The History of Gull

  Jon Mendez   Jul 28, 2016   Blog   8 Comments

“Gull” was originally built in 1958 by R A Hamper in Fareham Hampshire for use as the Hamble – Warsash Ferry. She was licenced to carry twelve passengers and worked through to 1985 when she was retired from service. She then had a succession of owners before falling into disrepair and was laid up in Hamble. She was brought in 2011 by two local brothers as a Saturday morning ‘project’ this turned into two years of Saturdays whilst they painstaking restored her to her former glory with a new transom, keel and stem and several new planks and frame repairs. They had re-engineered her with an old two cylinder Petter diesel and had two eventful years enjoying her. But the engine become unreliable so with after much frustration with it they put her up for sale. We brought her in 2015 as I had spent many passages up and down the Hamble admiring her fine lines as a tidy up and re engine project.

Whilst chatting through the plans with boys at R.K Marine Boatyard, the idea dawned that there was the possibility of transforming the boat to electric power, which would be a fine way to explore the peace and tranquility of the upper reaches of the Hamble. This gem of an idea moved on to could she actually go back to her original task of carrying the public for their enjoyment. Hence the new version of ‘Gull’was born.

She is now available for pleasure trips and private charter, from her base in Hamble River Boat Yard, when the tide is high we can go upstream towards Manor Farm Country Park and the Horse and Jockey pub, when the tide is low she explores downstream to the picturesque village of Hamble and Warsash. Life like in times gone by is organised by the ebb and flow of the tide.

Here we have produced a brief pictorial history of Gull over her life. If you or your family remember her and have photos of her past we would be delighted to hear from you.


Gull in her prime.


As found in 2011.


The brothers doing their bit.


What they ended up with.


What I passed most days on the river.


When we bought her the engine was poorly.


That will be why, main crankshaft snapped!


Every bit of paint was scraped back, rubbed down and she was repainted to within an inch of her life.


Gleaming again 🙂


New electric engine in place, lots to do.


Batteries lined up ready for re power.


A busy engine bay, motor, controller and charging system.


New rope fender stretched and whipped, then stretched and whipped again!


Gull ready in the slings for her re-launch.

To read about and watch the launch of Gull after her restoration click here.


  1. Peggy Dorothy nee Lewis Says: 1st August 2016 7:53 pm Reply

    She is beautiful you have done a great job. Great picture of Ray. I do remember her but have no photo.
    Would love to hire her but am away in campervan for most of summer when I return

    • Fran Gibson Says: 2nd August 2016 10:32 am Reply

      Hello Peggy, thank you for your kind words. We are very pleased with her and hope that many people will enjoy her on the river. Can I confirm, is the gentleman helming in the first picture called Ray Sedgwick?

      • Peggy dorothy Says: 2nd August 2016 3:54 pm Reply

        Yes it is Ray. My dad kept his launch on a mooring near the old ferry hard so I saw a lot of gull and Ray crossing the River she carried the bikes balanced across her bow. I will be in touch shortly to hire her and reminisce on a trip up the River.

      • Peggy dorothy Says: 2nd August 2016 4:10 pm Reply

        Hello Fran yes it is definitely Ray. My dad kept his launch by the ferry hard so saw plenty of Ray and Gull going across the river. They used to carry bikes across her bow to my knowledge never dropped one. I will definitely be booking her shortly just looking for suitable date.

  2. Denise Johnson Says: 19th August 2016 3:31 pm Reply

    Had a lovely experience going down the river on Gull. Beautifully restored and so quiet when it is running that on the calm sea it was a relaxing journey which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.

  3. James Dyer Says: 18th March 2017 9:42 pm Reply

    I was a friend of Rays and built a fishing boat on the hard outside his ferry huts. Gull at onetime had a number of alloy test engines
    fitted by Petters of Hamble for endurance testing .and marine gearbox testing.(this lasted years )and Ray kept a log of fuel used and time running.
    For a number of years you would see Ray coming or going to Warsash with his white rescue dog Snowy as look out in the bow
    (she was left on the hard by someone as she was in pup and Ray kept her)
    It is good to see Gull in such good shape Ray would be very proud .well done Jim D

  4. Pete Vinton Says: 16th July 2018 10:40 am Reply

    That brought back some childhood memories. I lived near Ray in Sydney ave and he asked if I wanted a part time job at the weekends. I was appox 14 and it was late 60’s. I started work with Ray and the other lads down on the ferry,tasks varied from cleaning his hire boats out,scrubbing the ferry hard both sides of the river, painting, anti fouling, dropping off and picking people up from their boats.So i remember Gull very well. I still pop down to chat with Ray.

  5. Tim Adams Says: 23rd March 2019 7:56 am Reply

    I also worked with Ray as a fourteen year old and used to run Gull backwards and forwards with passengers on Gull. My brother kept his old gaffer on Rays moorings and my dad worked at Petters and negotiated a deal with Ray to test the engines. Our history with Ray and Gull is why my brother and I bought her in 2011 as a wreck and rebuilt her as is shown in the photos. On our first voyage after relaunching her we took her down to show Ray and he was thrilled. Whenever I see her on the river I am proud to think we have her a new lease of life. She is beautiful now with her new electric motors and if you get the chance then she is well worth booking for an afternoon of nostalgia. Well done Fran for keeping her alive and well.

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