IN A NUTSHELL
ANSWERS TO FAQ'S FROM THE CURIOUS.
Deneys Reitz in 1958
- Yes, was a lifeboat, known as a Watson 47 (feet long, actually 46 feet 9 inches)
- Indeed, its made of wood - double diagonal mahogany planking on oak frames
- No, it's not pronounced Denis Ritz, its “Denaes Raitz”
- Deneys Reitz was a South African Afrikaaner who fought the British, then joined the British army, became Colonel of the First Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers in France, World War One. Became SA High Commissioner to London, 1941. Died in London 1944. Wrote a rousing account, called “Commando” of his exploits in the Boer horse irregulars fighting the British in the Boer War
- Money to build raised in SA during World War Two by a woman called Patty Price, who had been rescued by a lifeboat when a girl
- Yes, we had her converted between 1995 and 1999. Our aim: to have adventures
- Yes, like dog-shit, it gets all over the place. Up to 2011 has been to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg.
- Yes, it took us quite a long time.
- Yes, the two of us can sail her, because she has a bow-thruster (Free demo for the initiates - “Wow”!) Two crew minimum because Don not a good navigator and Charlotte is
- Built 1954 at the boatyard of Groves and Gutteridge, Isle of Wight. Boatyard closed a long time ago.
- No, it doesn't have Gardner diesels, alas
- Originally fitted with twin Ferry diesel engines, 40 horsepower (or 70, depending what definition of horsepower, watts of output or whatever you use).
- Now fitted with two Ford Thorneycroft D380 diesels of 120 horsepower each. Re-engined by the RNLI in 1970. D380's were tractor engines originally
- Yes, diesel is bloody expensive - she burns about 11 litres an hour at 8 knots. Her successor burns 350 litres an hour at 25 knots!!
- Length, minus rudder, 14.2 meters or 46 feet, 9 inches (as I said before, weren't you listening?)
- Beam 3.9 meters, (can't remember in feet)
- Yes, it's a brilliant boat in a bad sea, but it rolls like a drunken porker
- Quite safe kind of roll though, fast and energetic, so must put everything away before venturing to sea
- Served at Fowey, Cornwall, South West England from 1954 to 1980
- Original crew about 7, mainly volunteers. Coxwain (Cap'n) stood at huge wheel, strapped to a frame, looking out of small armoured wheelhouse windows.
- Engineer sat by his feet with engine throttles and gear controls(!!!)
- Went to rescue of a large pleasure boat on its delivery trip
- Saved estimated 36 lives in her time. Out in near-hurricane in 1979
- Layout completely changed on conversion. Wheelhouse now much further forward (Yes, does give an intimate viewing of the next big wave)
- Will sleep two in separate fore-cabin (away from kids, other drunks, snoring, farting, dogs etc) and four in two double bunks below.
- Carries 2400 litres diesel, 1600 litres water, holds 240 litres excreta in holding tank. Yes, pump-outs can take time and occasionally be exciting
- Has two heads, bogs, Johns or toilets and one shower
- Has 4-burner cooker and fridge that will hold oodles of wine, beer, food etc.
Options, depending on who is asking:
- 1. Now bugger off
- 2. Do come aboard, have a look at picture as original lifeboat, engine room, cabin, wheelhouse.....
- 2a, known as the “Norwegian Option”: 2 + “Would you like a glass of wine?”