Betty CK145 is a 40ft Aldous smack built in 1906.
Colne Match results;
- 1972 Last smack home Vernon Scott Trophy
- 1973 1st over the start line Hammond Bell Trophy
- 1974 1st over the start line Hammond Bell Trophy
- 1975 1st over the start line Hammond Bell Trophy
- 1975 1st COCK OF THE COLNE
She was built for Mr French from Mersea for GBP100.00, and was used for oyster dredging by the French family long into the second 2nd World War.
After the war she was owned by Mr Juggens French, employed as watchman by the Tollesbury & Mersea Oyster Company. After his death – now with an engine and without mast or sails – she was used for cockling by Mr Roy Leslie, a shellfish merchant from Southend, by motoring out into sands and drying out on the ebb. The cockles are then raked up, loaded and taken ashore on the next tide. Then, in the early 1960s, the boat was laid up in the mud of Barling Creek, where she was destined to be forgotten, like countless other fishing boats.
In 1965 Mr Ray Riley from Wivenhoe finds the dilapidated hull and purchases it for GBP165.00. Over the next three years he rebuilds Betty to a cruising smack in the style of the 1920s, following a tradition of the years before the war to convert former working boats to pleasure yachts. He had to replace many planks, bulwark, deck beams and deck planking and adds a low cabin, mast, spars, rig and stanchions. A few years later she is equipped with a set of racing sails and the topmast.
In 1979 Betty is sold to a German owner. Again a lot has to be restored and repaired: new running rigging is fitted and a new Volvo diesel engine replaces the old Morris Navigator. At the Behrens shipyard in Hamburg-Finkenwerder stem post, planking and electrical wiring are replaced in 1982. Due to family restrictions, Betty was sold to a new group of active sailors in 1987. Because of severe damage during a gale in 1989 the complete restoration of the stern became necessary. New deck planking including the deck beams and a new set of sails are added in 1992. Some years later the group expanded and changed over to a larger boat. lt was in 1994 that the former owner decided, together with two friends, to buy back Betty. Then there was the need of some 240 feet of new planking in 1999, a new rig (standing and running), the complete overhaul of mast and spars including a new bowsprit. There remains enough time though, to win a few trophies besides.
After a change in ownership in September of 2002, Betty goes on a year-long journey to England by way of the Netherlands for an enthusiastic homecoming in the Thames Estuary. In 2003, due to an accident in the Netherlands a new, lightweight topmast and the general overhaul of the engine was required. There is another sail to England in the next year, this time along the south coast through the Solent all the way to Weymouth. While on the return leg via the Normandy, she is driven aground in the mouth of the river Canche with serious damage to her hull. After the rescue operation, seven frames and five planks have to be replaced amidships at a wooden boat yard in Tholen, Zeeland. With the mast lowered, she is able to go through the canals of Holland and northern Germany back to the Elbe river.
From 2005 to 2009 Betty was sailing in Northern Germany with summer trips to Denmark and Sweden. During the winter months she is berthed at the Gaff-Consortium in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, she is sailed on the river Elbe and the Baltic Sea during the summer and has her berth at the museum port of Lübeck.
In the spring of 2009 Betty sailed to Tholen, Zeeland in the South of Holland. Then in 2010 across the Channel to the Thames Estuary, where she has a mudberth for the second winter. Betty stays in the water all year round. During the winter months of 2011-2012 the she is berthed at the Buurthaven de Levant in Amsterdam, in the spring they will sail back Dutch waters.