Nigel Thornton CollectionTHV (10) Kihna – Past and Present

MV Kihna

ex (10) Kihna

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel built built in 1929 by Camper & Nicholson, Southampton (Yard No. 375 ), for J Fuller Feder as a Private Yacht.

Technical Data

  • Length: m (overall) 52.3 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 8.4 m
  • Depth: m (13 ft)(in hold from tonnage deck to ceiling amidships) (16 ft)(from top deck at side amidships to bottom of keel)
  • Draught: m
  • Tonnage: 572 gross/195 net/ deadweight
  • Engines: 2 x 5-cylinder Sulzer diesel
  • Fuel: Gas Oil
  • Power: kW/2 x 4540HP
  • Speed:  14 knots (full trial), 12 knots (working)
  • Capacity: Consumption per 24 hrs – (Full Speed) (Station Working Speed)
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 76 tons
  • Ballast Tanks: tons
  • Cable:
  • Anchors: (Number), (Size)
  • Voltage:
  • Capacity : 20
  • Sleeping accommodation: 1 single, 11 double (twin)
  • Call Sign: GDKP
  • Licence Number: 10
  • ID Number: 1183172
  • Lloyd’s Register Number: 16039
  • Port of Registry: USA, London, Nassau, Malta

History

July 1930: Completed as a motor yacht for Mr. J. Fuller Feder of New York.

June 1942: Requisitioned by the Royal Navy during the Second World War for use as an as auxiliary patrol vessel and A/S (training) vessel/tender (Pennant Number 4.242)


Brief Account of some of her wartime Duties:

7 Mar 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.R. Pelly, RN) departed Plymouth for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (1)
14 Mar 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P. Angell, RN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (2)
2 Apr 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) departed Rothesay for Plymouth. H 28 was to proceed to the Sheerness Dockyard to refit there. During the passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (3)
6 Apr 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) shifted from Plymouth to Portland. She was still escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (3)
7 Apr 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) shifted from Portland to Portsmouth. She was still escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (3)
21 Aug 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. E.C. Croswell, DSC, RN), HMS H 33 (T/Lt. C.P. Thode, RNZNVR) and HMS H 50 (Lt. J.M. Michell, RN) all departed Rothesay for Londonderry. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (4)
22 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) and HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) both departed Londonderry for Rothesay. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (5)
1 Sep 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) departed Rothesay for Portsmouth. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (6)
3 Sep 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) and her escort, HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR), arrived at Milford Haven. They had been ordered to put into Milford Haven as enemy mines were suspected in the Bristol Channel. (7)
4 Sep 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) departed Milford Haven for Portsmouth. She was still escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (6)
5 Sep 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) and her escort, HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR), arrived at Plymouth. (6)
6 Sep 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) shifted from Plymouth to Portland. She was still escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (6)
7 Sep 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) shifted from Portland to Portsmouth. She was still escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (6)
10 Oct 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) departed Londonderry for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (8)
13 Oct 1943
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) departed Rothesay for Tobermory. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (9)
10 Nov 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Spaniel. Upon completion of these exercises she sailed for Londonderry escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (10)
11 Nov 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.W. Kelly, RN) departed Londonderry for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). HMS Thrasher (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, RN) also took passage for part of the way. (11)
15 Nov 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) departed Rothesay for Plymouth. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (12)
4 Dec 1943
HMS Sunfish (Lt. H.J. Bartlett, DSC, RN) departed Milford Haven for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr. (retired) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (13)
3 Jan 1944
HMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Fishguard for Rothesay. During the passage north through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (14)
10 Jan 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) and HMS Sunfish (Lt. H.J. Bartlett, DSC, RN) both departed Rothesay for Londonderry. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr. (retired) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (15)
11 Jan 1944
HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. A. van Altena, RNN(R)) shifted from Londonderry to Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (16)
14 Jan 1944
HMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. During the passage she was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (14)
26 Jan 1944
HMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) departed Lough Foyle for Blyth. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (14)
15 Feb 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. She made the passage together with HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN). They were escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (17)
16 Feb 1944
HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. A. van Altena, RNN(R)) departed Tobermory for Stornoway. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr. (Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (16)
17 Feb 1944
HMS Una (T/L. P.S. Thirsk, RNR) departed Stornoway for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). The next day, off Tobermory, they were joined by HMS Varangian (Lt. S.J. Fovargue, RN) and later that day, off Magilligan Point, they were joined by HMS H 43 (T/Lt. G.L. Davies, RNVR). (18)
29 Feb 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) departed Plymouth for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (19)
10 Apr 1944
HMS H 32 (Lt. M.D. Hutley, RNR) departed Rothesay for Stornoway. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (20)
11 Apr 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN) departed Stornoway for Campbeltown. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (21)
13 Apr 1944
HMS Oberon (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN) and HMS Sealion (Lt. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) departed Barrow for Rothesay. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (22)
1 May 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN) departed Londonderry for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (17)
3 May 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) departed Tobermory for Rothesay. She made the passage together with HMS H 43(Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN). During the passage to Oban they were escorted by HMS Clorinde (T/Lt. M.L. Patterson, RNVR). Off Oban escort was taken over by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). Also HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) joined for the passage to Rothesay. (23)
5 May 1944
HMS Otway (Lt. M.B. St. John, DSC, RN) departed Rothesay for Stornoway. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (24)
18 May 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN), HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) and HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (23)
19 May 1944
HMS H 28 (Lt. A.S. Melville-Ross, DSC, RN) shifted from Londonderry to Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (25)
19 May 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) shifted from Londonderry for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (26)
25 May 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) departed Lough Foyle (Londonderry) for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna(A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (23)
23 Jun 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. R.A.A.C. Ward, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Kihna (A/Cdr.(Retd.) A.R.W. Sayle, RD, RNR). (27)
13 Jul 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) shifted from Londonderry to Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (28)
13 Jul 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) proceeded from Londonderry to Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (29)
27 Jul 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. These included a practice attack on HMS Kihna(Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (28)
2 Aug 1944
HrMs O 10 (Lt. S.H. de Boer, RNN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (30)
3 Aug 1944
HrMs O 15 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) and HMS H 32 (Lt. I.M. Stoop, DSC, RN) both departed Londonderry (Loch Foyle) for Rothesay. They were escorted by the British armed yacht HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (31)
10 Aug 1944
HMS H 50 (Lt. W.T.J. Fox, RN) departed Rothesay for Londonderry. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (32)
29 Aug 1944
HMS Unrivalled (Lt. D.S. Brown, RNVR) shifted from Barrow to Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (33)
7 Sep 1944
HMS H 50 (Lt. W.T.J. Fox, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN) and HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN). (34)
1 Oct 1944
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) departed Rothesay for Plymouth. She made the passage together with HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) (until Fishguard). They were escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (35)
1 Oct 1944
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) departed Rothesay for Fishguard. Passage south through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, DSC RN). They were escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (36)
12 Jan 1945
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area together with HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (37)
15 Jan 1945
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) shifted from Rothesay to Tobermory. She was escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (37)
14 Apr 1945
HMS Universal (Lt. S.S. Brooks, DSC, RN) and HMS Votary (Lt. P.M. Staveley, RN) departed Rothesay for Tobermory. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (38)
15 Apr 1945
HMS Vitality, (Lt. W.T.J. Fox, RN) and HMS Uproar (Lt. J.N. Devlin, DSC, RN) shifted from Oban to Rothesay. They were escorted by HMS Kihna (Cdr.(Retd.) T.J.T.C. Jenks, RN). (39)


1945: Returned to owners.

1949: Acquired by Trinity House to replace VALONIA

1950: Entered service as Dover-Dungeness tender

  

 Courtesy of Andy C Adams   Courtesy of Andy C Adams

 Courtesy of Andy C Adams   Courtesy of Andy C Adams

Courtesy of Andy C Adams

1961: Replaced by PATROL. Also served at Harwich as a relief for the Harwich-Sunk tender VIGIA.

Courtesy of Robert Docherty

Courtesy of Robert Docherty (Marsamett Harbour, North of Valetta, Malta. March 1963)


🆕Memories of Robert Docherty:

How things happened.  Donald, D. Macdonald  bought the yacht through a yacht broker Lionel Cook, London, in 1960, for 45000 pounds Sterling. He had recently sold his half share in a private company for 2 million pounds Sterling. He set up a business called Yarra Investment Trust, Sandringham  House,  Shirley St, Nassua, Bahamas. Bought the Kihna. It became the company yacht. The owner used it as a floating office. 

The broker, ships captain, his son, an engineer and a deck hand  got the engine running and sailed up to London. She was moored in East India Dock. 

They put an ad. in the East Hackney Gazette. Wanted.; Captain ,Engineer and crew for yacht going on world cruise. 

 I saw the ad. and rang the number. Told Cook’s secretary my qualifications, seven years, A.B. Australian Coastal  Trade. 

Two days later I received a letter with a note telling me to go for an interview.  I was to report to Captain “Spike” Gamble. 

Appointment note I received.

He was ex R.N. W.W.2,  Motor Torpedo Boats. retired, invalid. The appointment was in an office by the gate of East India Dock. 

I showed him my papers. We talked. He hired me , and I took my gear aboard. I  chose a cabin forward. I was the first man hired. 

During the next six months , there was a lot of activity on re-furbishing the Kihna. The life boats were removed. The davits for the two  aft life boats were removed. The petrol motored “shore boat” was moved to the Port side  davits. A speed boat was slung from the forward starboard davits. Note:  Looking at the sad sight of the KIHNA laying on her side in the dock, I notice that the davits remove in London, were re-placed at some time after March, 1963. Also noted that the masts, shortened in the London refurb. ,had been removed and the funnel modernized.

A sailing boat , 14′,  was slung from newly fitted Goose neck davits , aft of the speed boat, starboard side. A rowing boat was  slung from new goose neck davits, aft of the shore boat , port side. 

Pics. shows giant, steam powered, crane, lifting davits and masts.

The owner thought the masts were too tall;  had them removed , shortened and re-installed.  

  

Auto. steering  system  fitted.  Half a dozen workmen, from a nearby ship yard, worked each day doing all sorts of things.  A large, 6 m3, freezer was installed . The owner’s quarters were fitted out. Thermal insulation, 200 mm thick, was  installed in the owner’s, officers’, and guests’ quarters.
To improve  the engines  working , an older engineer , from the Sulzer company that built the engines , was brought over . He seemed to always be doing something. After a few weeks , we got permission from the dock authority to test run the engines. Devices were fitted on top of the valve gear. There was a roll of  paper , and as it moved along , the movements of the valve was recorded. Made a graph. The engineer went back to Sweden.                                                                      
A  fancy , wood and brass gangway was made and fitted to the port side. The boat boom was swung out and tested. Attached pic. shows some crew members “testing” the boom.

The owner met various people who were invited to “Come for a cruise.” They were people who had abilities that could be useful. A Marine architect and his wife came along. He designed the new gangway.
Newly hired deck and engine room crewmen came and went.  Many had thought that the yacht was  ready to go.
A few days in the un-insulated quarters (it was winter, coldest  winter in 70 years, snow on the deck)  no heaters, no hot showers, helped them decide to leave. Even In the warmer weather, they became bored and left. Everything was taking so long. A total of 32  would-be crew members came and went.
About May, 1962, we finally left London on a shake -down cruise to Falmouth. The yacht was flying the flag of the Bahamas, where it was registered. We anchored out. The shore boat  was in  daily use. In the sheltered waters, the new gang plank was very useful. The weather was pleasant.  We left after  about 12  about days and went to Brest, the chief naval port of France.

Kihna left Brest and went to Spain, St John’s Eve, Algerciras. Anchored in harbour, astern of a large, 10,000 tons, Spain to Morocco, ferry. Next morning, that ferry reversed into us, rolled us,  buckled and split plates , Port side. Went to Gibraltar for temp’y repairs  to get to Barcelona for full repairs to enable us to go deep sea voyaging. Image hows how extensive  those repairs were. 

  

Image is very much like the owner’s speed boat. I  borrowed this image. 

Kihna, Barcelona, summer ,’61. Having the Algerciras collision damage, properly repaired. The owner, at the time , called the damage, “superficial”. The tower in background was one of two with an observation car travelling between them. 

This image of the boat that takes the pilots to the vessel where needed, is from another site. It looked so much like the motor boat from the Kihna, I thought it was a  mistake. 

Then noticed the  navigation lights. Our boat did not have any. Browsed further. It seemed as though that design was a standard one. That type of boat was thought to be best for pilot transfer. Had nice cuddy (small cabin ) holding four pilots, then  a canvas dodger protecting the coxswain/driver. 

Left Barcelona. Image of Kihna in Malta in her nice white paint , done in Barcelona. 

Motored North  to  Pt Vendres, Southern France. Departed for, Ajjacio, Corsica . Sailed out straight into a storm, the Mistrals. Battled  the storm for 30 hours. Turned around and returned to Pt Vendres. As we re-entered the harbour, the wise old heads were nodding. We’d been warned . Two days later tried again and had much quieter passage to  Ajaccio. 

Before leaving Corsica we went to a very interesting castle city on river mouth city called Bonfacio. Napolian served as Corporal there.

On to Naples, Syracuse in Sicily and then for a couple of weeks in the Grand Harbour, Malta. From there to Crete, Rhodes and few of the Greek Isles. 

Cyprus was next. The owner was interested in buying property there. He sent Mr Preston, 1st officer , and me ,to a place in the North to meet a prominent  property agent.  I sat around for a couple of hours while they talked business. We then drove back, stopping to look at the Castle of St Hilary. Spent about three weeks in Famagusta. 

End of January sailed to Piraeus ,  the port for Athens.   Later it was off to the Corinth Canal.  A very impressive engineering structure. We were small enough to  fit through. 

Middle of February returned to Malta. 

March. Malta. My wife and I left the Kihna and travelled to Perth, West Australia, my home city. 

Sincere thanks to you Robert


1964: Transferred to Maltese Flag.

Ed Connell Collection

Ed Connell Collection

1968: Purchased from Yarra Investment Corp. by Marsa Industries

  

1972: Laid up at Ta’ Xbiex berth Malta.

1975: Purchased by Nationwide Transport, Cardiff

October 2nd 1975: Left Malta for Cardiff.

1983: Known to be berthed at Roath Sea Lock, Cardiff awaiting full refit and conversion at the Channel Dry-Dock.

1983: Vessel submerged following theft of brass ballast/inlet valves. Lock drained and vessel eventually re-floated.

Chris Tucker (ABS Shipping UK Ltd)  Chris Tucker (ABS Shipping UK Ltd)

Chris Tucker (ABS Shipping UK Ltd)  Chris Tucker (ABS Shipping UK Ltd)

Chris Tucker (ABS Shipping UK Ltd)

Not considered a viable proposition for restoration and towed away for scrap. Destination currently unknown.


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ed Connell, Neil Jones (Trinity House Archives) and Andy C Adams for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to Chris Tucker (ABS Shipping UK Ltd) and Robert Docherty

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


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