Type: Motor Yacht
Draft: 4ft 9ins
Displacement: 17.82 tons
Engine: 2 x 6cyl Perkins 6-354
Construction: Carvel, teak
Builder: C H Fox & Son, Ipswich
Fedalma II was built in 1936 for a Mr. Claud Scrutton of Thorpe Bay in Essex, at the Suffolk yard of C.H. Fox & Son with the intention of keeping her at Burnham on Crouch. He must have appreciated the craftmanship of the yard because his first Fedalma, a 35ft motor yacht, was built there in 1931.
Fedalma II is a roomy 47-footer, originally schooner rigged, carrying 375 sq. ft. of sail. She was changed to a ketch rig in the late 1940’s and then changed again in the early 1990’s to a single mast, which carries no sail, ahead of the wheelhouse.
She is a handsome boat, with a great expanse of varnished teak both above and below decks and her interior remains remarkably similar to the photographs taken of her in 1936. The major change has been the installation of 2 Perkins P6-354 Diesels which give her a comfortable cruising speed of 10kts using about 4 gallons (18litres) an hour. Claud Scrutton employed a full-time skipper but the crew quarters, forward of the galley, no longer exist. Externally, apart from the change to the rig, she has had an outside steering position fitted together with a comfortable seating area for 6-8 people on the aft deck.
Claud Scrutton recalled how he and his skipper, Dick Cook, were on the boat at Burnham-on-Crouch when war broke out and decided to take off her stores in case she should get bombed. A few days later she was requisitioned and after Dunkirk, taken into the Armed Patrol Service. Reportedly Claud, who died during the war, had his ashes taken down river and committed to the sea from her. No more is known about her involvement - her 4ft 9ins draft made her unsuitable for lifting troops direct from the beaches - but she is specifically named as a participant in David Divine's book, The Nine Days of Dunkirk.
A Mr Stanley Olsen purchased her from the Admiralty in 1947 and changed her name - this was probably when her rig was changed to ketch. After Stanley Olsen sold her in 1952 - the registered owners were the Medway Buildings and Supply Co. - she passed through three more owners and by 1967 was on the River Clyde in Scotland.
From there (the log of the journey is still on board) she made her way down the West Coast to Poole in Dorset, across the English Channel to Le Havre in France, up the River Seine to Paris and eventually down the Rhone to the Mediterranean. The journey took a month in spite of some very long days cruising. An extract from the log of 23rd June 1967 reads – “Slipped lock 90 at 0530; tied alongside Montbard 2000; Temp 110 degrees F. Met Mr and Mrs Letts on same journey to Malta”. At this time the River Rhone had not been ‘tamed’ and a pilot was needed. From Marseilles in July 1967 until August 1969 the log reports her progress around the Mediterranean, ending up in Malta.
The late John Knight, who at that time was the official Archivist of the Association, founder member and past Commodore, was on holiday in Malta in 1975 and whilst there visited Charlmaine, also a member of the A.D.L.S. The owner gave him the news that she was lying in Valetta harbour. Always delighted to rediscover more veterans and enrol them, John went to have a look, fell in love with her and decided to buy her, even though it meant parting with Elizabeth Green, also a Dunkirk Little Ship, which he had owned for may years. The Knights then spent several more holidays preparing Fedalma (they changed the name back soon after purchase) for the 1200-mile journey back to England. In 1977 they got as far as Port St. Louis on the Rhone and completed the voyage through the French canals in 1978, -finishing the last 500 miles on one engine. (Some things never change - this summer (1999) on the cruise from London to Paris, the stretch from Rouen to Paris had to be made on one engine!).