Type: Motor Yacht
Beam: 11ft 3ins
Draft: 3ft 6ins
Displacement: 20 tons
Engine: 2 x Ford 1.6L 60hpDiesels
Construction: Mahogany on oak, teak superstructure
Builder: Thornycroft, Hampton-on-Thames
'Mimosa' was requisitioned along with many other pleasure boats in 1940 for 'Operation Dynamo' and, after being provisioned and fuelled at Dover, left under the command of Lieutenant Commander Dixon for three trips to the beaches off Dunkirk. It was to be 57 years before her Dunkirk history was revealed after careful research by her present owners, Colin Messer and Jane Percival who felt that she had a 'history'.
Immediately after Dunkirk 'Mimosa' was chartered (for £21 per month) as an Auxiliary Patrol Vessel and had a name change to 'Ocelot', thereby hiding her contribution to the evacuation. The name 'Ocelot' remained with her when she finished war service and was retained when registered for the first time in 1951, 16 years after she was completed at Thornycroft's yard at Hampton-on-Thames. She was one of four identical hulls completed there, two returned from Dunkirk whilst the other two did not survive the war years.
In 1996, Colin and Jane became the fourteenth registered owners in the last 45 years. Her previous owner had completed a thorough restoration of the hull and had started fitting out the interior. Colin, who is a boatbuilder by trade, rebuilt the wheelhouse to reflect the original design, rebuilt the skylights in teak, re caulked the iroko decks, and installed new systems and engines.
Restoration was about two-thirds complete by 1999 with, according to Jane, about another 1,000 hours of work in evenings, weekends and holidays to finish the interior. 'Ocelot' subsequently reverted to her original name of 'Mimosa' and in 1999 cruised in company with other Dunkirk Little Ships in preparation for her return to Dunkirk in June 2000 on the Diamond Anniversary of the Evacuation.
Mimosa completed the 2015 Dunkirk return under the care of new owners.
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.
She has made several recent (illuminating) appearances in the Thames Traditional Boat Festival at Henley and also featured in the Dunkirk (2017) film.
Now moored in Bristol, Mimosa continues to be an active member of the ADLS.
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 20:21
Mimosa has changed hands recently but will be staying on her mooring in Windsor until the new owner takes her to his home port, Bristol Docks, which ironically is where I grew up & where all my family live!
She probably looks as good as she's ever looked this year, as she's received a huge amount of attention for the Queen's Jubilee Pageant & the maintenance is ongoing.
We'll miss her terribly but can look back on our restoration of this beautiful yacht with pride and safe in the knowledge that her new owner is equally passionate about classic yachts and the Dunkirk Little Ships.
We will continue our association and passion for restoration in the shape of Motor Yacht Tarifa, which belongs to Colin's parents and is in need of restoration to her former glory.
Like the majority of Classic Yacht owners, we consider ourselves very fortunate to have come across Mimosa and the pleasure that she has given us and our guests onboard over the last 16 years.
Jane Percival & Colin Messer
Classic Restoration Services
Mimosa ex Ocelot ex Mimosa
My father, George Johnston bought Ocelot in Burnham on Crouch in 1955. Peter Howard delivered her to her new home on the Clyde where the petrol paraffin Thorneycroft engines were replaced. She was fully restored, and my family spent many years cruising the islands of the west of Scotland. She had a paid hand who kept her in immaculate condition. It is lovely to know that she is still to the fore. Alan Johnston.
Wed, 28/07/2010 - 22:00
My Great grandfather originally owned this boat. My grandparents still have the original bell which they removed from the boat before she was requisitioned for the Dunkirk evacuation. Where is it based now?
Mon, 02/08/2010 - 00:31 — Papillon
Please contact for further details about Mimosa's whereabouts.
Regards, Website Administrator.
Mon, 07/12/2009 - 21:33
just to say mimosa has now been fitted with her new Isuzu diesel engines and will finish her re-fit ready for Dunkirk 2010.
Tue, 25/05/2010 - 21:22
The Beauty of Mimosa
Having had the pleasure of spending time on Mimosa, the history she represents is truly overwhelming, as well as the true care and dedication that is clear throughout this precious gem of the water. The work that has gone on for her preparation for Dunkirk 2010 has been something else again. The present owners should be very proud.
Sat, 03/07/2010 - 14:18
Have just seen her pass through Boulter's lock at Maidenhead. She looks to be in perfect condition and is a tribute to her past - I almost wanted to salute her as she sailed past.
Congratulations to her owners