Previous names

  • 2016 Rake's Retreat
  • 1934 - 1949 Estrellita
  • 1949 Little Star
  • 2016 Estrallita (with an A not an E)
Certificate no 1822
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Somer Leyton
Vessel type Motor Yacht
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Thornycroft, J I & Co Ltd, Hampton
Built in 1934
Hull material Wood
Rig Unknown
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
10.10 feet (3.08 m)
3.75 feet (1.14 m)
Length: Overall
48.00 feet (14.64 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


Rakes Retreat is a gentleman’s yacht with an official number 163450 registered in the Port of London. She was built by John I Thornycroft at Hampton-on-Thames in 1934 with a yard number of 2280. She was launched as a 40ft vessel but was lengthened in 1935 by a canoe stern extending her to 48ft overall. Originally named Estrellita she retained this name from launch in 1934 to 1949 when her name changed to Little Star. Rakes Retreat is carvel built of pitch pine on steamed oak frames fastened with copper nails. She has a pointed bow with plumb curved stem and a canoe stern. She is ketch rigged with Bermudan sails on her two timber masts.

Rakes Retreat under her original name of Estrellita had a commendable wartime service.

In September 1939 the register shows that she was berthed at Salterns Quay Poole Harbor. She was being used then as a live aboard by her then owner Lewis Clayton. On the 15th May 1940 the Senior Naval Officer in charge at Poole Harbor Commander Cosmo Hastings ordered all owners of small craft and pleasure craft to register with him. On 28th May 1940 all the owners were summoned to him and were told to have a good meal refuel their boats and report back to join him for a mission. An hour later 15 trawlers, 18 Dutch Schultz's, 4 Ferry Boats and 6 Motor yachts which included Estrellita and the Poole Lifeboat were told they were sailing to Dover. The vessels were to take part in the evacuation of the BEF from the beaches of Dunkirk. Twenty six hours later arriving at Dover Estrellita was manned by RNR ratings.

Admiralty records show that with effect from 1st June 1940 her then owner Lewis Clayton was paid £2.10s per month for the duration. On her return from Dunkirk she was deployed as a Harbor Patrol vessel. During the recent restoration by her current owner the re-enforced base plate for the focsle mounted Vickers Machine Gun was discovered and the original Admiralty Issue Binnacle “Old Faithful” was also discovered and been reinstated.

From 1959 to 1964 she was owned by TV personality Hughie Green, who lived on board at Teddington while filming Opportunity Knocks at Thames Television Studio. 

Rakes Retreat has now undergone an extensive renovation back to her original design.  Fitted with 45hp four cylinder Perkins 4107 Diesel Engines quarter mounted105hp Perkins 6354 Diesel Engine centreline, and has been re-named and registered ESTRALLITA.

Key dates

  • 1934

    Built by John I Thornycroft at Hampton-on-Thames  with a yard number of 2280.

  • 1940

    Commissioned by the Royal Navy

  • 1949

    Re-named Little Star.

  • 2016

    Restored by present owner and renamed ESTRALLITA (with an A not an E). 

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