The return of Lively Lady
Sir Alec Rose’s iconic ketch Lively Lady is back to her former glory and sailing again after a 10-month restoration project.
A team of eight volunteers from the charity Around and Around, led by project leader Alan Priddy, spent 4,000 man hours painstakingly working on the 36-foot ketch at the Hayling Yacht Company. When the project started in October 2017, Lively Lady was little more than a hull after a stalled previous restoration attempt.
Speaking to PBO, Priddy said they were quoted £250,000 by two boat restorers for the work. Instead, he turned to a group of Around and Around volunteers who have completed the restoration for just £15,000.
“To everyone who helped – the volunteers, the marine industry and supporters – from the bottom of my heart I thank you as without you it wouldn’t have happened,” said Priddy.
“Alec was the people’s hero: 250,000 people were there when he come home. He showed that sailing is for everyone. Alec said: ‘If you believe you can, you can’. All of the volunteers believed in Sir Alec’s legacy, and they have done it as much for Sir Alec as the boat,” he added.
Lively Lady now has a new deck, wheelhouse and electrics. The 36ft ketch has also been painted in her original striking green-turquoise colour, known as Lively Lady Green, which graced her hull when Sir Alec sailed her out of Portsmouth to sail around the world 51 years ago.
Priddy was among the 250,000 strong-crowd that turned out to witness Sir Alec’s triumphant return to Portsmouth on 4 July 1968.
“I was 15 when I met him and he told me ‘If you believe, you can sail, go for it’ – and I did,” recalled Priddy, who went on to become an offshore sailor and record holder.
The people’s boat
Lively Lady was gifted to the people of Portsmouth by Sir Alec before the Around and Around charity become custodian of the yacht. Between 2006-2008, Priddy recreated Sir Alec’s voyage with crews of disadvantaged youngsters from the city, and he’d like to see this tradition continued.
“We created a legacy with the initial round the world voyage in 1998, and those who took part are certainly more than capable of doing it again so it would be nice to keep this going and to see her go around the world again,” he said.
Currently berthed at Port Solent, Lively Lady will be appearing at the Southampton Boat Show alongside Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, and the Hamble Classics in September. To go on board at Port Solent contact Around and Around at livelylady.org
Lively Lady has been repainted in her original greenturquoise colour
Sir Alec Rose later gifted Lively Lady to the people of Portsmouth
Volunteers spent 4,000 man hours restoring Lively Lady