The Admiralty had built a boat which was the same design and construction as the popular RAF pinnaces. Whilst the Admiralty only had around 90 of these craft; the RAF had some 260. The original design was from the builders Groves & Guttridge of Cowes; who completed the first RAF pinnace MK1 in 1938. The Admiralty version of this craft were known as: FSMBs (Fast Seagoing Motor Boats); or TRSBs (Torpedo Recovery Safety Boats); or simply as: 60ft Seagoing Motor Boats.
4195 was ordered by the Admiralty from Watercraft Ltd., East Molesey, Surrey, on the 17th March 1941. Under authority CP 8373/40; this order was for three 60 foot SMBs, Admiralty numbers; 4193 to 4195 inclusive. 4195 was completed and taken over by Fleet Air Arm personnel, under authority CP 8371/42; leaving Watercraft on the 4th September 1942. Subsequently, the craft was allocated to RNAS Condor at Arbroath; on N/S transfer account 470. 4195 continued to serve here until she was declared for disposal on the 19th July 1946 (191801/46).
4195 was eventually sold out of service on the 6th October 1948; to the Scottish Seaweed Association, as reported on DSCD 64/48 dated 28th October 1950.
The Institute of Seaweed Research, Inveresk, Midlothian; registered the boat as 'Asco' in Glasgow on the 10th August 1949. Registration was transferred to the port of Lieth on the 18th November 1952. Asco had at some point in her move from the Admiralty onto the Registry of Shipping, lost one of her engines and shafts; maybe she was re-engined by the Institute of Seaweed Research, prior to her commissioning.
From the 30th November 1956 until June 1957 Asco was owned by Timbercraft Ltd., of Dunbartonshire.
Sometime during 1957, her new owner, Richard Sinclair Wilkins of Monkswood, Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire; brought her to Falmouth. Where she was registered and converted into a fine looking motor yacht, probably by a local shipyard. Asco's name was changed to 'Monkswood' during July 1959. Whilst in Mr Wilkins ownership; she was used to entertain the good and the great, which I am told, included the Royal Family. Richard Wilkins was a member of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club and Monkswood was afforded a warrant to wear the Blue Ensign.
Frank Vinnicombe Marine Ltd., of Mylor, Falmouth; purchased Monkswood in July 1972. Frank was a well-known local fisherman. He and his son farm the oyster beds on the River Fal, using the oldest sailing oyster dredger in Falmouth. Monkswood was used at that time for shark fishing, just out of Falmouth. Frank told me that she could make Eddystone Light in one hour; a distance of 16 nautical miles.
Monkswood was sailed from Falmouth to Bristol during 1989, by someone from Chepstow. She eventually ended up on the Gloucester & Sharpness canal; where her current owners found her and renamed her 'Asco'. She has subsequently returned to Falmouth, where she is moored.