The fireboat has a fire

Blog is woefully neglected at the moment but stuff is happening and so much more to update. More soon. In the meantime we have heating and fire


bye bye Rye

One of the best parts of this project has been hanging out in and getting to know Rye. It might be a hell of a drive and feel like you are practically in France, but it is a really pretty town with plenty going on and plenty of people more than willing to help out on Betty. We have literally searched high and low for a mooring so that once she is back afloat, we can keep her there. Alas it is not to be. There are relatively few large moorings in Rye, due mostly to the fact it is relatively small and the rivers are tidal with steep banks. They are too narrow and the bed slopes away too steeply to moor her stern on, like most of the smaller boats round here, and there aren’t spaces to put her side on. We have been hunting since the start of the year and pleading with anyone with any access to a bit of river bank. Alas, it isn’t to be. There simply isn’t anywhere. End of.

So, on to plan B and a new era for Betty in SUFFOLK. More on this later

Stuck in a hole

Having inherited a very corroded rated old boat, I need to do everything possible to ensure it stays as rust free as possible. This involves sorting out the chain locker so the anchor chain no longer sits directly on the hull but instead is supported by a wooden platform. Only problem is constructing the wooden platform in a space the size of a telephone box that you have to lower yourself into through a hole you can’t get your shoulders through…

Tom is loving this job!


Things are cracking on a pace. Really moving full pelt. Tom (deputy sub-captain, cabin boy) has been down there with Ian (Chief engineer) pretty much everyday and the hard graft and hours is really starting to show. We have all the panelling done and painted, the kitchen has gone in and the first fix of the wiring has been started on. Who’d a thought we’d start thinking about kitchen appliances?

The only downside about going into this in more detail is that Ido most of my comms with the boat over FaceTime so there actually aren’t that many photos… yet. We will be doing a bit photo session next time I’m down next week but in the meantime there are only a couple of pics of the panelling.

Most of the fit out is quite plain at this stage but we do have these plinths covering the larger ribs. They look unintentionallyquite Art Deco which does fit in with the age of the boat. From fireboat to 1920s gin palace 😊👍🏼

Ballistic black

Final bits of paintwork before it is back in the water. Betty has basically been dipped in jotamastic 87 and there isn’t hardly an inch that hasn’t had at least one coat of the stuff. Below the waterline, we are topping this off with a couple of coats of ballastic black, a more traditional style blacking that has some bitumen in it and is less prone to showing any minor dinks (of which there will be none of course!).

Half way through putting two coats on and she’s looking a mean ass boat. A stealth torpendo, black bottomed Betty.

A shout out here to SML paints who I have called endlessly over the four years. They have been faultlessly patient and responded to all my questions about what I can layer on what, antifoul, different thinners for two pack paint… you can imagine how painful this must have been for them at times but they were never not charming.