The coming weeks and months will see a change in the progress of the refit of Mai-Star II

When you buy any old boat, it is good to try and find out about its history as well as you can. Seeing where it as been and the people who have owned over the years and find out about any stories you can learn from its past owners.

 

Gadfly II was the second of three boats to have the name of Gadfly and was  built by Anderson Rigden & Perkins in Whitstable. Its first owner was a man called Mr H.C.Doughty from Margate in Kent who had it launched in the spring of 1946. although the boat was starting to be built in 1939. From talking to people about the boat it was almost finished before the second world war started, but was put to one side and covered up for the rest of the second world war and finished off and launched in the spring of 1946.

 

This is where Mr Doughty comes into the picture having already owned Gadfly I otherwise called Gadfly Jack, This he sold her after the war and the one who had Gadfly II finished and launched and owned until the October of 1953 when Lt CDR Bawtree buy her and then sold it to Mr R.M.Parker in July 1955. Then it changed owners again in May 1959 when Mr W.D.Austin bought her.

 

Her next owner Mrs J.L.Watson bought her in July 1961 to sail her round the Solent with family, I was contacted by her son Charles Watson and he said that the boat was a good sailing boat for its size and the only reason his mother sold Gadfly II was because the family had increase in size and the boat was too small for them all to go on.

 

The next owner Mr R.J.Watts who owned for sailed her out of Erith Yacht Club but sold her again as he had plans to sail other boats and sold it to Mr E.J.Little who owned it from Dec 1962 to Dec 1968, when Mr F.G.Menden  owned it until May 1973 to Mr N.P.Knight from 10th May 1973. It is at this point the trial runs cold, apart from Mr Watts seeing Gadfly II off Pin Mill in Suffolk on the River Orwell and talking to its owner who now called Gadfly II just the The Fly that was in the early 1980’s.

 

It was the last time that have been able to find out where it was and who owned for until I came upon an advert on EBay. That she was a boat in need of a full restoration and was going for a small amount of money. The last owner had started to do some work, but he had not been able to carry on with her restoration and so I bought her and started the long and pain taking job of bring her back to life. This project started in 2008.

 

The first job was to strip her down to her basic shell and remove all the old paint and varnish off the hull and cabin sides and remove what was left of the decks. Once that was done then start the job of rebuilding the Gadfly II into a sailing yacht once more and get her sailing again.

 

The rest of the restoration project can be seen on the other posts on the long journey to restore Gadfly II.

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