The project




I am called Aquabelle, female first name as for all the English boats. I was born in 1939 in the famous William OSBORNE Ltd Arun Shipyard LittleHampton Sussex, here are my  "blue drawings" in 1938 




Here is a photograph of my launching in 1939:





My measurements are the following : 13.32 meters of length, 3.62 meters wide, 3 meters of air gap because of my masts, 1.52 meter of draft  for a weight of 12 tons (international gauge 23.38 Tnx). I have 2 six-cylinder motors diesel of 70 horses each one, the same from my birtday, Ailsa-Craig brand.


My first missions were journeys with Benjamin Taylor family on the edges of the Thames and on the South Coast of  England.






Caught up with by the war, I have been requisitioned in 1940 by the Englih Navy like most  my colleagues to evacuate the English and French soldiers encircled by the German army in the pocket of Dunkirk (this episode had been called "DYNAMO Operation)

Dynamo operation by Giovanni Gandolfo. 







Then I have been used for missions of rescue, also for the protection of the headlights and beacons, I have been even equipped with a machine-gun, etc… throughout all the conflict.

Elsewhere my old bones, oh, I beg your perdon, my old frame still remembers.

Then I wandered along the English coasts, the French ones, the Spanish ones, looking for a new life , with new owners who could take care of me. Here is my photograph in 1947 






I was beautiful with my  sails


1939_aquabelle__sous_voiles :


Lastly, I was given up by my last owner, in a basic bottom pit, near St Gilles, close to Aigues Mortes in the Mediterranean sea. End of the course programmed for Aqua Belle in Aqua mortes like would say the French poets.


Hopefully, I was remarked in 2011 by a group of people, fond of old boats, and for a few months these furious have been working to give me great face lift.


See how were my engines: 





Look at them today:




Look at my dress which trailed during 18 years in water without anybody worrying.




I start to live again



The local newsletter describes me as a valorous soldier. I keep valorous adjective, but in fact, for the English Navy, I have the grade of Admiral, and I am allowed to wear Saint Georges Cross. 

But , let us remain modest… 





I even found the grandson son of my first Dad, Colin,  who works with his wife Sue to make me living again. They even found the colors of my wardrobe on the family pictures.




All these efforts to be presentable during the next gathering of the "Little Ships of Dunkirk", in May 2015 in Dunkirk of course and Ramsgate from where the Armada left England to save all these soldiers.



Of course, to be there on May 20th, 2015,  it will take at least 3 months of navigation from Palavas to Dunkirk by the channels. To avoid the risings of the Rhone, it will be necessary to leave at the latest in January 2015. 


Before this date, a minimum of works have to be completed so that I would be abble to achieve the travel, and during summertime, it will be necessary to train my nurses for they could guide me and take care of me all along the travels to go to and come back  from Dunkirk and Ramsgate.




 Then, for the face lift and the travel, I still need some equipments (2000 € for the hull, 1000 € for the engines)


I require for provisions (fuel oil and oil for 4500 € for travelling), and several nurses for all the services that my great age requires. (see the budget of the travel).


Thus think, to find me again with 50 of my former girlfriends (more than 350 already died by default of care) is an exceptional occurrence. I couldnot think it will happen a day.



You can help me to achieve this come back, and you will receive a gift (see list of the counterparts) if the project succeeds thanks to you.


For all that, I need a total of 20.000€ , one part assumed by the owners and the association (the Aquabelle Friends), the remaining part, 7500 € assumed by the Kisskissbankers (hopefully). 




Of course, if I receive more than 7500€, the Association and the owners will have less to pay for my revival.



"Les amis de l'Aquabelle"

Nous sommes l'association "les amis de l'Aquabelle" (association loi de 1901), Le but est de restaurer, d'entretenir et de faire naviguer l'Aquabelle avec les membres de l'association. C'est auusi de rendre possible l'apprentissage des gestes des charpentiers de marine afin d'assurer leur transmission.

Newest comments

Superbe projet, je souhaite qu'il aille à son terme. Merci de faire revivre l'histoire de notre pays par le biais de ce projet.