LAMOUETTE

Type:  Motor Yacht
Length:  45ft
Beam:  13ft
Draft:  4ft 6ins
Displacement:  19.68 tons
Engine:  1x BMC 6cyl. Diesel, 1x Petter 8hp wing engine
Construction:  Teak on teak
Builder:  The Admiralty
Year:  1937

Like so many old tars, most Dunkirk Little Ships have changed their occupations several times in their lives, as need and opportunities dictated. When Lamouette was launched in Portsmouth in 1936, as a naval pinnace built after the design of a Norwegian whaler, she served, rather grandly, as an Admiral's barge. She was then sold out of service in 1937 and registered in Lloyds as a yacht by her owners R.S. Wayland and H.R.P. Drane, both of Southsea. She then found her way in 1939 to the Thames. So, at the time of Dunkirk, she was still in her prime. She was one of the little fleet assembled on the Thames by Douglas Tough at Teddington. From his hand-written records of the time, Bob Tough his son, could see that Lamouette came back without her dinghy, which was replaced at a cost of £8.10s.


When her pre-war owners did not reclaim her after 1946, she was bought for £201 by Marshall Hayes, an engineer, who used her as a home for his wife Grace and their daughter when his work caused him to move to the South of England. They lived on board while they overhauled her and on their journey South, experienced some engine trouble while in Norfolk. They so loved the area that they spent their subsequent winters there. In summer they cruised the South coast, with excursions across the channel to Calais and to the Mediterranean. She was a comfortable home with calor gas lighting and an anthracite stove for the winter.


Ian Rennie, a builder, owned her since 1964. He was demolishing some houses in Plaistow, in the 1970s, when he discovered that one of them had belonged to the man who sailed Lamouette across to Dunkirk in 1940. The records showed that her crew at Dunkirk included Hugh Knowles of Great Bookham, G.H. Minton of Twickenham and L. Gates. Despite appeals in the press and radio no contact was made with any of them.


Following early retirement in 1986, Ian and Daphne Rennie took Lamouette to Spain, returning to the UK for the 1990 Return. As a founder member of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, Lamouette has attended every Return to Dunkirk. Ian and Daphne spend all summer cruising and wherever possible promoting the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, and, also, the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust.


As of Spring 2018 she is still in Ramsgate Harbour, tucked up opposite the Sailors Church, and has recently changed hands once more.

Updated: April 2018.

 

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