Green Parrot - Picket Boat

Originally powered by steam, picket boats were used for many tasks including landing troops ashore in combat.  Up until about 1945, the navy had used 45ft hard chine motor boats but much criticism of the hard chine boats’ sea keeping qualities required a different design.  Boats such as the Green Parrot were designed to replace the earlier craft.

This vessel was one of three boats ordered for Portsmouth; she was modified and finished as a barge for the Commander in Chief (C-in-C) Home Fleet in September 1956 on board HMS Maidstone.  Her recorded acceptance date is October 1956, being issued to C-in-C Home Fleet later that month.  She was later used in this capacity on board HMS Tyne in February 1959.  In 1960, approval was given to transfer her to C-in-C Portsmouth (Naval Home Command), subsequently being taken on to account as C-in-C’s barge.  It was in this guise that she was nicknamed the ‘Green Parrot’.

While at Portsmouth she was modified for use by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as her Royal Barge during state visits to Portsmouth.  The Green Parrot was taken out of service and had been due to be scrapped when, in 1996, she was gifted to the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust by the Admiral Superintendent as flagship of its historic boat collection.  She is currently awaiting a lengthy restoration.

Boat Stats

Length Overall



11ft 4in


2ft 6in forward, 3ft 3in aft.


16 tons


Two Foden FD6 diesels 105bhp


13 knots


Double skinned African mahogany laid diagonally on Canadian rock elm frames.

Date Built


Boat Yard

J Powles Boatyard, Wroxham.

Supported by:

Supported by Regional Growth Fund