I got an email from the proud new owners of the Dovekie, a Rampart boat built at Bilterne Manor, Southampton. They’re curious if anyone has more information about this classic British import.
Rampart Boat Building Works was well-known for building “sturdy, quality gentlemen’s motor boats that were traditional in style while being fast, well specified and having good seakeeping abilities,” according to a history of the company. The future Dovekie was built as Clynor in 1952, and arrived on BC’s west coast in 1955.
How did the Clynor get to BC? A little digging reveals a possible scenario. The first BC owner was Howard F. Jones, the vice president and manager of Canadian Transport Company, Macmillan-Bloedel’s major shipping subsidiary. This was one of the largest shippers of forestry products in the world.
Jones was a local boy, born and bred in New Westminster, where his father was a dentist. He studied at UBC, and in 1935, began with Canadian Transport as a clerk. So how did he end up purchasing a “gentleman’s motor boat” from the UK? According to passenger lists, Jones sailed from Southampton aboard the Mauretania on October 16, 1954. It’s not stretching the imagination too far to see him visiting the Rampart yards before his departure – he was a big deal in international shipping, after all – and arranging for the purchase of one of their yachts. It was likely shipped to Vancouver aboard one of the many lumber carriers that Canadian Transport chartered.
According to the List of Ships, Jones kept the Clynor until 1962 when he sold her to Fred Osborne of Victoria. He kept her until 1966.
New owner Arnold Moran of Chemainus changed the named to Miawa in 1966, and registered her in Nanaimo. He sold her to Lancelot Lake of Nanaimo, who ran the yacht from 1969 to 1986.
The Miawa headed back to Vancouver in 1986, where she was registered to Susan Killon until 1995. Then it was back to the island to Mill Bay where owner Ernest Beauchesne gave the yacht her present name, Dovekie.
That’s the story so far. Any further information would be greatly appreciated.