Visitors to the International Fleet Review in June might like to spare a thought for one vessel which took part in a similar review nearly a century ago.

Visitors to the International Fleet Review in June might like to spare a thought for one vessel which took part in a similar review nearly a century ago.

The 100ft (30.48m) steam cruiser Vigilant, which was flagship of HM Customs fleet at King George V’s Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead in June 1911, may be scrapped if a buyer cannot be found.

The boat, which following her working life enjoyed a varied history around the British coast, is listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) Core Collection as one of the most important vessels for preservation and is for sale through Pounds Shipowners and Shipbreakers.

Vigilant was built by Cox & Co at Falmouth in 1902 and her steam machinery gave her a service speed of 11 knots. Most of her career was spent working on inspection duties around the Thames Estuary and Essex coasts.

She was sold and converted in 1920, and enjoyed a long career as the motor yacht Eileen Siocht before taking up residence at Shoreham-by-Sea as a houseboat.

In 1992 she was sold for restoration to her original appearance and taken to Vosper Thornycroft’s Portchester shipyard where the company’s apprentices worked on her in their spare time as a training task.

By 2003, however, work had been suspended and Vigilant was towed to the nearby yard of Pounds Shipowners and Shipbreakers.

The yard is slowly being wound down in advance of redevelopment but its owner, Harry Pounds, is keen to see Vigilant saved rather than being scrapped and says he is ‘open to sensible offers’ for her.

Vigilant is listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) Core Collection as one of the most important vessels for preservation, and it will be a tragedy if this splendid vessel is lost forever.

Contact Pounds for details. Tel: 02392 661165.