The Baden Powell on the River Great Ouse. Picture: Paul Tibbs

Three new skippers will be taking the helm of the fishing smack restoration project, the Baden Powell.

They are Charlie Batchelor, who spent much of his career with roll-on, roll-off vessels trading in larger ports; Mark Charnley, who went to work at sea aged 15 and worked his way up to become a deep sea master mariner, then a marine pilot in London and Felixstowe; and retired fisherman Dave Cooper, who knows The Wash and its shifting sandbanks.

The vessel is back at King’s Lynn’s South Quay pontoons and one of the last procedures carried out at Lynn docks before it was granted clearance to the river, saw 12 men line up along one side of the deck and jump up and down to see whether the boat would stay afloat, a spokesman said.

A few sandbags were also needed to get to the proper weight, but the test was a success, the spokesman added. Find out more about the project at