Registration number 413
Status Registered

Previous names

  • 1932 - 1940 Bluebird
  • 1932 - 1933 Frebelle III


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Greenock
Vessel type Motor Yacht
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes


Builder Miller, James N & Son Ltd, St Monans
Built in 1932
Hull material Wood
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
15.97 feet (4.87m)
6.50 feet (1.98m)
Length: Overall
73.00 feet (22.27m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
36.09 feet (11.00m)


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.

Key dates

  • 1932

    Launched as Frebelle III

  • 1933

    Sold and renamed Bluebird

  • 1935

    Sold, uncertain of new name 

  • 1939

    Requisitioned by Admiralty 

  • 1940

    Commissioned at HM Echo sounding Yacht CHICO serving under Dover Command

  • 1940

    Ordered to Dunkirk on Operation Dynamo

  • 1946

    Returned to civilian ownership 

  • 1998

    Underwent major refit

  • 2011

    MCA coded for charter use


Brann, Christian, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990, Collectors Books Ltd, 1989

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