About Rescue Wooden Boats

Boatbuilders David Hewitt and George Hewitt, together with several wooden working boat enthusiasts based in North Norfolk set up the charitable trust called Rescue Wooden Boats in 2011.


To acquire, restore, maintain and use examples of heritage maritime wooden working craft and in so doing, tell their stories though the people who crewed them and provide education about their history, construction, maintenance and use as well as about the crafts involved in all of these.

To invite educational visits and trips to the soon to be opened Visitor Centre and the yard to build understanding of the history of working boats and the crafts involved in their building, maintenance and use, as well as the films and photographs providing educational and archive value.

Project work

Lucy Lavers
Rescue Wooden Boats has been given the historic Lifeboat Lucy Lavers a Liverpool single screw class, built in 1940, donated by the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust. The plan is to restore her to her original condition by 2015 so she can actively be used afloat in Wells-next-the-Sea, and also returned to Dunkirk by sea in 2015 for the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of troops from the beaches.

Black Beauty
A North Norfolk crab boat donated by Andy Frary, also requiring restoration.

A whelker built by Johnson in 1935 for the Cox family.  She too may also have Dunkirk history and requires complete restoration.

A whelker built in 1951 by Emery for Sid 'Custard' Cooper, donated by Graeme Peart, ready to use and sailing on the water, helping to promote Rescue Wooden Boats.

Crab boat built by Billy May in 1974 for Geoff Fox of West Runton. She has been in Scotland for about 15 years with Bernard Thain and his family, earning her keep supplying their restaurant and farm shop with seafood. She is due to be returning home in April 2013 for trips afloat in the summer.

Education Film & Photos

Rescue Wooden Boats are creating an educational film and photo archive of these working boats. They have filmed lifeboat crew members who have served on Lucy Lavers and other lifeboats and fishermen who made their living using boats like Black Beauty and Bessie.

These films will soon be accompanied by education packs for schools to help use the films and plan visits to see the maritime history and boat restoration.

Click here to find out more about Rescue Wooden Boats and their current projects.


Image top: 'North Norfolk Crabber' tryptych painting by James Dodds.




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