Seaplane Tender 1502

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Seaplanes or flying boats can fly and float – but they can’t use a conventional dock because of their wings. While the seaplane was at anchor or moored to a pontoon, a tender like 1502 would transfer crews, provisions, and munitions to land.

Designed by George Selman, Naval Architect, 54 of this type were built as Mark 1’s by the British Power Boat Company between 1940 and 1943; another 27 were built to an improved specification that became known as Mark 1A. The boats’ prime duties were as seaplane tenders, range duties and air-sea rescue.

ST 1502 served with marine units at Bridlington in Yorkshire and at Alness, Scotland during the Second World War. Post-war she was converted to Mark 1A specifications and was deleted from the service list in December 1955 at Calshot, almost within sight of where she had been built, at Hythe.

In August 1999 she was presented to the British Military Powerboat Trust by her owner, Dave Wight. ST 1502 was restored at Marchwood and re-engined with two Ford Sabre diesels. She was accepted into the care of our Trust on 25th August 2009 and is now moored alongside the Heritage Pontoon.