Certificate no 516
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location Chelsea
Vessel type Motor Yacht
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions No
Info required Yes
Web address www.classic-yacht-charters.com


Builder Thornycroft, J I & Co Ltd, Hampton
Built in 1935
Hull material Wood
Rig Unknown
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
11.28 feet (3.44 m)
4.59 feet (1.40 m)
Length: Overall
47.97 feet (14.63 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


ABERDONIA is a motor yacht, built in 1935 by Thornycroft at Port Hampton. Her hull is carvel built of Burma teak and her engines are twin Ford diesels. Between 1940 and 1946 she was requisitioned by the Navy and renamed NAVIGATOR. She took part in the Dunkirk evacuation and is thought to have made four trips to the Dunkirk beaches. She continued her war work as a patrol boat, working with minesweepers and taking sealed orders to waiting convoys. She was narrowly missed when a German bomber attempted to crash into the ships as he went down into the sea. Wreckage hit the starboard side, and 30 years later, her owner found scorched timbers during restoration. She has been in private ownership since 1946 and is now used for private charters out of Chelsea harbour.


Christian Brann, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990 (1989) pub: Collectors Books Ltd
Dan Houston, Classic Boat (August Volume 146, 2000, pp36-40) St George's Crossing

Key dates

  • 1935 Built as Gentlemans Yacht by Thornycroft at Port Hampton
  • 1940/1946 Commandeered by Royal Navy and renamed NAVIGATOR. Took part in Dunkirk evacuation and later worked as a patrol boat
  • 1946 Reverted to private ownership. Used for charters out of Chelsea Harbour
  • 2012

    Vessel selected for  Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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