Lindbergh boat relaunch attempt

A SECOND attempt was being made to launch a restored £1 million motor boat used by Charles Lindbergh in the search for his kidnapped son from a boatyard on the River Deben.

A SECOND attempt was being made to launch a restored £1 million motor boat used by Charles Lindbergh in the search for his kidnapped son from a boatyard on the River Deben.

The 87ft-long Ginger Dot was left high and dry on Tuesday after efforts to put her into the water from the Whisstocks boatyard in Woodbridge failed.

The boat, built in 1922 in America, is being restored to its former elegance, but the project has taken far longer than owner Susan Clark expected. The boat is not finished and requires another substantial investment.

Her lease to use Whisstocks boatyard expired and Ginger Dot's next port of call is a short step away to Mel Skeet's boatyard in Melton, where craftsmen will spend the winter working on the boat.


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People crowded into the area to watch the launch, but were left disappointed when Ginger Dot only moved a few feet stern first down the slipway on a cradle at the early afternoon high tide.

One man climbed onto the roof of the Suffolk Sails building to watch, some stood on the steps leading up the side of the Tide Mill, while others watched patiently and anxiously from the promenade or from the warmth of their boats.

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A large crowd had first gathered on Sunday when the boat, shrouded in a huge tarpaulin, was taken out of the biggest shed at Whisstocks boatyard and left by the flood wall.

Mrs Clark said the launch had been postponed as there had been a "surprisingly" low tide and added another attempt would be made.

Ginger Dot was in danger of being lost when it was allowed to rot on the River Deben in Melton until Mrs Clark and her husband Angus saved it and decided the vessel was worth restoring.

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