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FMB 43957 on Southampton Water for sea trials, after completion of restoration,
May 2009
Type: 25 ft Fast Motor Boats
Service: Royal Navy
Builders: 43957 - Staniland & Co.
441341 - Walton Yacht Co.
Year Built: 1944
Number Built: 509
Displacement: 2.4 Tons
Length: 25V2 ft
Beam: 7½ ft
Draught: 2¼ ft
Hull: African Mahogany
Engines: 1 x Perkins P6M 65hp engine
Max Speed: 12 - 14 knots

On the 7th May 2009, FMB43957 (Ark Royal) was delivered by road to the Historic Dockyard Portsmouth.

Brian Patterson of the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust was on hand to receive the boat from Richard Hellyer and David Ross.


The engines being installed
August 2004

The two 25ft Fast Motor Boats on display at Marchwood are of the standard Admiralty design which evolved from numerous types built by the well known boat builders pre-war. The Fast Motor Boat, used as a Captain's Boat, was first introduced to the Admiralty by British Power Boats early in 1935, when the first of this type, actually three of 24V2ft, were built for the HMS Enchantress, HMS Exmouth and C-in-C Fleet Portsmouth. Subsequently a series of craft, also by BPB Co, but of 25ft, were built for the "G" class destroyers.

Thereafter, Vosper, Thornycroft and Whites built numbers of 25ft FMBs all to their own designs. At the outbreak of WWII, these designs were built by other builders such as Brooke Marine, Aldous and others and like their predecessors all utilised petrol engines either of the Power Meadows or Vosper V8 types. Some of the earlier variants were carvel built, however by 1940 the standard Admiralty clinker hulled 25 ft FMB had evolved and was being built in great numbers by numerous builders. Boats from 1941 onwards were built with single Perkins P6M diesels; this type subsequently became the standard for most Admiralty FMBs. Dimensions, as listed in Admiralty documents, varied, - however those quoted are for FMB 441341.

The craft on display were of clinker construction to hard chine principle, utilising Mahogany for planking on oak frames. The craft were subdivided by mahogany or plywood bulkheads, deck planking was either of mahogany or teak. The cabins were built up of mahogany proofed ply or tongue and grooved. boarding. The 25ft FMB carried around 17 gallons of fuel, which at maximum speed of 12-14 knots gave the craft an endurance of 4 hours. The craft were rated to carry 18 men.

Standard 25ft FMB

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visitors since 15th February 2004