The current owner of 1908 Dartmouth-built motor launch named Lady Edyth has asked traditional boatbuilder Nick Smith to try to find the boat a suitable new owner who understands her provenance and wants to get her back in service in a sympathetic way.
Lady Edyth was built by Lidstones in 1908 – she was the first motor boat on the River Dart.
She has now been dry-stored for years and is now in a garage in High Wycombe, and both the current owner and Nick would like Lady Edyth to return to the Dart or at least the South Hams area. She is 19 foot long, classically narrow in beam, has elegant lines (as the photos above show), and is built in pitch pine on elm with a teak top strake. She won’t appear on Ebay, because she could end up anywhere.
Nick says her hull is in incredibly good condition, and even has her original rudder. However she would benefit from reframing and refastening, some new lengths of pitch-pine planking, new decks, engine beds and engine, and of course some paint and varnish work.
Nick, who completed a traditional boat building apprenticeship as a young man, still specialises in West Country style motor launches and will be happy to offer his boat rebuilding services to the new owner. If anyone is interested please phone him on 07786693370 or email him at email@example.com.
In fact, Nick himself is a descendent of the Lidstones boat building dynasty, as his father was a Lidstone. The family, which first emerged at Ledstone near Kingsbridge, were carpenters and boat builders in Dartmouth, but the last one, Win, has now gone, so there are none left. Some time ago Nick found the old boatyard: it’s still called Lidstones, but sadly it’s now waterside accommodation.