Join in…

Boat needs youKnow anything about historical steel boats?

Are you the guru of teak deck restoration?

Want to tell me I am doing it all wrong?

Don’t just lurk, get in touch. Either leave a comment below or email me at helen _ (minus the spaces).

It would be great to hear from you. That is, as long as you are not prone to Eeyore-like tendencies. I KNOW it is a big project, I KNOW you can see daylight through large sections of the hull, I KNOW it would be cheaper and easier to buy a modern bathtub boat… that’s not the point, its a challenge. So let’s keep things positive.


14 thoughts on “Join in…

  1. Douglas Ward

    Hi, Rob Balcomb sent me the link to your site. Your doing a wonderful job. I’m going to try and come down next time work permits. “Who are you” they think. I was skipper of her for Bob Balcomb for a number of years. The picture of Maria cuddling the dog? That’s Bosun, my dog. And the two guys at Hampton Court with the Beta in the background? I’m the one on the right in the suit. My name? Doug Ward. So miss those days.

    1. hellyboo Post author

      That is great to know. Stories like that make all the logistical nightmares and rainy days worth it!
      I do actually have a little gift/memento for rob, Maria and now yourself. Email me your address (to and I will put it in the post. It may give you a few splinters but will be a great talking point!!

  2. Ben

    Nice to see the boat finally getting the treatment I always knew it would be a major project.
    I’m a friend of Neil’s I accompanied him to canvey with captain Carl to get her running “we were told that she hadn’t run for 6 months” probably closer to 2 years I would think .
    We finally got her going after convincing Neil that it wouldn’t start using old car batteries and that he needed to go buy some new ones £380
    Regarding the pictures just put up yes they were from the original eBay ad that I found and told Neil about “I said go and have a look mate” less than two hours later he phoned me to say he owned it!!
    Anyway enough of my rambling good luck with the old girl I’m glad to see you are chopping the rot out a necessity in my book the question is are you putting it back to new spec ie rivets or sea melding the new metal in ?
    Kind regards Ben

    1. hellyboo Post author

      Thanks Ben. So, technically, this is all your fault then!!! 😉
      In terms of the welding – and I may get the terms slightly wrong here, my welding chat isn’t quite up to scratch yet! – the plan is to rivet on a new bottom and swim plates on the keel where the areas to be replaced are quite large. For the smaller areas and the areas just below the striker rail, an insert will be welded on. No doublers or patches. So hopefully the overall effect should be quite smooth rather than patchwork-y!

  3. Ben

    Unfortunately yes all my fault
    She will be a lovely boat once finished and a lovely home
    I’d have taken it on myself if I’d had a spare £150k 🙂
    I live at greatstone in my beach house which consumes my time and assets but lovely
    Kind regards Ben

  4. David C Pike

    Hi guys, wishing you the best of luck with your project. I am writing another book, this time on London’s River Service. It a comprehensive history of which Beta and its forebares played a big part. Just touching base really as living in Devon I can’t be much practical help. But I would love to monitor your progress and include an update on Beta III in the book if that is alright by you?

    1. hellyboo Post author

      Hi David, good to hear from you! And more than happy to be included in the book. I will certainly keep an eye open for when it is published. I imagine you are well acquainted with the London Metropolitan Archives but the documentation on all the fireboats they hold makes for very interesting reading! Helen

  5. Peter Cockayne

    Gerald Gadd and Peter Cockayne are trying to communicate with you by Email with regard to Berth at Pin Mill – please check Spam/Junk
    Please reply to or
    Mobile Phones: GG – 07850590468 or PC – 07712183746
    Peter Cockayne will try to visit Beta III over weekend in Fox’s


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s