Rebellion III or “Reb” as she was called was moored at Gillingham Pier near Chatham Marina on the River Medway. She was owned by a retired QC who looked upon her as a Gentleman’s Yacht and wanted her to be well maintained. Being a member of the Cruising Association he placed an advertisement in their house magazine where a YOSC member (also member of the CA) read it and passed the details on to Malcolm Cross. He arranged all the details and included myself for the experience. We were to maintain her as best we could with any expenses for additional work, tools, etc., paid for. In return we had the use of Reb almost whenever we wanted. This gave us ‘new ground’ to sail which we firmly took advantage of taking her to Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham, Queenborough, Ramsgate, Dover, Limehouse Basin & St Katherine Yacht Haven (River Thames) and a circumnavigation of the Isle of Sheppy.
She had a 65 Hp Mercedes 4 cylinder engine with a hydraulic gearbox giving “instant” forward/reverse. Such a pleasure. Slept 4 in comfort with a berth in the Doghouse (Malcolm’s berth). She also had GPS, Radar, Vessels speed and Water Depth and a small chart table in the Doghouse. On one occasion we were boarded by the Police but it was just a familiarity visit checking our Ships and personal papers although there were some 7 assorted officers (and a dog) on their vessel. Once in Limehouse Basin (HQ of the Cruising Association, and do a very nice breakfast) a very large Barge moored and the crew started to raise the main mast. This being some 18 inches in diameter they wanted as many volunteers as possible so Malcolm and I gave our assistance only to be shown up within minutes when exhausted by a 12 year old. We needed a drink!
Apart from the Owner David Fletcher-Rogers, Malcolm Cross and myself there were John Weale, Alex Phipps, Pauline Hooker, Chris Freeman, Gary Plume, Terry Hurrel, Steve Vincent, Roger Winn and other members of YOSC who also had the chance of a sail in those waters.