Past and PresentTrinity House Pilot Vessels

THV Patricia (II) – Past and Present

MV Patricia I

ex THV Patricia (II)

© Roy Thornton Collection

© Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built in 1938 by Smiths Dock Co Ltd, South Dock, Middlesbrough (Yard No. 1033), for Corporation of Trinity House as a Buoy/Light Tender

Technical Data

  • Length: 70.67m (overall)
  • Breadth: 10.88m
  • Draught: 3.899m
  • Tonnage: 1,124 – 1,073 gross/445 – 316 net/351 – 357 deadweight
  • Engines: 2 x 4SA 6-cylinder English Electric
  • Power: 1078 kW/1330 SHP
  • Speed: 13.2 knots (max trial) 10 knots (working)
  • Capacity: 
  • Call Sign: CJJW
  • IMO Number: 5271733
  • Official Number: 166352
  • Port of Registry: London


February 12th 1937: Keel laid.

August 24th 1937: Launched as PATRICIA (II) to Corporation of Trinity House.

February 1938: Completed and was one of the first vessels to incorporate a Diesel Electric propulsion system.

© Roy Thornton Collection  © Ted Ingham

© Roy Thornton Collection (left) and © Ted Ingham (right)

1939: Rebuilt for war service.

1940: Opened the Naval Base at Iceland before serving at Dunkirk where, shortly after which she was bombed and damaged.

1941 – 1944: Served in Western Approaches, the Invasion of Europe, opening channels on the German coast, opening freed ports on the Channel seaboard, and re-establishing of Channel Island’s lights after the German evacuation.

Photoship  Photoship


1952: Royal Yacht VICTORIA & ALBERT judged unfit for sea so she stood in for the Royal Visit by HRH Prince Philip to Norway, Sweden and the Olympic Games Helsinki. Escorted by the cruiser HMS SWIFTSURE

Photoship   Photoship

Photoship Victoria and Albert (left) and HMS Swiftsure (right)

1953: In attendance at Royal Fleet Review at Spithead, the Coronation Pageant on the River Thames.



1969: In attendance at the 20th anniversary review of the NATO Fleets at Spithead.

© Wolfgang Fricke

🆕 © Wolfgang Fricke (Harwich, 01/03/1973)

© Ken Lubi  © Bob Scott

© Ken Lubi (Tyne 03/01/1976)(Left) 🆕 © Bob Scott (Gravesend, 01/11/1977)

1977: In attendance at the Jubilee Review of the Fleet at Spithead. In addition she had, on numerous occasions acted as Royal escort, following the longstanding tradition by which she preceded The Royal Yacht BRITANNIA on ceremonial duties in Home waters.

1979: One of 5 Lighthouse Tenders in service around England and Wales. Normally based at Harwich, East Coast, from where she carried out servicing Buoys and Light Vessels on the East and South East coasts of England.

© John Jones

© John Jones (15/05/1982)

1982: Sold and registered owner: Krohn & Co. Renamed PATRICIA I.

© Micke Asklander

© Micke Asklander

1986: Berthed in Stockholm, between the heights of Södermalm and Old Town idyll, as a floating restaurant.

© Gerolf Drebes

🆕 © Gerolf Drebes (Stockholm, 10/08/2019)

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: Andy C Adams, Micke Asklander, Gelof Drebes, Wolfgang Fricke, Ted Ingham, John Jones, Neil Jones (Trinity House Archives), Ken Lubi and Bob Scott for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


  1. Hi Nigel, Once again thanks for your efforts in researching these Trinity House vessels, another one comes to mind was the “Pamela”
    Eric Friend

  2. Hi to All, I served on this ship In 1980 as a Motorman , She was a real a fine looking ship, you could eat your dinner off the bottom plates and the brass work looked great , I also Sailed on The THV Winston Churchill and THV Stella , Happy day’s. Regards Ken Hall.

    1. Hi Ken,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on this article, both Nigel and myself really appreciate it. I am always fascinated as to why people visit our site and it’s always good from a publisher’s standpoint when it is a personal connection with an item we have produced.

      All the best from Dover to Mayo 🙂


  3. Hi Ken. I served on her in 1965 as a galley boy, and again , in the 70’s as an ER3. It may be time that is adling the memory, but I am certain that her power plants consisted of 2 English Electric motors, supplied by 2 EE generators, all powered by 4 Rolls Royce 6 cyl diesels.. I also served in THVs Siren (similar power plants), Ready and Vestal….which were 2 x Triple expansion steam reciprocating engines, .with Wallsend Howden boilers and systems..
    The Patricia (Pat to one and all) was, as Ken said, a “Spit and polish” ship, being the flagship of Trinity House.. As such, she had staterooms aft, and was, if I recall, the standby Royal Yacht should the Britannia ever be unavailable.
    Having said that….she still did her share of the everyday work of a tender.
    Never be another one like her.

  4. I served on THV READY as deck boy 1974 also on THV PATRICIA was on board when escorted the Royal Yacht Britiana at the 1977 spit head review i have a modle of both these vessels in a bottle also 13 lightships .can anybody recomend a place to put these up for auction or someone interested to purchase

  5. My children’s grandfather, Peter Inman, served on both the 1938 Patricia and the 1982 vessel. I never met him, as he died tragically young in his fifties, but I know both my ex-wife and her sister visited both vessels at Harwich. I’ll pass on the information that the old Patricia is docked in Stockholm to the family. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    1. John,
      I served under your father in law for many years, both as 2.Officer when he was first in Command Mermaid at Gt Yarmouth, later as Chief Officer under him at Harwich, and eventually after his sad death I took over as Inspector of Seamarks from him. Peter did not serve in the 1982 vessel he was ashore by then

  6. I have been told that my wife’s father, Peter Fant, who was an electrician, was ferried to various lighthouses in the south west during the 1960s on the Paticia. Peter left Trinity house in about 1965 and then worked in Essex until he retired in about 2000. He died in 2003 but this information came from his brother.
    Regards Graham Frankland

  7. I was part of a skeleton crew commissioned to take the Patricia from Harwich to Bremen in Germany in 1982.
    I can imagine there must be some great memories of this beautiful ship.
    I wonder what happened to her between Bremen and eventually arriving in Stockholm.?

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