Roy Thornton CollectionTHPV (19) Patrol – Past and Present

MV Decca Pilot

ex THPV (19) Patrol

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel single screw motor vessel, built in 1961 by Brooke Marine, Lowestoft (Yard No. 284), for Trinity House Corp as a Pilot Tender

Technical Data

  • Length: 125.0 ft (between perpendiculars), 139.0 ft (overall)
  • Breadth of hull: 24.1 ft (extreme), 24.0 ft (moulded)
  • Depth: 13.0 ft
  • Draught: 11.6 ft (aft, loaded), 6.6 ft (forward, loaded)
  • Tonnage: 334.53 gross/79.95 net/430.00 deadweight
  • Load Displacement: 430 tons
  • Engines: 2 x 4SA 6-cylinder Lister Blackstone diesels
  • Fuel: Gas Oil
  • Power: 990 bhp/750 rpm
  • Speed: 13.314 knots (full trial), 12.75 knots (working)
  • Radar: Decca 303
  • Capacity of Tanks or Bunkers: 52 tons
  • Consumption per 24 hrs: 4.5 tons (Full Speed)/1.37 tons (Station Working Speed)
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 22 tons
  • Ballast Tanks: 15 tons
  • Cable: 1”
  • Anchors: 4 (Number),9,9.7¼, 3 cwt (Size)
  • Voltage: 220
  • Capacity: 6 officers, 12 crew
  • Sleeping accommodation: 12
  • Call Sign: MENR
  • ID Number: 5271862
  • Official Number: 302837
  • Registry: London, Panama (1980)
  • Sister-ship: (20) Preceder


June 15th 1961: Launched and commissioned to Trinity House Corporation. Normal base being Dover – Dungeness.

Andy C Adams Collection  Andy C Adams Collection

Andy C Adams Collection (left) © A G Jones (right)

© Ted Ingham

 © Ted Ingham

She relieved Harwich-Sunk tender (20) PRECEDER on a regular basis and occasionally served at the Nab Station in the Isle of Wight District.

1967: Taken out of service when the shore station opened at Folkestone. Laid up at Harwich, later alternated in service with PRECEDER as the Harwich-Sunk tender on a care and maintenance basis. Proposal to fit her for cruising service was not implemented due to the limited pilots accommodation.

1971: Proposed sale to Gironde Pilots did not materialise.

1972: Sold to Decca Nav. Co. Ltd converted to a Hydrographic Ship and renamed DECCA PILOT. Employed in the Arabian Gulf, later at Gt Yarmouth.

Andy C Adams Collection

Andy C Adams Collection

1981: Sold to C A Culner, Malta.

1981: Broken Up.

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: A G Jones, Ted Ingham, Neil Jones (Trinity House Archives) and Andy C Adams for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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