- 1932 - 1940 Bluebird
- 1932 - 1933 Frebelle III
Built in 1932 by J. N. Miller & Son at St Monans for Frank Robinson Beavan of Newcastle, she was launched as Frebelle III. She was then sold to Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1933, the third of four motor yachts he was to own between the wars, each in turn called Blue Bird. Chico is built of pitch pine on oak frames with a copper sheathed bottom. She was fitted originally with Gleniffer engines, but these were changed for Gardners in 1998 during an extensive refit.
She was requisitioned for war service in 1939, fitted with echo sounding gear at Camper & Nicholson, Gosport and renamed Chico. She took part in the evacuation of troops from Calais and Dunkirk. In 1943 she was paid off and the engines were overhauled for a new assignment at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and in 1943 she was transferred to the Medway Mine Watching Patrol at Chatham. She was laid up in Mears Yard in 1945 and disposed of in 1946.
After the war she had a number of civilian owners, some of whom used her as a charter yacht. In the 1970s she was chartered by Marconi and sailed to Russia and various European capitals to display Marconi's latest radio and navigation products. After this she was based in the Bristol Docks. She is now in the West of Scotland, again as a charter vessel, for cruises around the west coast.
Brann, Christian, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990, Collectors Books Ltd, 1989
Launched as Frebelle III
Sold and renamed Bluebird
Sold, uncertain of new name
Requisitioned by Admiralty
Commissioned at HM Echo sounding Yacht CHICO serving under Dover Command
Ordered to Dunkirk on Operation Dynamo
Returned to civilian ownership
Underwent major refit
MCA coded for charter use
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