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RANIA: Pro Gallery


1940 Zelia
Type:  Motor Yacht
Length:  45ft
Beam:  10ft 3ins
Draft:  3ft 9ins
Displacement:  13 tons
Engine:  2x Diesel
Construction:  Carvel, pitch pine on oak
Builder:  Rampart, Southampton
Year:  1937

Rania was built by Rampart Boat Building Works in Southampton who, during the years before the war, acquired an enviable reputation for well built traditional gentlemen's motor yachts, scores of which are still sound fifty years later. These boats were primarily intended for Channel crossings and cruising the extensive European inland waterways. Constructed in pitch pine over oak frames, the interior and wheelhouse of Rania are finished in finest mahogany.

She was built in 1938 for a Mr. McLoughlin who named her Zelia. With her length of 45ft and a l0ft 6in beam, she is a comfortable boat. She has a raked transom and a semi-clipper stern and is now powered by two Diesel engines. Originally, she had two 6 cylinder Morris petrol engines which gave her a speed of 9.5 knots.

In 1939 Zelia was collected from Rampart Boat Building Works not by her intended owner, but by the Royal Navy who had need of her on H.M. service and re-named her Rania.

She became part of the Royal Navy's motley collection of hastily acquired civilian ships. They served as the 'mosquito navy', which performed a great variety of tasks, as patrol boats, communications vessels and transport for naval personnel who needed to move around on the rivers and estuaries of southern England.

Under Naval command, Rania took part in the Evacuation of Dunkirk, but no details are recorded. After the war Rania had four civilian owners in forty years. The 1989 owner, Ian Davidson, spent two years restoring the boat, re-named her Arkian (Ian's ark).

Ian passed Arkian to the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust who subsequently passed her on to Simon Jones, the owner of Aureol. Simon has moved her to the north of England for complete restoration and plans to take her back to Dunkirk in 2015 - under her original name.

Updated: July 2015.

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