Traditionally the sailors at the RAYC would row small tenders to and from their boats in Beaumaris bay, this was hard work and by the 50s the question of safety boat cover kept on arising at sailing committee meetings.
By 1952 the Sailing committee minutes note that “Sior Hughes was thanked for obtaining a boat for Club use during the Regattas at as cost of £2 per day plus the cost of the necessary petrol/paraffin.” Then in 1963 a 30 foot launch which belonged to the local company Saunders Roe was loaned for Regattas and Saturday racing. The local Lifeboat Coxswain Hugh “Bach” Jones was hired to ferry members to and from their boats and to provide safety cover during racing.
This new arrangement made racing a much more pleasurable and safe pass-time so the Management Committee decided that the RAYC needed its own launch. The committee was tasked with finding a suitable design and an 18 ft Glassfibre Workboat Hull was recommended. This boat was already being manufactured by Saunders Roe on behalf of the MoD for the Navy to use as a survey launch.
The basic hull form length is 18 ft 3 inches, beam of 6ft 7 inches and depth of 3ft 4 inches was constructed using the highest quality of glass polyester resin available at the time and cost £266.
This hull was delivered to Shed 21 at Gallows Point for fitting out.
She was then fitted with:
- a lister LRZMG/R marine propulsion 9 Hp. 2000 r.p.m. engine
- a Bamford gear system and propeller
- deck engine box and seats
Work was completed by David Ellis with the help of George Greek in July 1967. Miss Mary C Burton the Commodore of the RAYC paid for the Bronwen, an extremely generous donation that is still being enjoyed to this day.
In November 1997 the Management committee agreed to buy a new engine for £3k from Messers A M Dickie and Son, Bangor. It was fitted early 1998 in order for the Bronwen to be on the water for the sailing season. The new engine was a Yanmar 3 GM 30 (3 cylinder 30 Hp) with a 17inch propeller.
Huw Bach was the first helmsman of Bronwen followed by David Gallichan and today Guy Williams is the 3rd Bosun of the club using the Bronwen launch.
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Interesting facts about the Bronwen:
- The Sior is the sister launch of the Bronwen and belongs to the Conwy Yacht Club. Sior was commissioned through Sior Hughes who was Commodore of the Conway YC at the time
- It is interesting to note that before the RAYC had a rescue launch there were only 6 fifes sailing in Beaumaris and the MSODs were all kept outside the Gazelle Hotel, so there wasn’t any need for a launch at this time. The Bronwen marked a change to the old ways, by offering a launch service for owners.
- She was named Bronwen after a boat owned by the Burton family.