1938 Dunkirk Little Ship
BOAT NAME:Gay Venture
BOAT TYPE: Motor Yacht
BOAT LENGTH: 45ft
BOAT BEAM: 12ft 6in
BOAT DRAFT: 3ft 6in
BOAT DISPLACEMENT: 4Tons
BOAT DESIGNER: Water Craft
BOAT BUILDER: Water Craft
BOAT YEAR: 1938
2004 Gay Venture was a laying wreck in the weir stream at Sunbury lock, she was transported in early March up stream to Dennett's, with 8ft by 6ft hole in her aft starboard quarter kept afloat by some tightly wrapped blue tarpaulin.
As she made this short but sad journey on lookers ask if she was being taken to be scrapped.
Today Gay Venture still has on lookers commenting on her appearance but all for the right reasons, admiring her beautiful vintage elegance.
IN THE MAKING
Whilst her pitch pine planks had held her in good stance eventually the neglect was finally sealing her fate.
So began the re-planking of her starboard aft side, some ribbing and doubling, her wheelhouse removed for repair, port side beam shelf had some serve rot and was partially replaced, whilst her starboard side was completely replaced. New Deck throughout, internal flooring, engines, galley, water system and heating.
Gay Ventures transformation was incredibly rewarding to see
FIND OUT MORE
Gay Venture was the largest boat ever built by Watercraft at Molesey, and her 12ft beam (wide for those days) provided space for a comfortable interior. Forward of the bridge, one stepped down into the state room which led into a comfortable bathroom. Behind the wheelhouse was a large saloon with access to the spacious galley. The ship was built for two; any professional crew would have to sleep on the settee in the wheelhouse.
A YEAR IN THE MAKING
When she arrived in Her condition at this point was very poor as she sat in the water at Sunbury with a 6ft by 8ft hole in her aft starboard side, her decks leaked and had many holes in them, her cabin roofs were rotten through and her interior, aside from a few surviving pieces, was non-existent.
Works began instantly re-planking GV's hull , replacing her beamshleves, dismantling her wheelhouse for repair and varnishing, she had a new deck laid and full decorated. She returned to Dunkirk for the 2005 return and then returned to the yard for re-engining and an interior refit.
2005 I PRESENT DAY
We are very proud of Gay Venture as a restoration, a Dunkirk Little Ship and as our family yacht which provides us with an immense amount of joy.
A beautiful vessel with and beautiful story .
THE OWNERS JOURNEY
Gay Venture turned up at the yard in 2004 and has never left. The close relationship of restoring GV resulted in her owner Heather and Stephen, of Dennett Boat Builders, marrying five years after works started on her refurbishment.
Gay Venture remains in the ownership of the now Heather Dennett, they have three sons together and attend most Dunkirk events with GV. Heather and Steve run Dennett Boatbuilders who are responsible for many of the restorations of Dunkirk Little Ships and Heather herself specialises in the interior design of traditional yachts and is an active member of the committee of the ADLS. Gay Venture is not only a boat of historical importance she is a vessel that has strong personal connections for those that have sailed upon her.