Lively Lady has just been moved to Hayling Island, where work to restore the iconic yacht will begin ahead of 50th anniversary celebrations next year

Sir Alec Rose and his yacht, Lively Lady, inspired sailors young and old when he sailed into Portsmouth on 4 July 1968, marking the end of his 354-day round-the-world trip.

The greengrocer from Southsea was part of a generation of sailors who helped prove that small boats could sail around the world.

Sir Alex, who was knighted the day after his homecoming, was greeted by a crowd of more than 250,000 and a flotilla of around 400 boats, which escorted him into Portsmouth harbour.

Now the 36-foot Lively Lady is to be renovated ahead of 50th anniversary celebrations to mark Sir Alec’s circumnavigation.

The ketch was gifted to Portsmouth City Council by Sir Alec, and is now leased to the charity, Around and Around, which was founded by offshore sailor and Portsmouth native, Alan Priddy.

A black and white photo of Sir Alec Rose and his wife

Sir Alec Rose stands outside Buckingham Palace with his wife after receiving his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, Credit: S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Between 2006-2008, Priddy recreated Sir Alec’s voyage with an ever changing crew of disadvantaged youngsters from the city.

He felt that Lively Lady should not just be a museum piece but should be actively used to inspire youngsters to sail.

As part of the lease agreement, Around and Around agreed to carry out renovation work on Lively Lady, which will begin in a few weeks’ time.

The yacht has now been towed from the Camber Docks in Portsmouth to the Hayling Yacht Company on Hayling Island, which is overseeing the renovation work.

Continued below…

Eric and Susan Hiscock

Top 10 yacht pioneers

YBW's list of the top 10 yacht pioneers in the last 100 years. Who do you think should be on…

Lively Lady will be lifted out shortly and put under cover to allow the charity’s team of volunteers to clean and prepare her.

A spokesman for Around and Around, Alistair Thompson said the renovation will include a replacement deck, reassembling the wheel house, new electrics and work down below to make her health and safety compliment. She will also be repainted.

Lively Lady at sea with Spinnaker Tower in the background

Lively Lady being towed

He said the charity was already in preliminary talks with Portsmouth City Council over events to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Alec’s historic circumnavigation.

“We would like a whole series of festivities, culminating in the recreation of the sail past off Southsea. We want to use the anniversary to encourage young people to get more involved in sailing,” explained Thompson.

“We want young people to be inspired by Sir Alec Rose’s voyage. He was just a greengrocer from Southsea who showed that you could do anything you set your mind to,” he added.

A man on board a dismasted wooden yacht

Around and Around’s incoming chairman, Mark Smith on board Lively Lady

Other events could include an exhibition about Sir Alec and his life, as Round and Round has amassed many artefacts including scrolls detailing Lively Lady’s voyage and original clothing worn by Sir Alec.

It is also hoped that a blue plaque can be installed on the site of Sir Alec’s greengrocers shop in Southsea, which is currently a kebab shop.