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MATOYA: Pro Gallery


Type:  Motor Yacht
Length:  50ft
Beam:  12ft 3ins
Draft:  4ft
Displacement:  26 tons
Engine:  2 x 40/52hp Diesel
Construction:  Carvel, larch on oak
Builder:  J Husk & Son, Wivenhoe
Year:  1930

Designed by A.M. Coulson and built by J. Husk & Son, Wivenhoe, Matoya was on the upper Thames when Douglas Tough's watermen collected her for service at Dunkirk. Their record shows a crew of three, J. Jameson, L. Milson and A. Crump - presumably civilians, but no log survives of her exploits during the evacuation. She continued in war service on yacht patrol and was damaged while putting the crew aboard a drifter, which then struck a mine and blew up. The Matoya lost her propellers, her rudder and part of her keel. She was next heard of as an auxiliary fire float on the Thames.

After the war and almost derelict in Ramsgate harbour, a Mr. and Mrs. Dinniwiddie bought and rebuilt her, inside and out. In order to rebuild her transom while she was afloat, they moved two tons of ballast into her forepeak so that, duck-like, she raised her stern out of the water to be worked on.

Matoya had two more owners before Bill Finch, a dedicated member of the ADLS and former owner of Ryegate II, took charge of her and got her ready to join the 1985 return to Dunkirk. Then, in 1988 they had another setback when Matoya, on passage to Ostend, at the start of a trip through the Dutch canals, struck a submerged object and her seams opened up. The Dover lifeboat came to the rescue.

This vessel is one featured individually on a series of stamps called 'Little Ships of Dunkirk'. These were issued in Palau in 2015 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation Dynamo.

MATOYA: Project
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