Margo II

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
Margo II
Boat Type: 
Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 
Boat Beam: 
Boat Draft: 
3ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 
7.30 tons
Boat Engine: 
2 x 1.6L Diesels
Boat Construction: 
Carvel, pitch pine on oak
Boat Builder: 
Royal Boatbuilding Co, Poole
Boat Year: 

When we came to look into the part Margo II played at Dunkirk, we could not find her name in the official records, but then we saw a letter written to the Association by a yacht builder on the south coast who remembered her setting out at the time of Dunkirk, although no precise log was kept of her movements. She was once owned by Walter Young, the inventor of 'Young's Course Corrector', who installed in her the compass from the Wellington Bomber who's crew he rescued from the North Sea. He bought Margo II from a Harley Street physician together with a chest of Irish linen, hand-embroidered with the name Margo II.

After he sold her, she fell into the hands of a company which encountered hard times. His son, Richard Young was able to buy back Margo from the Official Receiver in 1971. Though he sold her fifteen years before, he clearly still has a soft spot for the Little Ship. He remembers the remarkable fact that every one of her hull planks ran, unbroken, the whole length of the ship and, although she had no main frames, she was uncommonly strong. Her pitch pine was of the kind used in the decks of the old Thames sailing barges, matured in water for up to 40 years before it was used.

Her next owner, from 1974, was Terry Holdaway, who kept her on the Thames at Putney in winter and cruised all over Europe in summer from her moorings at Rochester in Kent. He estimates that he made 30 trips to the Continent and once reached Putney from Calais in 91/2 hours. In 1976, off Broadstairs, they rescued the crew of Tamaroa II, a converted ship's lifeboat, but were unable to save the sinking ship.

Margo II was extensively restored by Geoffrey and Duncan Prater in 1997, in preparation for the 2000 Return to Dunkirk. The restoration included replacing the transom, stem, 80% of the hull frames including one beam shelf, 40% of the planking and a complete new deck including beams etc. She has been re-caulked and is back in the water with reconditioned Diesel engines and gear-boxes, shafts and props. A new wheelhouse is yet to fitted. As Duncan says -'It shows how far we're prepared to go in order to preserve these old boats!'

In 2008 Margo II was acquired by Dennis McMullen who supported many events including the Veterans Cruise. After Dennis passed away in 2013 she was purchased by the Secretary of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships who is completing an extensive refit.

Updated from the 2017 editions of 'ADLS. Fleet News'.....
Following an eighteen month refit, Margo II was relaunched in May 2016 a couple of weeks prior to the Ramsgate Commemorative Cruise. She then attended all other ADLS events that (and this) year and also enjoyed a three week cruise to Holland with Riis 1 and Hilfranor in 2016.
For Margo II her future seems assured - despite her skippers regular trips to A+E (and dips in the river).
Currently moored at Datchet on the Thames.

Source: 7

Updated: April 2018.


Great Grandfather

It was my Great Grandfathers boat before Dunkirk. My father and I went over to Dunkirk to see it a few years ago. It is named after my Grandmother.

All the best

Julian Roger

Margo II

Margo II is now owned by Mr Dennis McMullen and is moored at Limehouse. She will be joining the other Little Ships to Dunkirk in May 2010.