JM8_4528_low-res.jpeg

Proudly caring for 

DUNKIRK LITTLE SHIPS   

for over 60 years 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Scroll Down

Screenshot 2020-12-31 at 16.03.13.png

BREDA

BREDA, ex: DAB 11 was built in 1931 for George Smart of Westcliffe-on-Sea by J W Brooke & Co Ltd. to their express cruiser design, as per sistership ST. JOAN 

The work started in December 2017, once all the exterior and structural re-build were completed attention was focused on the new interior. 

Breda is a period masterpiece with  the attention to detail carrying through to every aspect of this exceptional vessel.

 

IMG_0167.jpeg
JMP_2739_low-res.jpeg

SUNDOWNER

Built-in 1912 for the Admiralty,  after WWI she lay deteriorating until in 1929 discovered and purchased by a Mr Charles Lightoller for £40. Mr Lightoller  was famous for being the highest ranking officer to survive the Titanic and the one who put in place the order to save women and children first.

 

Launched in 1930, Lightoller spent subsequent years using Sundowner until  1939, with the threat of war looming, Lightoller was tasked to secretly survey the European coast for the Admiralty. In May 1940, Lightoller personally skippered Sundowner to the aid of the trapped BEF in Dunkirk and rescued 130 men from their doomed fate.

 

We are very excited to start work on this iconic, even legendary Dunkirk Little Ship later in 2021

82FF968A-6E33-4BD2-A50B-39B17EEB311C.jpe

LANTHONY 

 

 This 77ft motor yacht, built by Camper & Nicholson in 1934, has a fascinating history both before and after her dramatic rescue of 280 troops from the beaches at Dunkirk. 

Built for the famous Lord Astor of Hever Castle cousin of Jacob Astor who perished on the Titanic in 1912. Llanthony exudes old-world charm of a gentleman’s motor yacht, clearly identifiable as a Camber and Nicholson design with her iconic lines. 

Working in collaboration with Gillingham Marina where Llanthony has spent the first 18months restoring her steel, once her shell has expertly been strengthened she will come to our yard in summer 2021 for a complete interior refit and to have all her wooden superstructure replaced. 

Llanthony is a true style icon and we are thrilled to be a part of this superb project to return this special yacht back to her former glory. 

5D7FBB70-19DC-4A95-B5FC-0413C4B9CCD4.hei
F21D4E6B-12D6-4FFB-94A5-9966B65DD888.hei
019%20MAKAIRA_edited.png

MAKAIRA /

RFC 113

Makaira/ RFC 113 was found in a field in 2012, unrecognisable from her original 1930's streamline sporty design. Only identifiable by her hull number carved into her beams, restoring 113  has been an epic project unlike any other we have seen in the yard.

 

113 is also an award-winning restoration  as she won the prestigious Classic Boat Restoration of the year Awards 2021,

IMG_3723.jpeg
7. Lady of Mann..jpg

LADY OF MANN 

"The Lady of Mann foundered at her mooring in Old Windsor during the great floods of February 2014. Due to her heritage, there was never any question of salvaging her" 

Matt Cain - Owner 

The 27-foot Lady of Mann was lifeboat No 8 on the Isle of Man Steam Packet ship of the same name
The involvement of the company’s men and its ships during the Dunkirk evacuation is a source of huge pride to the Manx people. Eight company ships – including the Lady of Mann – took part in the mission and between them rescued 24,699 British troops – one in 13 of those evacuated from Dunkirk.

Elsa II 4 .jpg

ELSA II

Built-in  1929 by Thornycroft,  is a striking little craft. In late 2013, she arrived  at the yard bare boards and no floors in other words a complete restoration. 

The clock was ticking as the race was on to restore this once pretty craft in time for her to join the fleet for the 2015 return. 

IMG_0114.JPG

"We can’t thank Dennett’s enough for the excellent work they did in carrying out this important historic restoration"

S. Price & C. Brightman - Owners  2014- 2018 

ABERDONIA 03

ABERDONIA

Built by the Thornycroft at Port Hampton in 1935 Aberdonia has a rich history, between 1940 and 1946 she was requisitioned by the Navy and renamed NAVIGATOR. She took part in the Dunkirk evacuation and is thought to have made four trips to the Dunkirk beaches. She continued her war work as a patrol boat, working with minesweepers and taking sealed orders to waiting convoys

 

Under new ownership in 2020  she came to us for some essential hull planking and  an  exterior decorate. She now looks absolutely gleaming and is awaiting transportation to Scotland

77654E1F-27F5-4D24-9B68-18B685DE7AC3.jpe

FERRY NYMPH 

Built-in 1939 by J. Harvey and Sons of Poole in Dorset,

Her war record is well documented and we know that she was requisitioned by the Admiralty in May 1940. She completed two trips from Dunkirk to Ramsgate carrying 72 troops on her first trip and 90 on the second

Ferry Nymph had  a hull decorate and some essential structural work. She was launched in March 2020 and under new ownership will  have a new purpose as Captain Colin's Sandwich Rivers Bus service on the Isle of Thanet 

5105A7DB-DCDC-4673-B352-0CBEEB465983_1_2

LADY LOU

40FT Rampart built-n 1936, Lady Lou was  requisitioned for service and took part in the rescue of troops from Dunkirk.  She was released from duty  in 1942. She is a regular sight on the Thame sand at Dunkirk events 

Lady Lou  has been a regular on our slipway for over 20 years, she had a change of ownership in 2016 and came to us for some structural damage to her stern and sampson post which had been caused in transit between owners, whilst the opportunity presented itself she had an exterior decorate. Since then we have slipped her again in 2020 for some structural work to her hull and another decorate.   

lady lou.jpg
Wairakei-CH-1-2015-004.JPG

WAIRAKEI II

Dunkirk Little Ship Wairakei II designed by John Bain is a stunning example of classic yachts at their absolute finest. Built- in 1932, she boasts a beautiful canoe stern, which was replaced by us back in 2013, and is somewhat skinny for her length at only 11ft beam this cuts a very streamline figure when in the water.

Today Wairakei can be found moored eloquently on the River Thames in London, a shining reminder of the beauty that vintage crafts offer. She has been maintained by us for several years  and is due out on the slipway in early spring. 

F4BD82E8-874C-429E-B2DD-47FEC8DF5A91.hei

MARGO II

Margo II is a delightful boat built in 1931 by Hoyle Boat Building Co in Poole

 

She was bought by the secretary of the ADLS in 2014 and underwent a refit with them. 

Margo has been out twice since then on our slip way for a hull decorate, the last time being 2019  in preparation for the return 

" We are very happy with the work carried out and the turn around time" 

D. Knight Margo II - owner

Peggotty%2018_edited.jpg

PEGGOTTY

We love Peggotty and the wonderful story behind her restoration. Seen in newspaper two couples pooled together to extensively restore this wartime hero. 

Their dedication to this abandoned wreck saved this little part of British heritage and we love seeing her on the water  beautifully transformed. 

PEGOTTY02.jpeg
Screenshot 2021-02-16 at 16.04.47.png

AUREOL

"Superb painting, varnishing and joinery on classic wooden boats, large and small. Great paint job on my Dunkirk Little Ship. Yard is dog and child friendly too!"

Simon Jones Owner

Aureol   ( Kitty in 1940) is a 30ft Rampart built in 1936

A lovely little boat as most Ramparts are and Simon her own is a firm favourite of ours at the yard .

 

Aside from maintenance and decoration Aureol had her cabin replaced by us around 10 years ago.  

0019-MB278%20copy_edited.jpg

MB 278

Built-in 1914 by J. White and Sons of Cowes in The Isle of White. 

Her war record is well documented and we know that she served on many ships for the Royal Navy through WWI and WWII , she even  has the scars to prove her Dunkirk service: a row of bullet holes made by a German machine gun to her hull.

In 2010 we restored MB278 and took her over for the 2010 and 2015 returns. We sold MB278 soon after  the 2015 return , however, she was sorely missed at  the yard and subsequently, we have  re-purchased her and she shall continue to be a regular alongside Gay Venture at many events

BROWN OWL DUNKIRK2015 - 2.jpg

BROWN OWL

The ‘Brown Owl’ Class is possibly the most desirable of all the motor-yacht designs produced by Silvers and  Brown Owl  is no exception.

This class of boat with their lovely canoe stern epitomises the  style and distinction of the era. A firm favourite at the yard we restored and  maintain two of her sister ships Wairakei II and Islanda

Her present owner  keeps Brown Owl  on the  Thames at Teddington and she has regular maintenance with us  keeping her in impeccable condition each year.

“Having relied on Dennett’s for some eighteen years in looking after ‘Brown Owl‘ and, more recently, ‘Constance’, I have no hesitation in recommending them. I have witnessed their tireless quest for perfection and have always found them a joy to deal with, both on a personal level and in the quality of work they have performed on my boats.”

R . BALSON 

Brown Owls dedicated owner

 

C2C5F477-BB28-4302-B27C-BA93801F9768.jpe

JEFF

Motor Launch built 1923 by Mears of Richmond 

39ft 9in long Jeff is an open  passenger vessel and went to Dunkirk alongside he sister ship Mutt.

Jeff was out on our slipway in early 2020  in preparation for the Dunkirk Return 

SILVERQUEEN1.jpg

SILVER QUEEN

Passenger Launch 40ft built in 1926

 

2010 Fermain,  as she was then called,  change ownership and was returned to he original name of Silver Queen . She came to us for  some sympathetic alterations to make her more usable this included a discrete toilet, a new steering position  and a removable aft roof. 

PKDC78-2_edited.jpg

TAHILLA

Tahilla came into new ownership in 2015 and was brought to us for a refit, the owner like his predecessors  saw her as his forever boat and wanted to place his own stamp on her.

Built in 1922 by Thornycroft and is 60ft long.

Tahilla is simply an outstandingly beautiful vessel of immense style and distinction. Her refit took place in 2016 

Tahilla-181116-024.jpg
LAZY DAYS .jpg

LAZY DAYS 

Lazy Days, 34ft 2in,  is a beautiful craft built by Cliff & Jones of Castleford in 1930

We had the pleasure of having Lazy on our slip several times during 2017 and 2018 , works included some essential mechanical works with her rudder, a varnish, decorate and installation of a new shower area. 

AQUABELLE.jpg

AQUABELLE 

Built in 1939 by Osbourne of Littlehampton . 45ft.

In preparation for the 2020 Dunkirk Return Aquabell had installed two new Nanni Diesels 115hp

She is due out on the slip way in early Spring for a full hull decorate 

GV14_edited.jpg

GAY VENTURE

45FT motor yacht built  in 1938,  by Watercraft at Molsey she was  requisitioned for service early in 1940 and took part in the rescue of troops from Dunkirk.  She was released from duty in 1942. She is a regular sight on the Thames and at Dunkirk events 

Gay Venture is moored permanently  at our yard, she arrived in 2004 a complete wreck under the  ownership of a Miss Heather Dinler. She took part in the 2005 return and by the 2010 return, Stephen Dennett  and Heather were married and now have three sons and maybe the next generation of Dennett Boat Builders.

Gay Venture is not only a boat of historical importance she is a vessel that has strong personal connections for those that have sailed upon her. 

GV15.jpg
F9013C3A-8EE6-4CA9-B2BB-B20C707BBEA0.jpe

LADY GAY 

superb DLS built in 1934 by E G King and Son , Westcliffe- on- Sea. She is 36ft 2in and graced our slipway back in 2012 to 2015 and during that time received an interior refit, exterior decorate and and was re engined. 

It is with great sadness that Lady Gay perished in a fire on the 3rd May 2021 . Our thoughts remain with her owners in a loss of their wonderful Little Ship

Board.jpg
393BDDDD-4F0F-4D16-93FA-D2E28ACDC4F2.jpe

JOCKETTE

Built in 1938 by Watercraft of Molesey. 30ft 3in 

Built for Judge Adam Parlington, enjoyed two summers on her prior to her call to Dunkirk. Judge Partington, a generous man, took good care to stock her with beer and provisions and despatched her to Ramsgate to hand her over to the Navy

One of the last vessels to leave the beaches she was towed back by the Navy.

Jockette is one of the founder member  boats and has remained in the same family since 1964. Over the yeas she has been a familiar sight on our slipway.

JANTHEA.jpg

JANTHEA

45FT Motor yacht built in 1938, Janthea has been a dedicated customer of ours for over 30 years and we continue to care for this beautiful DLS as it has been passed down through the family from Father to Son. 

She has an impressive Dunkirk  history and is documented as a very brave little ship after several machine gun attacks she continued to persevere to tow whalers full of troops to off-lying ships and on two occasions brought home to Ramsgate a boat load of soldiers. 

JANTHEA 2.jpg