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50ft Thornycroft – Dunkirk Little Ship ‘White Marlin’ with Teddington mooring



Length: 50ft
Beam: 11ft 9ins
Draft: 3ft 9ins
Displacement: 15 tons
Engine: 2 x Cummings 6B

Construction: Double skinned with diagonal inner carvel outer, Teak on Elm.  Copper sheathed from boot top since built.

Builder: Thornycroft
Year: 1938/9

Forward section.  

Twin Bunks with portholes and storage underneath

Saloon and Galley

Storage cupboard,  Gas Hob and Oven, Fridge,  Sink with draining board and  more storage.   Table and bench seating for 4 comfortably.

Shower and WC (sea toilet)


Up steps to the helm (engine room below) with captains seat and 4 comfortable sofa/bench style seating.  open cockpit with cover for bad weather.

Rear Cabin

Down steps to main cabin and 2nd shower and WC (to black tank) double bed with plenty of storage.

Large windows throughout create a bright interior to this historic vessel and ample space inside.

Mooring information

White Marlin is sold with the possibility of retaining her desirable Teddington Lock Mooring subject to approvals by mooring owner


The Armenian sugar broker who ordered White Marlin from Thornycroft’s never even took delivery of her. As she was completed at Hampton on Thames in 1939, right on the eve of World War II, she was handed over instead to the Ministry of War Transport at Dover. The Royal Navy called her HMS Fervent and assigned her as the communications boat for the Officer Commanding convoys in the area.

During the evacuation she was the launch of the Senior Naval 0fficer at Dunkirk, under the command of Lieut. Cdr. W.R.T. Clemments. She numbered among her crew Douglas Kirkaldie, the coxswain of the Ramsgate lifeboat Prudential who was mentioned in despatches. And, she was one of the last naval vessels to leave Dunkirk harbour.

Back in England at Folkestone, she was copper–sheathed, had rubbing strakes added and was taken to Archangel where she helped with the convoys to Russia. Badly damaged on the port bow, Fervent was sent home, patched up and kept at Dover until she sank at Strood in Kent while at the Small Crafts Disposal Unit. There she was found by Col. F. A. Sudbury, of Tate & Lyle. He got Thornycroft’s to survey her, take her back to Hampton on a barge and restore her completely. Although his personal boat, she rapidly became the company’s communications launch, taking visitors from Tower Pier in London down to the Albert Dock refineries. Col. Sudbury had her superstructure rebuilt and he took White Marlin to Henley Regatta fifteen years in succession. Her current owner has undertaken a complete restoration to her original form with an open centre cockpit.

In this sale we are acting as Brokers only; whilst every care has been taken in their preparation, the correctness of these particulars is not guaranteed nor is the history of the vessel. The particulars are intended only as a guide and they do not constitute a term of any contract. A prospective buyer is strongly advised to check the particulars and where appropriate at his own expense to employ a qualified Marine Surveyor to carry out a survey and/or to have an engine trial conducted which, if conducted by us, shall not imply any liability on our part.


White Marlin leads a Visit to Dunkirk

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