COMMENT: Court battle over yacht is only way to sort out row

She was the focus of world attention when Southsea greengrocer Sir Alec Rose single-handedly sailed her around the globe in 1968. But now the yacht Lively Lady is at the centre of a court battle over her restoration.

Today we reveal how one charity is suing another over the state in which she was allegedly left after a supposed restoration.      

It’s a sad development in the story of the iconic Lively Lady, who will always hold a special place in sailing history.

Just a few months ago it was all smiles as Lively Lady made a triumphant homecoming to her former berth at Port Solent, 50 years on from her legendary voyage.

But now Alan Priddy, founder of the charity Around and Around, says a year of work to fix her up was only made necessary because she had been left in a ‘sorry state’ by the International Boatbuilding Training College in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

It was Lively Lady’s custodian Mr Priddy who sent her to the IBTC back in 2015 and handed over £12,400 for what he expected to be a full restoration. But he ended up taking her out and finishing the work himself because he claimed the refurbishment had not been done as expected. Now he wants his money back, saying that it was raised by youngsters on behalf of the charity.

Meanwhile the IBTC says the money paid by Around and Around was for accommodation and work by its students ‘when it fitted within their curriculum’.

As with so many legal cases, there are claims and counter claims. To Mr Priddy, who sailed Lively Lady around the world between 2006 and 2008, the issue is personal.

Both sides appear entrenched with very different views of what has happened. Ultimately, the matter can only be resolved by a court.  But we can’t help thinking Sir Alec would be sad to see his beloved yacht argued over in such a way.