Anne

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
Anne
Boat Type: 
Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 
30 ft
Boat Beam: 
8 ft 11 ins
Boat Draft: 
3 ft 3 ins
Boat Displacement: 
Not known
Boat Engine: 
2 x Ailsa Craig Petrol/Paraffin
Boat Construction: 
Carvel, pine on oak
Boat Builder: 
Frank Curtis, Cornwall
Boat Year: 
1925

When she was built by Frank Curtis in Cornwall in 1925, the Anne was sloop-rigged, of carvel construction, planked in pine on oak. She still has her two Ailsa Craig petrol/TVO engines driving her two propellers. Her draught is only 3ft 3ins so she could not have done very well under sail unless she had some sort of centre-board.

At the time of Dunkirk, the Anne belonged to Mr. P.J. Darby and before the war end belonged to a Dr. McCracken. As in so many histories of Dunkirk Little Ships, her precise war-time service has not been recorded, but her name appears in all the official records.

In January 1970, she was being lifted out of the water from Bristol Docks for her present owner, Mr. H.W. Bambridge of Winterbourne, near Bristol, when a mishap with a crane dropped her into the water, but the damage was restricted to sea water getting in her wiring and engines. Since then, Mr. Bambridge has had the Anne in his garden and has spent an almost unbelievable amount of time, money and effort in restoring her. When he stripped off the deck, he found 75% of the old ribs and some of the exterior planking were rotten and had to be replaced. She is a fortunate ship in having found a latter-day owner with such enthusiasm and skill.

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ANNE Dunkirk Little Ship

ANNE is powered by the last-known pair of Ailsa Craig LB4 petrol engines. The gravity-fed petrol motors were built at Chiswick in 1931, when the Ailsa Craig firm held a royal warrant from King George V. In 2010 the engines powered the boat from Ramsgate to Dunkirk for the 70th anniversary reunion of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, making ANNE the only ‘little ship’ to return to Dunkirk in 2010 on her original engines. After a refit in Cheshire by Paul Gilling she was bought by Kes Travers to undergo a major overhaul through the winter of 2009-10 at the workshops of the Spirit of Dunkirk Limited in Burnhouses, Berwickshire. Great care was taken to retain the original items and features of a 1925 gentleman’s motor yacht. A team of shipwrights, including Farquhar Mackenzie, 70, and Dominic Bunting, 25, fitted a new grown oak stem post, discovered by Kes Travers in a Devon boatyard. The post-war wheelhouse and interior were replaced according to pre-war practice in traditional materials including English elm panelling in the saloon. A Scottish expert on pre-war Bentley ignition systems overhauled the Ailsa Craig electrical systems. The Spirit of Dunkirk team relaunched ANNE at Ramsgate in May 2010 with a seven minute aerobatic display and a dipped wing salute from a Second World War Harvard aircraft. She is now berthed in Chichester.