An update on Ben Wales’ restoration of the motor launch Mary

Brest hook timber Knee Log Timber

Ben Wales has written in with details of his latest progress in his outdoor restoration of the former Royal Lymington Yacht Club motor launch Mary. He’s clearly a determined chap, and I’m delighted to hear that launch day is now just weeks away.

Here’s what he says:

‘Work was slow during early March and April due to the cold weather. But by the end of April the gunwales were finally fitted and completed, and early May saw the hull risers fitted.

‘The next step was to locate some pieces of grown oak for the new knees. Through the Forestry Commission I managed to locate some locally from a fallen oak tree in the New Forest, and these were cut down and shaped to size.

‘Last weekend the first deck beam was fitted to the aft deck area and a new skeg was being prepared to be fitted in the next few weeks.

‘If all goes to plan (and the weather is good) we plan to launch in August.’

Ben has also uploaded his second video of the restoration work on YouTube.

For earlier posts about this restoration, click here.

Ex Royal Lymington motor launch Mary gets her new timbers


Ex Royal Lymington motor launch Mary gets her new timbers. Click on the photos for bigger images

Ben Wales got in touch last week to report that he and his pals had fitted the last timber into Mary, the ex Royal Lymington Yacht Club motor launch he’s been restoring for a little while now.

See earliers posts herehere and here for more on this project. Progress may have been slowed by the dreadful weather we’ve had this summer, but Mary’s looking a lot better than she did in the first photos Ben sent.

Here’s what he says:

‘We started this back in April, but with the appalling weather [Ben’s working out of doors] and available time we have taken longer than expected to complete this.

‘We had to remove all the old timber ribs. The new timbers are home grown oak from the New Forest, and we cut on site into 10 to 12ft lengths, soaked them in water for a week and then steamed them ready for bending.

‘Out of the 29 timbers we fitted only two snapped on us.

‘The next phase in the restoration is to fit a new gunwales, and then new engine beds and bilge keels.’

Well done and thanks Ben – I hope the weather treats you more kindly for the rest of the summer!

‘Uffa Ace’ National 18 spotted in Denmark



Ben Wales spotted this Uffa Fox-designed Uffa Ace National 18 for sale while on the island of Fano while holidaying in Denmark recently – as he says, it’s amazing what you’ll find when far from home.

I’ve always liked the look of the 18s. I wonder how this one came to be so far from home? Was the National 18 ever a contender for International status?

Thanks Ben!