teak as he had installed it! He was so pleased we saved R641 and got somewhat emotional during his visit onboard.

Another John Williams, long time family friend (Stalham based now sadly deceased too) also stated it was teak when he found R641 for us prior to purchasing her.  He did the survey and tried to put us off!  Anyroadup I'm not here to discount what you state, I'm just pleased you are here shedding yet more light on her history.  Every square inch of her hull planks and ribs that we have had to replace over the years has been genuine Teak (I have a secret stash)

As for the strip planking / glued edges - that is interesting and seems correct as we found that between each plank there was a long strip 'V' shaped length of timber that had been thumped home then paired back and sanded smooth, I did not know there had been some sort of glue applied though. Each plank is fastened with copper roves to the ribs too of course.  You went bonkers with the amount of ribs used too seems like every 4" there a rib!  More ribs then there are planks! 

Assuming you have read through our 'Broad Ambition - TLC Time Again' thread you will have a good idea of where we are now.  If you want the original restoration thread then you should visit the nbf website although many of the photo's I posted up are now sadly gone (I've got them here)

What I would really appreciate is getting you onboard at some point sooner rather than later.  Feel free to pm me if you wish.  My number is 07966 168647 and my email is griff15@btinternet.com which I am happy to be published here openly in the forum as they are both on my van / website and out in the public domain as they should be

Thanks for posting and welcome to the NBN :default_beerchug:






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Great that you have joined the network @Powles (John). As a newbie co-owner of R641 I'm learning the ropes but @BroadAmbition(Griff) knows his onions and along with Howard and Robin guiding me I'm getting there. I too am really interested in your knowledge of our boat and agree with Griff - it would be great to welcome you onboard to share recent chapters of her story with you and to learn more about her original design and build.

Hope to connect in real life at some point soon. Thanks for your post - re Star Supreme 1.

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7 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

I believe it stated that the original plug for the mould was not made from teak.

Interesting, this.

A large amount of Broads boats were planked in deal and a lot of others in mahogany.  Teak, in my experience, was used more for cabin sides and interiors, mainly because of price.

On the other hand, if it was "Archangel Red" deal, that looks very much like teak and is said to last as long.  Only trouble with that is that the supply dried up in 1939, for obvious reasons and I don't think it has been imported to this country since.  So Powles would have had to have stock left over from before the War.  Quite a lot of yards did, but perhaps not right up until the mid 60s.

Anyway, Griff owns the boat and he is there when they replace the planking, so he ought to know!

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he is there when they replace the planking,

And just who is this 'They' you speak of?  :default_icon_rolleyes:

Just me joking - as sometimes (Thank goodness) have semi if not full professional help when replacing any planking, but it's usually me.  Doug assisted last year and we would have been in a right state if he hadn't been with us


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