Ben Wales launches the restory RLYC tender Mary

Ben Wales has launched the ex Lymington Yacht Club tender and tiny Dunkirk Little Ship Mary that he has been steadily restoring over the past few years with the help of his friend Norman Rickman.

We’ve followed his progress on the clinker built 1930s motor launch since this this post in 2011. If you’re interested in seeing them all, this search link will be an imperfect way to find the posts, but should get you there.

Mary went back into the water on Saturday 6th June at 1pm at the slipway next to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, and the ceremony was performed by Joanna Lowis, great neice of the lady it was named after. The Mayor of Lymington and a crowd of around 30 people turned up to watch.

The final stage will be fitting the engine box and the exhaust system, followed by sea trials. Ben says he hopes to write again with more photos soon.  Meanwhile, here’s Ben’s leaflet about Mary.

Congratulations Ben – she looks great and I’m sure you’re pleased and proud.


RLYC motor launch gets new timbers


Ben Wales has begun steaming in new oak timbers on his ex-Royal Lymington Yacht Club motor launch.

Ben, who is working outdoors on his restoration, says it looks as if all the timbers will have to be replaced, which will mean removing the engine beds… I trust the weather improves!

Putting in timbers is a two-man job. For steaming, Ben uses a lagged 4in x 12ft plastic pipe connected to a 2kW wallpaper stripper. It takes about 40mins to soften the timber; once that’s done, one man uses blocks to hold the steamed timber in the boat, while the other drills the holes and nails from the outside.

Ben’s researches reveal that the little launch has had an interesting history, including involvement in the Dunkirk evacuation.  This is what she looked like in her heyday:

Motor launch Mary in 1960, restoration Ben Wales

For more posts on this project, click here, here and here, and here and here.