Preview: BETTY Mc, An Australian Crayfish Workboat Turned World Cruiser

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In 2007 Rodger and Ali set out on BETTY Mc from Australia for Chile but some where in the South pacific they took a left instead of a right and it’s been an adventure ever since. Today, with over 35,000 miles under her belt, BETTY Mc still has yet to reach Chile, but they’re still steaming so anything could happen!

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14 Responses So Far to “BETTY Mc, An Australian Crayfish Workboat Turned World Cruiser

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    Brent Williams says:

    If I could only get my wife to make the plunge. My dog and I are ready to go, great video, thank you.

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    Brad Heald says:

    thanks very much for this clip, it is just what we need to inspire us while we build our own trawler to do exactly what you are doing, would love to here more?… will hopefully cross paths one day to swap stories..

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    Peter Heiberg says:

    Really lovely video Roger and Ali, hope our paths cross in the spring. We’re off to Prince William Sound and at least partly inspired by the two of you. Cheers, Peter and Christy MFV Tomte

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    Chris Mills says:

    Hi Rodger and Ali, we spoke at Lakes Entrance before your trip as new owners of Roma (Nan Sea). At 42’ the topsides looked very similar, but your extra draught was something we admired hugely. Ken built Roma with 4’6” draught to get over the bars she worked around.
    Well done on a wonderful cruise. Your refit was everything you wanted.
    Chris and Finn. Nungurner.
    PS Roma now down in Tassie with new owners.

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    William Ely says:

    I love this boat! I dream to one day own a former trawler. I guess a shrimping boat since i’m in the south and doing the Great Loop. O-My the dreams I have. Thanks for all the great videos y’all post!

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    Bruce Stannard says:

    Thank you for allowing us to come aboard Betty Mc and catch a glimpse not just of this lovely boat but also of Rodger and Ali, two equally remarkable people who are actually underway on the voyage of a lifetime, the voyage we all dream about but very few ever get to undertake. Ken Lacco, Betty Mc’s designer and builder is a wooden boat legend Down Under so it is no wonder that Rodger and Ali feel complete confidence in this wonderfully sturdy vessel. She has the unmistakeable look of a great seaboat: the sweeping sheer, the wheelhouse aft and the modest auxiliary sail rig all speak with eloquence about her capabilities. Thanks to the OCH Crew. You have hit the nail on the head once again.

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    Danny Doyle says:

    Grew up in Tassy, these were a common sight at Constitution Dock unloading their catch of Southern Rock Lobster (Crayfish). You can still see them, still working.
    Great, tough boats, as one of the other comments noted these boats fished the Great Southern Ocean and West Coast of Tasmania and could handle anything the worlds oceans could throw at them.
    Absolutely wonderful to see her in full swing. See you in Tassy in Feb for the Wooden Boat Festival.

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    William Gurley says:

    Great story, Thanks. I am surprised that they kept the open ;
    live well, maybe it dampens the motion.

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      Rodger & Ali Grayson says:

      The well does dampen the motion quite a bit, especially in head seas. It doesn’t do much for reducing rolling – we rely on the sails for that.

      There are a few other considerations with removing or sealing the well. There’s about 6 tonne of water there so rebalasting is needed. There’s well over 100 holes through the hull with about 4″ of concrete on the inside, so sealing is not that simple. Nevertheless, people who do more complete conversions certainly do seal them up and add living space.

      In our case we figured we had enough room with out it and were keen to get cruising……..

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        Neil Henderson says:

        My boat is also a converted Australian crayfish boat built in Apollo Bay (Victoria, Australia) by G. Fisk – wonderfully seaworthy with a high bow like this one. Mine was converted by a previous owner who took out the live well – so I have a LOT of lead ingots in the bilges to stop her ‘corking’ – seems to work well. I have sails as well – both are fairly small so she does top speed in a light gale :-)

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    Mark Lo Schiavo says:

    A boat that works off the coast of South Eastern Australia can manage any sea in the world. There is a wave buoy off Maatsuyker Island twenty metres high, recording the height of the swells. It is regularly swamped by the rollers which sweep unimpeded from the Horn and Agulhas. Betty Mc and cray boats like her call this region home.

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      Rodger & Ali Grayson says:

      Mark, Ali and I were talking with Snow Lacco a few weeks ago and he told us some stories about working around Maatsuyker Island……….one involved swells he measured at over 100′ peak to trough on his echo sounder. So yes, it can get pretty big down there!

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    Paula Page says:

    Enjoyed the ‘take her as she is and just GO’ of this piece…
    We cruised B.C. and Alaska on retired B.C. salmon trollers for years ‘as is’, finally coming home and building our own❗️


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