It gives me great pleasure to see that the 40ft motor cruiser Betsie Jane has made it on to the short list for the powerboat category within this year’s Classic Boat Awards Her nomination is a fitting tribute to the hard work of the self taught furniture maker Paul Rainbird. In 2012, he completed Betsie Jane’s restoration which had been started by Ron Bailey in 1991. Following her relaunch at the Loddon boatyard of Greenway Marine, Betsie Jane has been used by Paul and Heidi Rainbird for skippered day trips on the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads.
I had the opportunity to join Paul and Heidi for a memorable day out on the River Waveney in May 2012. My visit coincided with the opening of Eddie’s Ternpike ferry service, between the Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter and Carlton Marshes, by the renowned botanist Professor David Bellamy. In an unexpected twist to the day, David Bellamy and his wife joined Betsie Jane for a short trip down the River Waveney, while I took the on board shots for my Classic Boat feature. You can read more about Betsie Jane’s history and restoration within the February 2013 issue of Classic Boat (CB296).
Please do find the time to vote for Betsie Jane and some of the worthy candidates that have been nominated for the other categories. These awards are a great way to recognise the dedicated people behind some of the finest boats in the world.