Registration number 244
Status Archived


Function Fighting Vessel
Subfunction Tender
Location Bideford
Vessel type Tender
Archive reason More information required
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Dunston, Richard, Thorne
Built in 1934
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
19.67 feet (6.00m)
6.98 feet (2.13m)
Length: Overall
85.25 feet (26.00m)
Tonnage: Gross


Built in 1934 by Richard Dunston Ltd, Thorne, for the Admiralty, JOHN ADAMS was named after a Secretary of State for Ireland. She was a motor cargo vessel and was used as a tender at the Royal Dockyard, Haulbowline, Ireland.

On 11 December 1938, she was handed over to the Irish Government at Cobh to continue in service at Haulbowline dockyard, and remained in use there until 1987.

The vessel is now at Bideford, Devon, where a restoration programme had been started at Peter Herbert. Her original engine was a six-cylinder diesel (by Mirrlees, Bickerton & Day, 125bhp, speed 8 knots); she now has a larger diesel engine (built in 1975, and probably fitted then).

Source: Paul Brown, Historic Ships The Survivors (Amberley, 2010), updated Mar 2011.

Key dates

  • 1934

    Built by Richard Dunston of Thorne for the Admiralty and based at Haulbowline, Ireland

  • 1938

    Handed over to the Irish Government at Cobh

  • 1988

    Bought by a private owner and based at Bideford

  • 2011

    Restoration programme started at Peter Herbert


Classic Boat: Classic Boat Register of Endangered Boats

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