Southampton Maritime Festival


Below are a list of the vessels that are confirmed as attending the Southampton Maritime Festival.


TS Tenacious

Designed by Tony Castro, Tenacious is the largest wooden tall ship of her kind in the world. Owned by the Southampton based charity – the Jubilee Sailing Trust, she was built in a ship yard in Woolston on the Itchen River.

S.T Challenege

ST Challenge

This ship is a 110ft Steam Tug built 1931. The last steam tug on the Thames, she took part in Operation Dynamo at Dunkirk, towed Maunsell forts and Mulberry Harbour parts, and was nearly sunk by a flying bomb. She was rescued by DLSRT in 1993 and is a member of the National Historic Fleet.


SS Shieldhall

Launched in 1955, and built by Lobnitz & Co., of Renfrew, she operated under the Glasgow Corportation to transport treated sewage sludge down the river Clyde to be dumped at sea. She was suddenly withdrawn from service in 1985 due to rising fuel prices, at which point she was purchased by in 1988 by a Southampton City Museum Service initiative. She is now the largest working steam ship in Northern Europe. 

Yacht Tahilla

Yacht Tahilla

This 60ft. twin screw ketch was built 1922 by Thornycroft for a member of the Wills Tobacco Family to cruise from Bristol to Scotland. She was called up for Dunkirk and then served on harbour patrol and pilotage duties. After the war she went to the Mediterranean on charter work until 1969 when she was sold to the present owners and brought back to the UK in 1980. She is a member of the National Historic Fleet. Member of the ADLS.



Built in 1927 at Newlyn Cornwall. One of the first of her line to be fitted with engines as her main form of power. In 1933 she was sailed to Littlehampton where she was raised and decked to turn her into a cruiser. 40 feet long and close on forty tons in weight.
When war broke out she sailed with hundreds of other “Little Ships” to carry hundreds of thousands off the beaches of Dunkirk.
Following a war spent at sea she made her home at Brightlingsea where she found herself in trouble for running supplies to Radio Caroline.
With the current owners for twelve years following restoration which has turned her from a floating home back into a sea going vessel, major woodwork, a new engine and a hundred other tasks to achieve a very capable vessel once again.
She has returned to the beaches of Dunkirk, participated in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant and attended the Oostende at Anchor festival in May this year. Many more adventures lay ahead including a round Britain voyage next year

HMS Medusa

A small motor launch used in the protection of harbors and estuaries. For D-Day she was fitted with the state of art guidance system and escorted a convoy to Juno beach in bad weather. Now restored by the Medusa Trust. Member of the ADLS.

Oil spill response


Oil Spill Response Vessel (Fri only)

Ever wondered how organisations plan responses should a spill occur? Get on board to speak to crew and learn about the vessel and how the oil industry work in our area. 


Police launch

Hampshire Police Marine Unit Launch (Sat only)

As a department of Special Branch, the Marine Unit is heavily involved in daily tasks relating to the security of our coastal borders. Find out about the types of incidents the police need to respond to in and around Southampton Water.

Many of the vessels are part of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. This organisation keeps the spirit of Dunkirk alive by perpetuating for posterity the identity of those Little Ships that went to the aid of the British Expeditionary Force during Operation Dynamo (the evacuation of Dunkirk) in 1940 by forming a registered association of their present-day owners and of those closely associated. Over 100 Little Ships are presently represented by members of the Association. 

You can view one of the DLSRT's restoration projects - the Dorian - in the Heritage workshop on the festival site. The DLSRT is always keen to have volunteers to get involved with the workshop. If you are interested in getting involved, please see the page here.