Other Craft

F.B.Wilds built craft were normally completed to a similar design to one another, as detailed, with slight variations on finishing details such as engine (though most often a Perkins) or minor layout variations etc.

However, craft would be produced to individual customer requirements if required. This, coupled with Mr Wilds dedication to new ideas and moving forward saw a steady flow of other designs leaving the factory, some for hire yards, and some for private owners

Built in 1973 for a private owner, “Marpessa” is a 42ft Bahama hull & superstructure but as well as a unique layout & window arrangement which make her immediately different to other Bahama’s she is also very unusual for being dual steer.

Outside, at the stern is a second steering wheel. This allows the option in fine weather to be outside and to have all-round vision, or in less agreeable weather to be tucked up inside, comfortable in the saloon! This craft, name unchanged is still moored on the Thames today

A standard Caribbean hull and superstructure but with no forward cockpit - allowing a slightly larger saloon and altered front design was the requirement for this

It’s possible a few were built in this way as a similar, but not identical one was advertised for sale in Ireland for 40,000 Euros in February 2008.

“Players No.6” was a 39ft Caribbean built by F.B.Wilds in the late ‘60s for Players Tobacco Company. This was a floating showroom for what their companies vouchers could get you, which included a Broads holiday. The more open plan, showroom layout is why the circular bathroom window is located further back than normal on a Caribbean

In 1970 the boat was purchased by Topcraft of Oulton Broad and she was refitted into a more standard 6 berth hire cruiser, and they later added a second steering position on the roof!

She was bought from Topcraft by the Richardsons Group and put in their Thames hirefleet at Maidline of Wallingford for 1992, returning to the Broads for 1998 with the companies Hearts Cruisers base at Thorpe, when the rooftop steering position was removed.

At the end of 1998 she was sold into private ownership. After a busy, eventful and hard working life spanning four decades she could finally get a bit more rest!

The 1960s celebrity launch of Players No6, including famous faces such as Ernie Wise

After an eventful life Players No6 is seen here as “Empress of Hearts” near the end of her last hire season, Sept 1998

Porter & Haylett at Wroxham ordered a number of this unique version of the 42ft design. With no forward cockpit and a sliding front section these were fitted with both Bahama (8 berth) and Caribbean Major (6/7 berth) layouts.

In recent years a few ran with Richardsons of Stalham, but were retired towards the end of 2004.

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