Built as a motor sailer by Staniland and Company at Thorne in Yorkshire, near the Ouse which feeds the Humber, she would appear to have been ordered by Mr. H Payne, her first registered owner. Unsurprisingly his new boat was requisitioned for the Dunkirk Evacuation and her fittings today both on deck and below are pure nineteen thirties vintage. Like any boat built nearly a century ago she has had many owners and the current owner is a proud French citizen who has done a great deal of research to the point where he knows virtually every previous owner and has a very fat file box to prove it.
I visited on a bright early spring morning at his home mooring near Paris. I would not have been surprised to see an artist in the garden on this private island adjacent to the small town of Villenes sur Seine which is where the impressionists went to paint many years ago. Ona II was under her winter cover but her classic lines revealed a handsome boat indeed.
Her cruising ground is mainly the Seine under the current owner who bought her locally after a French politician had imported the boat and had some restoration work carried out in the nineties by Evans on the Seine north of Paris. He talks fondly of his and his family cruising right into the heart of Paris turning every head on the bridges as they passed. They have also been to Dunkirk, most recently in 2015. As he recounted " It is time for her to move on" due to his advancing years.
I note from The Little Ships of Dunkirk by Christian Brann that Ona II was at the 45th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation in 1985. Who will be at the helm for the next return in 2025 ?
Ona II has two 30 hp Perkins M30 engines and is built of pitch pine on oak. I think that a new owner would need to consider some remedial work on the decks and as the hull has been sheathed, probably in the eighties or during her mid nineties refurbishment, a thorough pre sales survey should be undertaken at the local yard where her eight tons can be lifted with ease.
Please contact the office to see more photos and to arrange a viewing with the vendor and/or Gillian.