49 ft 1954 Custom Steel Cruiser, Crossbow 197

The vessel is a custom design all steel construction, built by Russell Brothers  Manufacturing Limited of Owen Sound, Ontario in 1954 for the Canadian Navy.  A significant overhaul was performed at CFB (Canadian Forces Base) London, during the 1980’s.  The hull has a raked stem, and long flat run to the stern. There is a transom platform. This vessel has always been in fresh water. It was formerly the “Admiral’s Barge”.

Conversion to privately owned pleasure craft. Very unique. Very attractive.

HULL EXTERNAL: (from recent survey)

The hull above the waterline was found to be smooth and fair and in “good” condition. The topsides are painted battleship grey and the waterline stripes are black and red.

The hull was examined by Heddle Marine in the spring of 2012. This company, located in Hamilton, Ontario, specializes in the care and repair of steel vessels. It received a clean bill of health.

Antifouling bottom paint has been evenly applied.

Percussive soundings revealed no structural weakness at this time. The hull to deck joint is smooth and fair with no sign of damage.



The decks are steel plate and match the topside colour.

The foredeck, the side decks, the aft deck and coach roof were found to be in “good” condition with only isolated examples of blemishes. The top section was recently removed and powder coated.

There is a short mast suitable for displaying flags.

Percussive soundings revealed no structural degradation at this time.

The large aft deck provides a good working platform

Deck hardware, cleats, bollards and fittings were all found to be in good condition.

There are coach roof air ventilators. The deck mounted grab and safety rails are in good condition and appear to be secure.

The companionway and wheelhouse doors are very strong, fit well and operate smoothly.



Auxiliary power is provided by a “Cummins” 310HP  six cylinder diesel engine, Model 6BT 5.9, Serial Number 44247515.  The engine was installed in 1996 and appears to be in satisfactory condition

The original fuel tanks of 150 gallons each are located in the aft cabin. A day tank, also 150 gallons, in aluminum, is forward.

The propeller is a three blade Hawboldt 492 bronze 28X23 RH on a 2.5” SS shaft, with cutlass bearing integral to the skeg. The fit is tight. Prop blades appear to be free of damage..



The marine head is properly plumbed to a holding tank. The galley sink drains overboard. There is a hot and cold pressure water system. A built in fire hose can reach from 50 to 80’, depending on pressure available.

Through-hulls are located in the engine room.



The wheel and gearing system are heavy duty steel and appear to be in satisfactory condition.



The upholstery is in “good” condition. The cabin interior is finished in mahogany and oak.  The vessel is able to sleep a total of four adults; one in the aft cabin starboard settee, one in the port settee, and two in the forward cabin. The interior layout is as follows:

From forward, there is a forepeak which houses a chain locker. A forward cabin with storage lockers, a toilet compartment, a wheelhouse and an aft cabin with settees on either side. The galley is to port. The companionway is on the centerline.


GALLEY:   The NovaKool refrigeration unit can be operated with a choice of three different voltages: 12, 24 or 110. The microwave is a 110 volt appliance.  There is a Canaflame unit which burns Sterno cans.



The vessel has three voltage systems: 12, 24 and 110. The house batteries are located on the port side of the engine compartment. Battery strength can be detected by means of a voltage sensor. A 24V inverter was recently installed.

The 12 volt system has a master vapour proof selector switch in the engine room. The 12V fuse panel, located in the wheelhouse, supplies power to the vessel’s accessories.

Wiring, where visible, was found to be in “satisfactory” condition. All wiring is tinned and was renewed during the 1996-98 refit.

110V SYSTEM: A shore power cable feeds the distribution panel where a volt meter shows available power. Various duplex outlets, some with GFI protection are available for appliance plug ins.  There is also a new, not yet installed Magnum Inverter/Charger.

ELECTROLYSIS PROTECTION:   Anodes have been placed on the hull and engine. Also installed new Prosafe FS Galvanic Isolators.



Compass is a “ Globemaster magnetic1000” with 3 inch card.

Nav lights comply with regulations. A search light is mounted on top of the wheelhouse.

Knot-log and Depth Sounder are by Nexus Star Sea Data instrumentation.

There is a Raymarine brand VHF in the wheelhouse and a loud hailer. The Sperry radar dates from 1974, but is reported to be still working.



Clarion and Blauplaunkt stereo equipment,  plus a TV set


A liferaft in a canister is stored on the coach roof

The vessel is fitted with two cranes, each has a 500 lb capacity. One uses a strap material for hoisting; the other uses cable.



Ground tackle includes four anchors in total. The primary one is a 40lb “claw” style with about 200 feet of 3/8” galvanized chain. The secondary is a 35lb Danforth with approximately 100 feet of half inch nylon rode. There is a Simpson Lawrence windlass with a lifting capacity of approximately 2000 lbs. located on the foredeck.


History of this ship:   Crossbow 197 was the first Canadian Navy Vessel piloted by a female. Always in fresh water, the vessel spent a lot of time visiting various ports around the great lakes, flag waving for the Canadian Navy.




A1 Yacht Sales

49 ft 1954 Custom Steel Cruiser, Crossbow 197

Boat Price

Boat Year



Toronto, Ontario

Make & Model

Custom 49ft Steel Cruiser

Inquire About 49 ft 1954 Custom Steel Cruiser, Crossbow 197