Can you help save a gracious old lady?

Rania was built in 1937 by the Rampart Boat Building works in Southampton. Just before delivery in 1939, however, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, when many small British craft sailed across the Channel to rescue the British Expeditionary Force – and army of 400,000 or so.

This astonishing exercise took place in perfect millpond conditions (see the images of this event at the Rania site, and see Wikipedia for more on the fighting and evacuation). She continued to serve in the ‘Mosquito navy’ for the duration of the war.

She is now in real need of help. Rania has been dismantled and is in urgent need of repair; she has been saved by the Dunkirk Little Ship Restoration Trust but unfortunately the funds are not available – nevertheless her supporters wish to restore her to her original condition and return her to Dunkirk in 2010 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuations.

For more on Rania, and some very evocative music:
http://www.rania.co.uk

Rania in her heyday

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New Zealand racer restoration project

Our friend the noted Kiwi boat designer John Welsford suggested that we should include this one at an early date, and he’s right – she’s a corker.

Rainbow is one of the ‘big Logans’ – one of a small group of large racing yachts built in Auckland by Logan Brothers. Built in 1898 with a hull made from three diagonal skins of kauri wood, she’s 50ft long and 38ft on the waterline.

The restoration currently underway will restore her original form, with a flush deck and gaff rig – a real racing machine from a classic period.

For more on this fabulous boat go to:

http://www.classicyacht.org.nz/node/954

Can you add to this story? Email us at gmatkin@gmail.com