PNBPT Historic Boats
Other Boats History
What's New?
BMPT Archive

Terms and Conditions of use

Privacy Policy

What's New? - From the Yardarm

If you have any comments regarding this news section, or have any interesting items you would like us to know about, please email us

Previous Yardarm News : 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 (2009 - 2012) > 7 (2013 -2014)

Latest news Ark Royal & ST 1502             December 2012

These 2 boats are still well cared for and being used by PNBPT. Ark Royal returning, after disembarking the CO from HMS Daring, on his promotion. ST1502 with the PNBPT Board members, returning from a trip to Explosions Museum, which is also owned by the PNBPT.

Models from an expert

My hobby is Coastal Forces small craft and I am currently building 1/72nd scale model hulls in glass-fibre for some WWI and most WWII CF types over the coming months. The two scales have been chosen to match the most popular scales of the model kits currently available from the likes of Italeri, Revell and Airfix etc. so that modellers can add their favourites to their existing fleets of PTs, HSLs, MTBs, MAS and E-Boats. I have done; Fairmile B, Fairmile D, 72ft RN HDML and RAN 80ft version, Australian 80ft ambulance launch like Krawarree, USN WWI and WWII Subchasers, AMS/YMS/BYMS minesweeper, RN 80ft WWI Elco ML and USCG 83ft Wheeler. The list of wartime boats is very long and will include; all RN long and short MTBs and MGBs (at least 20 different boats), RN SGB, MLs, all 4 MFV's, 105ft MMS, all RAF HSLs, 56ft and 60ft RAF GSP, hopefully some RAF STs and RSLs, most RASC vessels (I still need plans for several), USN PTs, USAAF AVRs, also a German R-Boat and an FLB-V and the Australian Halvorsen 62ft fast supply launch. Post-war hulls will include; RAF Vosper RTTL, RAF 63ft GSP, RAF 96ft Krogerwerft D-Boat, RN Brave, Dark and Gay class FPBs, Ford class SDBs and Ham and Ton class minesweepers and also some foreign boats such as the Nasty Class PTF and German Jaguar and Schutze Classes. I have also already done a few in 1/35th scale; Fairmiles B & D and the 72ft HDML. I intend to continue this project over an extended period and I welcome requests to move any favourites to the front of the queue. My motivation is not financial but I need to cover costs for materials so prices start at 25.00 pounds plus postage. For more information, contact:
Christian Sheppard

Traditional Boatbuilding Skills Project in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard secures Heritage Lottery Fund support

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT) has received initial support for a £3.9m bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Boatbuilding & Heritage Skills Training Centre project, it was announced today. The project aims to ensure the ongoing preservation of traditional boatbuilding skills through the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Traditional Boatbuilding within Boathouse 4, an important building in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Development funding of £240,800 has also been awarded to help PNBPT progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Boathouse 4, an iconic building within the Historic Dockyard constructed during the massive 1930’s rearmament period, will be restored and opened to the public as the Boatbuilding & Heritage Skills Training Centre. Visitors will be able to watch traditional boatbuilding in action as well as enjoy fun, tactile and engaging exhibitions on the building and the fascinating story of small boats in the British Navy, including the display of several small craft from the Trust’s own collection. The Centre, based in the very boathouse used during World War 2 to construct the secret three man midget X-Craft submarine, will be the perfect setting for visitors to discover the astonishing history of small boats in the Navy, from Captain Bligh cast off the Bounty in a 23ft launch to the Cockleshell Heroes in their canoes.

The Centre will house a traditional boatbuilding Academy and will also offer many opportunities for people to get involved with our maritime heritage, including short courses and family weekend programmes, sessions with local schools and a volunteering scheme. Therefore, as well as securing the future of Boathouse 4, this project will help to create the next generation of craftsmen to preserve iconic ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. Graduates will leave the Academy with valuable carpentry and engineering skills, enabling them to develop careers in the broader heritage and marine sectors.

Peter Goodship, PNBPT Consultant Chief Executive said: “We are immensely grateful to have received this first-round pass for what we believe is a first-class project.  Not only will it increase the diversity of uses for the Historic Dockyard buildings, but it will also help us to engage further with the local community in Portsmouth and increase its sense of ownership of our boatbuilding heritage.”

Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: “We’re delighted to be giving our initial support for plans to restore and adapt Boathouse 4.  The project’s focus is very much on training and heritage skills - something that the Heritage Lottery Fund has been championing for a number of years.  Whilst this is just the beginning of the journey, we would like to applaud the Trust for its tenacity and commitment and look forward to liaising closely with them in the coming months."

PNBPT Newsletter October 2012

Click panel above to view

Latest news on MASB 27             October 2012

MASB 27 leaves her long time mud berth at Swanwick. She was towed to Premier Marinas lift out in Swanwick, Southampton, and lifted onto a road trailer for the trip to Watchet, Somerset. She will join the slowly increasing fleet of the Child's family, located in Watchet. Pictured here, Paul Childs, Owen and Simon.

Hyperion on the move  October 2012

Hyperion trailered up and en route from Swanick in Southampton, to the West country, and a new home. See history here

Latest news at PNBPT  October 2012

The photo below is the fleet afloat at PNBPT. Ark Royal is not here, but has been in the water as well recently.

Latest news on MT2800             September 2012

MT2800 saved in South Africa. After many years languishing in various back yards, MT2800 has finally been accepted by the South African Navy, and transferred to the Simonstown Dockyard, for restoration by Naval apprentice shipwrights.
See her history in "Other boat histories"

Latest news on Dragonfly             June 2012

FMD 5383 : Dragonfly emerges in France. We have had torrential showers over the last few days. I hooked up for the first time - miracle no: 1 the ball and hook are the same heights ! Then towed her out to photograph and get ready for the engine . . . . .took a couple of pics and the rain arrived, so she is back under cover till I can get a dry spell later.

Latest news on MGB 81
            May 2012

MGB 81 re launched in Portsmouth, after a hull and underwater paint job. Also whilst ashore, a complete service of her 2 engines was carried out. An electrical system has been installed, which will allow her batteries to be charged from a shore power source whilst along side. However, in the process of checking the bonding system, we discovered that the area around the p- brackets has become rotten. This is due to water ingress around the p-bracket holding bolts. The repair work will involve removing the p-brackets, and replacing the timberwork, possibly inclusive of the hull planking in the way of the p-brackets. In the meantime, of course, we cannot use her, for fear of the p-brackets coming away from the hull. We are in the process of starting up an appeal to raise £70,000.00 which will allow us to undertake these repairs, as well as have the centre engine removed and rebuilt.

More information will follow shortly, and any assistance which you may be able to offer will be gratefully received. Both 81 and 102 are berthed at Gunwharf Quays, and are available for visits, with 102 available for short power runs at sea, during the summer.

News on MGB 81.

MGB 81 has progressed completed the addition of her major armaments. The 2 pounder pom pom, which is a replica, is able to train and elevate. We have had a fitted cover made, which will hopefully help prevent rusting of the many metal parts. The 2 depth charges still need to be marked, and if needed could be released over the side. Next to be made are the 2 sets of twin Lewis guns, one for either side of the wheelhouse. A single Oerlikon mount is being sought, for aft of the  engine room entrance. A genuine Carley float has been found, thanks to one of the ex BMPT Members, and 2 life rings have been made up.

The boat is due for lift out during April, when the 2 propellers will be replaced with new ones. The 2 engines will be serviced, and we hope the boat will by then be able to travel at a good speed.

Book release - from Mandy Jekells

Last December my Greatt Great Grandad's memoirs were published 47 yrs after his death. Through all the Changing Scenes of Life, detailis William Jones' history that began in the 19th century and ended in 1965. In sharing his memories, William shares with us his unique insight into Naval life before and after the First World War. Detailed eye witness accounts of some of the great battles of WW1, with eye-opening details into life aboard-ship. War torn Gallipoli and the frozen wastes of Murmansk. Through all the Changing Scenes of Life is a truly human tale that is interesting on so many levels.

For anyone who enjoys personal memoirs of ordinary folk in extraordinary circumstances, this is a must. For people with an interest in war memories, Williams's eye-witness accounts of his life during WW1 and as a member of the Home Guard during WW2 are fascinating.

The books are priced at £14.99 + £5 p&p

Please contact: for more information

HSL102, one of two historic World War 2 rescue boats owned by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, is to be given a new lease of life with the installation of brand new engines. HSL102, a former air-sea rescue launch which saved the lives of many downed pilots during the Battle of Britain, was rescued for the nation in 2009 with the aid of a generous grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. With support from Gunwharf Quays Marina, PNBPT has carried out extensive work to enable her to be MCA coded for public use, but she now needs new engines. Mermaid Marine of Poole has offered the Trust a very competitively priced 'turnkey' solution for supplying and fitting the engines, refitting the boat's drive train, and other associated works. This will improve HSL102's reliability, fuel consumption and emissions, and hopefully guarantee her operational life for many years to come. Peter Goodship, Chief Executive of PNBPT, said 'In these challenging times it is never easy to commit large sums of money, especially when they are un-budgeted. However, HSL102 is a truly unique boat which we hold in trust for the nation. The Trustees wished to see her remain afloat and operational for the benefit, enjoyment and use of future generations'.

It is anticipated that HSL102 will re-enter service in the spring of next year. For further details contact Nick Hewitt, Head of Attractions and Collections at Portsmouth Naval Base property Trust 07718 158619

World War 2 war boat MGB81, the 'Spitfire of the Seas', enters an exciting new phase of restoration Rescued from obscurity as a derelict houseboat, MGB81 is one of a dwindling number of historic 'power boats which remain afloat and operational. Owner Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, generously funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and supported by Gunwharf Quays Marina, has now begun the restoration of her wartime appearance by fitting replica weapons and other essential equipment. Once this work is complete, MGB 81 will be restored to her World War 2 appearance when she supported the Normandy 'D-Day' landings in June 1944. MGB81 remains a powerful reminder of those challenging days but sadly cannot remain afloat and operational indefinitely. PNBPT's therefore intends to bring her seagoing career to an end on a high note. In 2014, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the Trust aims to take MGB81 on a tour of the former D-Day embarkation ports along the south coast of England, before travelling with a 'crew' of veterans to Normandy to take part in the anniversary commemorations. Afterwards, MGB81 will enter a new phase of her life, gracefully retiring to display ashore in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where she can be viewed by thousands of visitors every year. This historic vessel's last journey will be a major challenge and Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust will shortly be launching an appeal to fund

extensive work on her propulsion systems, hull and upperworks, to ensure she is a fitting tribute to all of those who sailed in Coastal Forces and other small craft during World War 2. For further details contact Nick Hewitt, Head of Attractions and Collections at Portsmouth Naval Base property Trust 07718 158619

Some fine photographs of 147 class boats of the 7th FTPB Squadron at Kiel, including P6097 "Puma". Also, a pack of 140 class boats on their last detachment, passing "Puma" at 45 knots, shortly before these boats were taken out of service. Photos sent in by Ralf Kroeling, who served on "Puma" as helmsman 1974/1975.

Our thanks to Ralf.

FMB 5004 starts to take shape at PNBPT again

FMD 5004 was the third of four craft built by Woodnutts, Isle of Wight.
Completed on the 26th April 1951.
Allocated to the Daring class destroyer D108, HMS Dainty.
HMS Dainty was built by J S White, launched 16th August 1950, and scrapped 1972.

MTB102 Trust Badge

Click here to read about FMB 5004 (1MB PDF)

MTB102 Trust Newsletter - Spring 2011

MTB102 Trust Badge

Click here to read the MTB102 Trust Spring 2011 Newsletter (3MB PDF)

Amazing WWII Aircraft Facts

This item is not powerboat by nature, but the facts are such, that I thought it relevant to the efforts made to rescue aircrew from the sea, by ASR and others.

Click here to read some Amazing WWII Aircraft Facts

Click here for further information >>>

The PNBPT Collection Afloat

The PNBPT collection afloat

News Release - Armed Forces Weekend

Saturday 25th - Sunday 26th June 2011

A weekend of FREE events in support of
British Armed Forces and Naval Heritage.

Click here for more information >>>

Above picture: credited to The News, Portsmouth.

HSL102 back on the water after an intensive 3 week maintenance session at Endeavor Quay, Gosport.

The engines have been repaired and serviced, the underwater hull repaired and antifouled, the hull polished and the deck and accommodation sanded down and painted.

She will be surveyed on the 25th March, for coding to carry fare paying passengers. If you are interested in sailing on her, please let us know. We exceeded 30knots on trials.

An urgent call for a good home...
         see HLD 3819 on boats for sale
-   click here

E-Boats in action, visit this fascinating site, "Filme" - Click here

The Evolution of the 20th Century Gunboat

The Society for nautical Research (South) is organising a conference on the above topic, at the Royal Naval Museum Portsmouth, on Saturday the 9th April 2011. Contact details on the brochure. All welcome. >> Click here <<

We are going to show the news letters from the Museum of the Royal Navy, covering the small boats which they actively operate, in Portsmouth.

Steam Pinnace 199 - Click here for
News Bulletin Christmas 2010

For many of us, these photographs will bring back many memories, and are the fulfilment of our old peoples BMPT dreams..!

On October the 10th, RASC Humber was returned to the water at the Newsons boatyard (owned by the MTB102 Trust) where she has been kept, in Lowestoft. Humber came to the BMPT Husbands Shipyard sheds in Marchwood, from the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth, where she was a static exhibit.

She was handed over to BMPT by the Army, and instated inside the big shed, where she was available for all to see and visit onboard. When the time came for our move out of Husbands Shipyard, with no home for her, she was kindly bought by one of our members Mr George Black, who promised that she would return to the water one day.

Mr Black has subsequently handed ownership of the boat over to the MTB102 Trust, of which Trust he is a Trustee. The boat floats very well, the few leaks fading away as the hull takes up.

The plan is to put the 2 Perkins engines with gearboxes attached, purchased from the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust 18 months ago, into the boat, in the near future. We will keep you updated as things happen, on this site. Visit the MTB102 website, see the bottom of the home page of this site.

The Southampton Boat show took place between the 10th and 19th September 2010. Both HSL102 as well as MGB81 were present, and here they are, on show. We were privileged to have 4 Veterans with us at the opening of the show, and many show visitors took the opportunity to come aboard both boats.

MGB 81 under way, using 2 engines, at the Southampton Boat show. The centre engine is unserviceable at this time.



Supersonic Car Joins Navy Days 2010 Line-Up!
          Click here for further information...

Click here for event advert on Navy Days 2010...
and Click here for further information on their website.

Navy Days 2010, 30 July - 1 August, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Armed Forces Day      

Saturday 26th June 2010

FREE EVENT in Victory Arena - Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Once again the National Museum of the Royal Navy, at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, is welcoming veterans of all ages to mark Armed Forces Day on the 26th June, only this year it will be bigger and better than ever!........

Click here for further details...

We receive many queries re historic boats, which can, often as not, be best answered by reference to the publications listed here. These publications are available to you by contacting the email address provided, and are well worth adding to your library, for their fascinating content.

Click here for World Ship Society – Small Craft Group Publications

ML1387 afloat again, and under way. Re-launched at 10:30 on March 1st 2010 after a long restoration, at the Hythe Boatyard near Southampton. Mike Boyce and Alan Watson have done a magnificent job getting her so well finished. Long may she sail.

HDML 1387 Medusa on the slip at Hythe Southampton, ready for launch on March 1st 2010, after a long restoration.

Click here to read an interesting article from Australia.

If anyone can be of assistance, please get in touch with Ted Browne - send an email.

HMVS Cerberus. 1868.

The British Military Powerboat Trust and the merger with the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust 2009

The British Military Powerboat Trust (BMPT) was formed in 1999, and secured premises at the Husbands Shipyard sheds, Marchwood, Southampton.

The object was to create a centre of excellence covering the restoration of military powerboats, and display these both on the water, as well as in a museum scenario....

Click here to visit page for PNBPTrust

Historic Boats Section - November 2009 Newsletter - Click here

MTB102 NEWSLETTER - AUTUMN 2009 - Click here

The British Powerboat Company existed at hythe near southampton from before WW2. During the war the company built fast attack craft, and here is the story of one employed there, during that time. Should you have any comments, or know of anyone else who could add their history, please click on the links to contact either Tony Martin or Richard Hellyer.

Click here to read the introduction (pdf)
Click here to read the full story (pdf)

Coastal Motorboat Heritage Trust.
As our website has not been updated for a while, we have asked the BMPTeam for assistance in this respect.

See our latest news about MGB 81 and HSL 102, RASC 34 Garth, and our Chatham Trip (we were regrettably unable to undertake this trip, due to adverse weather conditions).

Click here to read more and find out about our future events beginning with a Firework party and “Burn an old Boat Bonfire” (Not ours!) on 5th November 2009.

RASC Garth (34) is being run by John Cook within his Trust, Coastal Motorboat Heritage Trust - see

John would welcome any assistance with the running of the boat , in all spheres, repair and maintenance, operating and funding.

If you can assist John at all, click here to send him an email.

Good luck John and keep up the excellent work.

Pictures taken 27th June 2009

Memories of RAF Marine Craft.
Here is a personal history from one who served in RAF Marine craft - click for PDF.
There are surely, many reading this who must have tales to tell?
By recording them, we can keep history alive for those who have no idea
what went on so long ago.
Please let me know if you would like to add your history to these pages.
Richard. Click here to send an email

After many years searching, we are finally able to offer you a place to find us.

Whilst we are no longer the British Military Powerboat Trust as you will have known us, we are now merged with, and part of the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust.

This is situated in the Historic Dockyard Portsmouth, and may be found from the link on the Home page. Our boats are added to the expanding boat collection at the Historic Dockyard, and we hope that you will come and visit the Dockyard and experience all the historic attractions contained within its ancient walls.

Thank you all for your  support, and of this website, and we hope that you will continue to use it. We will be adding the PNBPT newsletters, as well as the boats in the PNBPT collection, to Yardarm.

ST1502 berthed at Shed 4, with the masts of HMS Victory visible top left.

Many have asked if the website will continue after the Trust has closed down...

Thanks to the expertise of our web provider Forest Design we have been able to change to British Military Powerboat Team, so the BMPT, and will remain in active service for as long as you all make use of the site.

My direct email will remain as is (click here), and any suggestions or news items should be posted on the appropriate Forum discussion module.

The motto "use it or lose it" will be the motivator, so it is up to you. Many thanks for all the support so far, and I hope the site will continue to give good service for a while yet. Richard Hellyer.

On the 11th July, ST1502 attended the Regimental Family Day at Marchwood. The boat took out a number of service families for a trip on the Solent. Here our Chairman Peter baillie, our president Julian Lewis MP, Colonel Ed Newman, crew Joshua Armstrong and Terry Ford prepare for their trip. It was miserable weather day, as was the previous Family Day, but still enjoyed by many.

With the loss of our BMPT shed facility at Marchwood, we were very lucky to have been offered a home for the RASC Humber, by one of our members.

George Black took ownership of the boat and her correct launching trailer, and bore the cost of having her removed by road to his large farm shed in Norfolk. She has been well looked after there for a number of years, and has now been moved to a boatyard for renovation to active service. George has had her removed from his farm to the MTB102 Trust/Newsons Boatyard in Lowestoft.

The photographs show her exiting the farm, and arriving in the boatyard. The twin photo shows her in Hong Kong. George advises that she will retain her original blue hull colour. The intention is to get her fit to float, then launch her to the new pontoons at Newsons. Here the 2 Perkins S6 engines bought from the PNBPT in Portsmouth will be fitted. We look forward to seeing her in full flight on the water again, in company with MTB102, and eventually ST477.

FMD5004, a 16ft Fast Motor Dinghy, was delivered by road to the PNBPT on the 9th July 2009. Brian Patterson was on hand to receive the boat from Richard Hellyer.

FMD5004 served on the Daring class destroyer HMS Dainty, and on retirement from the ship, was allocated to serve in the Portsmouth Dockyard for many years.

Retired from the Royal Navy, she went into private ownership, before being offered to the BMPT. She has been partly restored. It is hoped that her restoration can be continued in Portsmouth.

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.

Historic Navy Boat Saved
From Sinking

Click here for the full story >>>

Previous Yardarm News : 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 (2009 - 2012) > 7 (2013 -2014)


visitors since 15th February 2004