Wilton M1116

        RN Private

Yacht Club

A coastal Minehunter, 450 tons (full load). Built of GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) by Vosper Thornycroft, Woolston, Southampton. The worlds first major warship to be constructed of GRP. Launched 18.01.1972. Fitted with the reconditioned machinery and equipment from HMS DERRITON. Paid off on 26 July 1994 at Portsmouth, and remained laid-up in Fareham Creek. She was taken to Southampton, after being bought by a Moviemaker, awaiting repair before sailing to her new home in Lowestoft, but has since been sold again. Her new home is as the Essex Yacht Clubs clubhouse/HQ.


Paying Off. BRNC Dartmouth badge on funnel. Picture courtesy of Alan Pittaway.

Laid Down: 7th August 1970

Built By: Vosper Thorneycroft, Southampton

Completed: 12th June 1973

Time to Build: 34 months. World’s First GRP Hull Warship

Commissioned: 14th July 1973 for 2nd Minecountermeasures Squadron (MCMS) based Portsmouth

Years Fully Operational: 21

Outline of Operational Career:

20th March – 20th November 1974 Deployment to Port Said for Operation Rheostat

1975 – 1983 Exercises, Route Survey & Visits in Northern Europe

3rd January – 19th June 1977 Attached to STANAVFORCHAN

17th May – 31st December 1979 Attached to STANAVFORCHAN as Senior Officer

10th January 1980 Rejoined 2nd MCMS

28th March – 5th November 1984 Deployment to Mediterranean. Visits and Exercises

29th August – 4th October 1984 Operation Harling –  Mine Clearance Gulf of Suez

14th September 1987 – June 1988 Temporary transfer to Fishery Protection Squadron

16th June 1988 Joined 3rd MCM Squadron based at Portsmouth

21st May 1991 – July 1994 To BRNC Dartmouth as Navigation Training Ship

Significant Events:

7th April 1974 Suez Canal Operation Rheostat

1976 7 periods of Operation Granada off Northern Ireland

28th June 1977 Took part in Silver Jubilee Review at Spithead

31st August 1979 Collided with BNS Breydel off Ostende

Paid Off: July 1994

Disposal: Sold to TAE Marine in October 2000 then resold in October 2001 as Essex Sailing Club HQ

3 Responses to Wilton M1116

  1. I am currently doing a qualification, called EPQ or extended project qualification, at my school Belfair’s high school in Leigh on sea in Essex. For my project I wish to make a DVD on the HMS Wilton as it currently serves as the Headquarters to the Essex yacht club of which I am a member.
    I am writing to you to ask if you would happen to have any video archives of the ship or any information that I can use in my documentary.
    Any help would be much appreciated and I would be happy to send you a final copy of my film afterwards.
    Thank you and hope to here back soon
    Jack Veitch

    • Hi Jack,
      Thanks for contacting us.
      I am fairly certain that we do not hold any video of the ship but I hope to check tomorrow.
      I will also look to see what we have in the way of photographs etc which we would be happy to share with you.
      Additionally I will see what might be of interest in the ships history.
      Good luck with your project and we hope to see the finished product later.
      Incidentally your message arrived twice.
      Best wishes


    • Dear Jack am an ex RNer living in Austraia and seved on the HMS Wilton for three years might be able to help if you contact me
      Derek Lewis
      Ex POMEM(M)

Leave a Reply