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Vote for Cockwells’ restoration of a Dunkirk Little Ship in the 2021 Classic Boat Awards

With your help, Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding could win a coveted Classic Boat Award for its restoration of Dunkirk Little Ship, Fleury II.

The Classic Boat Awards celebrate the passion and dedication of skilled boatbuilders, boat owners, naval architects and others involved in the marine industry. Fleury II has been nominated in the Restored Power Vessel category, the winner of which will be decided via a public vote.

To cast your vote in the Classic Boat Awards, visit https://awards.classicboat.co.uk/ between now and 9am on Monday 8 March 2021, click on the Vote button, fill in your details, scroll down to Restored Power Vessel (all sizes) and select Fleury II.

The Dunkirk Little Ships sailed from Ramsgate in Kent to Northern France between 26 May and 4 June 1940. They helped to rescue more than 336,000 British, French and other Allied soldiers who were trapped on Dunkirk’s beaches.

Built in Christchurch, Dorset in 1936, Fleury II was designed by Eric French of Poole. She was named by her original owners, the Fleurets.

She was delivered to Cockwells’ Mylor Creek Boatyard in the autumn of 2018 for much needed structural repairs and a comprehensive refit.

The company’s craftsmen and technicians combined the latest technology with their traditional skills to restore Fleury II to her former glory.

This fusion allowed for a more flexible and practical approach to her restoration as shipwright, Mark Curnow, explains: “Originally, solid strips of thicker wood would have been used in the deck’s construction and steamed in but today, we can laminate thinner strips, in situ, to repair hard-to-reach areas. We also maintained the aesthetics of the deck but gained durability by using marine ply and a layer of fibreglass/epoxy where, traditionally, wooden boards covered with painted canvas would have been used. One of the highlights was that her original keel was intact and her backbone could be seen in its original state – a tribute to the fine craftsmen who built her.”

Cockwells also replaced the deck fittings, stanchions and one of the aft-cabin sides; repaired the wheelhouse and skylight; overhauled the windlass; refreshed the interior to lighten the space and stripped and re-varnished the exterior. She was relaunched in 2020.

“We are delighted that our restoration of Fleury II has been shortlisted in this prestigious industry awards scheme and hope that the public will vote for this courageous and beautifully crafted Dunkirk Little Ship,” comments Founder & Managing Director, Dave Cockwell.

“The traditional feel of the boat has been enhanced with modern engines and electrical systems, a new galley and period light fittings powered by low energy LED. These practical changes have been introduced sensitively and are hidden, where possible, to complement Fleury II’s heritage and ensure her survival for decades to come.

“At Cockwells, we take great pride in delivering the highest levels of craftsmanship, whether we are designing an exquisite tender for a superyacht or restoring a classic yacht with copper nails and oak ribs. We offer a bespoke service to ensure that we meet our clients’ exact requirements, no matter how challenging or unusual they might be.”

Winners of the Classic Boat Awards 2021 will be announced during a virtual online ceremony and in the May issue of Classic Boat magazine, which will be published in early April.

Fleury II was due to participate in The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships’ return to Dunkirk to commemorate the 80th anniversary of this daring mission, which was planned for May 2020, and then postponed until May 2021 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, because of ongoing restrictions, this event – which occurs every five years – will now take place in 2025.