VIGILANT was built in 1901 by Cox & Company, Falmouth, for the Commissioners of HM Customs as a customs cutter. She is the sole surviving vessel from the 1911 Spithead Review and was converted to a private yacht in 1920. She later became a houseboat based at Shoreham. Subsequently, her condition deteriorated and she was later found in the yard of Pound's Marine Shipping Ltd, at Portsmouth. VIGILANT was purchased by The Vigilant Trust in 1992.
In July 2007, she was towed to Faversham where she was berthed pending plans for her continuing conservation and in January 2008, she was being prepared for a move to a parcel of land within the port where she will undergo restoration. Update Feb 2020: VIGILANT currently at Chatham Docks, is being prepared for the short tow to Maldon, Essex, where it is proposed a full restoration to steaming condition will take place. A new plywood temporary deck has been made and the Medway Maritime Trust are awaiting the recommendations of the surveyor for temporary hull repairs in order to get insurance for the tow and approval from Port of London Authority to cross the Thames estuary.
We are currently seeking further information on this National Historic Fleet vessel. If you have any details about this vessel past or present, please contact us.
Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp180, Edition 2, 1993
PR Magazine: Woods International Yacht Register, 1993
Hewer, David, Sea History The Return of HM Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, pp47, Spring Volume 65, 1993
Built by Cox & Co. of Falmouth for the Commissioners of Customs
Took part in the Spithead Review and is now the last surviving vessel from this Review
Sold out of service and converted to a yacht. Later, became a houseboat at Shoreham
Found deteriorating at Pounds Yard, Portsmouth and bought by the Vigilant Trust
Towed to Faversham for restoration
The National Heritage Memorial Fund awarded £50,000 for restoration works
A grant was awarded to the grant for £20,000 from the PRISM Fund
April 2007 - March 2008
A Sustainability Grant of £3000 for the costs of legal advice was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships
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