Nyula previously Betty

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
Nyula previously Betty
Boat Type: 
Motor Yacht
Boat Length: 
40 ft
Boat Beam: 
9ft 6ins
Boat Draft: 
3ft 6ins
Boat Displacement: 
10.9 Grt
Boat Engine: 
Sole (Mitsubishi) 105 6 cyl 95hp Diesel
Boat Construction: 
Mahogany on oak
Boat Builder: 
Walton Yacht and Launch Works, Shepperton
Boat Year: 

Nyula (originally “Betty”) was built in 1933, and made her first appearance at the Motor Boat Exhibition at Olympia in October of that year. The Yachting Monthly (November) account reads......

“The Walton Yacht and Launch Works Ltd of Shepperton exhibited a very shapely 40ft cruiser, quite one of the most interesting and sea-worthy boats at the show. With her black enamelled topsides, a graceful bow, counter stern having a well-rounded transom, and a most pleasing and bold sheer, this bridge-deck cruiser was the most distinctive-looking craft in the Show, with quite a touch of the American 'fisherman' about her. Designed by C.W.Burnard A.I.N.A; she is intended to be suitable for day cruising, fishing trips, or as a coastal cruiser with accommodation for 4 persons”

Her subsequent base was on the Thames, but in 1940 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and along with some 350 other “Little Ships” took part in the heroic rescue of over 338,000 troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. On her return she was allocated to river patrol duties on the east coast at Harwich, equipped with an Oerlikon gun on her foredeck.

After the war she was restored to private ownership and renamed Nimrod. Her home port for many years was Waldringfield on the River Deben, but later she was moved to Woodbridge where she became sadly neglected. Happily she was rescued in 1970 by boatbuilder Ian Brown of Rowhedge who restored her with loving care for his own use. Apart from slightly lengthening the wheelhouse the original design has been retained. She also underwent her third change of name, this time to Nyula.

In 1976 Nyula was sold and taken to Chichester. Here she was bought by the late ADLS Commodore Peter Packard who was unaware of both her Suffolk background and Dunkirk history. Peter took her back to her home on the River Deben, and only became aware of her Dunkirk provenance on release of Admiralty papers in 1985 which enabled her to be identified through her engine number. 25 years of regular use and maintanance under Peter's loving care ensured her survival.

In 2005 Nyula was bought by her current keeper Alex Ramsey who has undertaken gradual substantial restoration work. Every winter is spent working on her at her home mooring in the Midlands, and each spring she makes the pilgrimage via Boston or the Humber Estuary to the East Coast and the Thames to attend ADLS events. Nyula has made every 5 yearly crossing to Dunkirk since 1985.

In 2016 Nyula returned to Dunkirk for a starting role in the feature film 'DUNKIRK'.

Updated from the 2017 Spring edition of 'ADLS. Fleet News'.
In the winter of 2017, Alex was busy constructing a new (hollow) mainmast and re-rigging to allow 'a degree of sailing ability'.

Updated April 2018


A Hello To Nyula

I came to the website today having caught a few glimpses of Nyula in yesterday's TV coverage of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. My name is Fiona Brown, daughter of Ian Brown (mentioned above), and I have very many happy childhood memories of summers spent aboard Nyula on the East Coast. It was wonderful to see her looking so beautiful and taking part in this historic event. She was an important part of our family's life and I am so pleased to see she is still in such fine fettle.
With best regards
Fiona Brown