FEDALMA II – a Dunkirk Little Ship

An East Coast Motoryacht and a distinguished member of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships

Fedalma II is a serious sea going motoryacht with handsome lines and bags on space on board both above and below decks. She was owned by the erstwhile Honorary Secretary of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, John Knight, who wrote at least one erudite book associated with the Dunkirk return being a naval historian. John Knight was in Malta in 1975 when he saw Fedalma II and decided to exchange Elizabeth Green (recently sold by HSC) to buy her. The Knight family made the 1200 mile journey home to England with their new boat and then in 1977 and 1978 they travelled through the French canals. John Knight took her back to Dunkirk for the 50 year anniversary commemoration and she has returned since then with her subsequent owner who had sadly died recently after owning her for more than 20 years.

The boat was built of teak on oak by Charles H Fox in 1936 for Claud Scrutton who died during the war and had his ashes taken down river and committed to the sea from Fedalma II. According to an article printed in 1936 in The MotorBoat magazine Fedalma was the largest yacht built to date by Fox and Son. The flying bridge areas were added in the mid sixties when she was chartered in the med by an owner called John Simpson. At that time he also replaced the original schooner rig with a 38ft main mast and mizzen. However this was later reduced by a subsequent owner, John Knight, to a more manageable 23ft, the same height as the 1934 schooner rig, to facilitate her passage back to the UK through the french canals.
I found the boat to be really spacious with bags of character. I loved the large aft flying bridge area where 6 people could dine in comfort. Aft of the wheelhouse below decks is a private sleeping area with heads and two cabins. The entire boat appears to have its original thirties furniture and fittings as well as a two cocktail cabinets with engraved crystal glassware. The large saloon forward of the wheelhouse leads into a galley then a head and a forward cabin mainly used now for storage but originally for crew I imagine.
The boat appears to be built of teak and has had hull work done in the last couple of years by Robertsons of Woodbridge. However there is plenty to be done in terms of refurbishment in several areas including around the cabin windows aft and the varnish is extremely tired in places. The decks were relaid four years ago and a full survey for insurance was carried out three years ago. How lovely it would be to see her with sails fluttering in the breeze.
The wheelhouse has a number of original and modern instruments which will be gathered into an inventory at some stage.

We expect to be able to present to a new owner :


·         A table of invoices over £1000

·         Several Registrations of British Ships

·         Photographs and drawings of Fedalma from the year she was built 1936

A family member writes “After the admiralty sold her she fell into several hands.  It was in 1975 when she was bought by John Knight who helped Baxter and Lamb set up the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS).  Fedalma has sailed the Mediterranean sea in the 1960s and ’70s.  Knight sailed her to England via the French canals among other places.  More recently, the late David Johnson-Biggs became her proud owner.  Over the past 15 years, David took the opportunity to retain and conserve her beauty giving her regular services, replacing two engines and repairing and conserving her beautiful teak wood and internal finials.

While under David’s ownership, Fedalma has made return trips to Dunkirk sailing with war veterans of whom he was hugely proud, re-enacting the evacuation.  He sailed, for leisure in retirement, around Holland, Northern France, the Channel Islands, Essex, Suffolk and moored her for many years in St. Catharine’s dock, London.  More recently, despite ill health, David ensured she was fit and ready to participate in the Queen’s Jubilee where, along with other Dunkirk Little Ships, he paraded, as part of the pageant, along the Thames in front of crowds of thousands, not to mention, the world’s media.

I’ve also come across several surveys while under David’s ownership, all of which state she was in ‘good to satisfactory condition for her class, age and size’ (her most recent valuation for sale purposes in 2012 was £60,000).”
Please ring the office on 01491 578870 for photos as I have taken many.
The boat is for sale afloat and may have the option of a deep water mooring on the River Deben.