Fairwind

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
Fairwind
Boat Type: 
Motor Cruiser
Boat Length: 
48ft 6ins
Boat Beam: 
11ft 2ins
Boat Draft: 
3ft 2ins
Boat Displacement: 
15 tons GRT
Boat Engine: 
2 x Perkins 6cyl Diesels
Boat Construction: 
Carvel
Boat Builder: 
Enterprise Small Craft, Rock Ferry
Boat Year: 
1937

The story of Fairwind is very similar to that of many Dunkirk Little Ships. Built in 1937 by Enterprise Small Craft at Rock Ferry, she was a fairly new, comfortable motor cruiser when she went to Dunkirk in 1940.

There is no doubt that she was one of the Little Ships; her name appears in the Ministry of War Transport List, in both of David Divine's contemporary histories of the evacuation and in the Dunkirk Veterans' List. Since she is not in the list of boats collected by Tough Brothers of Teddington, she may not have come from the Thames. When she was requisitioned she belonged to Major C.H. Hutton, who lived at Fig Tree Court, The Temple, London SE4. No one recorded her exact deeds in Operation Dynamo. Nor do we know what became of her when her war service ended.

Some time after the war she was re-named Tranquil Dawn and her 3-cylinder Russell Newbury engines were replaced with twin 6-cyl. Perkins units but, through neglect by a number of successive owners, she gradually deteriorated until a Frenchman, Richard Quenoy, bought her for what he subsequently discovered was an excessive price. But he rose to the challenge, left his job and went about restoring the old-timer. He could not afford traditional materials, so he strengthened the ribs and decking and sheathed her in fibreglass. She may no longer be fit to cross the Channel, but he has moored her at Joinville, on the river Marne, East of Paris where he lives on board and intends to enjoy her on the rivers and canals of France for many years to come.

He joined the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and flew the Cross of St. George defaced with the Arms of Dunkirk at his masthead with pride. A slight misunderstanding led him to believe that he was also entitled to the Victoria Cross! But instead he shares with all authentic Dunkirk veterans, the privilege to display in Fairwind's cockpit, a simple brass plaque engraved with the words: 'DUNKIRK 1940', - recognition enough for any ship to be proud of.

Source: 2, 3, 4, 5 & 19

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