Covid-19/Coronavirus Update: All vouchers have automatically been extended to the end of September 2021. Due to the uncertainty regarding the mixing of households for the foreseeable future we are unable to offer new vouchers for Betsie Jane. Once restrictions are eased and we are able to resume trips on Betsie Jane we will update our website. At present this expected to be from late April.

All trips in 2021 will run according to the most up to date guidelines/restrictions at the time and always with customer and staff safety as the priority.

River Hamble cruises aboard Betsie Jane - a 1938 Classic Gentleman's Launch

"Built in 1938 in Cowes on the Isle of Wight by Saunders Roe, Betsie Jane has a rich history. Now fully restored and moored on the iconic River Hamble, she is a time capsule allowing you to take a glimpse back at life aboard a 1930s Gentleman's Launch. From the lustre of the deep varnish to the smell of the teak, Betsie Jane offers you the chance to experience an authentic luxury classic motor boat experience."

Aboard Betsie Jane on a River Cruise .....

Cruising aboard Betsie Jane transports you back to the bygone era of the 1930s and whilst relaxing in her safe and comfortable cockpit, you will feel truly special, as the beautiful lines of this unique and historic vessel turn heads wherever she travels.

There is plenty to see as we gently meander up the majestic River Hamble through the 1000s of yachts moored on this River, which is also a hive of other water craft of all shapes and sizes. Nestled among the boats, the banks of this River are also the home to a wide variety of marine wildlife, with the River often described as a birdwatchers paradise. From our base in Universal Marina, at the heart of the River Hamble we can head downstream through the riverside villages of Hamble and Warsash or inland to the tranquil waters of the Upper Reaches of the River Hamble.

Perfect to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or just to enjoy a special trip out; choose from our Sparkling Afternoon Tea or Evening Gin Cruise. Our professional Skipper and Host or Hostess will be on hand to look after you throughout the experience and will be delighted to share their knowledge of the River Hamble and Betsie Jane with you should you be interested!

All our experiences are fully inclusive, which means all the food and drink on board are included in the price of your cruise.

Key Information

All trips start and finish from Cabin Boatyard in Bursledon, Hampshire

We welcome participants with disabilities, however to retain the historic nature of Betsie Jane we are limited in the adaptations we are able to make to the vessel. Participants will need to walk down two steep steps to get onto the boat and unfortunately Betsie Jane is not adapted to take wheelchairs aboard. If you would like to discuss mobility requirements for a trip aboard Betsie Jane please do not hesitate to contact us on 02380 988966 and we would be delighted to make an appointment to view the boat before booking.

Cruises aboard Betsie Jane run in most weather conditions - in the event of rain we have a fabric rain cover fitted to the boat to keep the cockpit dry. In the event of extreme weather a cruise may occasionally be postponed - in this event we would contact all participants in advance.

This experience is run by the Mermaids Group Ltd

Book your trip online

Buying a gift? Our open dated vouchers can be used for either of our cruises giving the recipient maximum choice!

Sparkling Afternoon Tea Cruise

Enjoy afternoon tea on the river accompanied by a glass or two of Prosecco

£300 for exclusive hire

  • The cruise runs from 1:30pm to 3pm and 3:30pm to 5pm
  • Includes an afternoon tea of sandwiches, scones and cake, served on vintage crockery
  • Includes up to two glasses of Prosecco or non-alcoholic sparkling wine
  • Includes a range of refreshments including tea, coffee and water
  • All participants must be aged over 14. If you wish to drink the Prosecco you must be over 18 and if you look under 25 we will need to see ID
  • It's no problem to cater for dietary requirements - just ensure you let us know at least seven days in advance of your trip
  • You will be taken care of by our professional Skipper and Host/ess

We will reopen from bookings when national restrictions are eased in mid-April


All our trips start and finish from Cabin Boatyard in Bursledon.

Contact Us

Call us on 02380 988966

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Betsie Jane was commissioned by Lord Ebbisham and built by Saunders Roe at Cowes in 1938. Designed specifically to entertain guests she was luxuriously appointed with white leather seats in the cockpit, teak decks and beautiful cabinet work. S Ron could not continue the project and so he offered her for sale in 2007.  From here the project was taken over by Paul Rainbird who undertook a major rebuild which was completed in 2012. Fortunately many of the fixtures and fittings have survived and have been incorporated into the restoration enabling Paul to rebuild Betsie to nearly exactly as she was originally back in 1938.

Paul's 2,500 man hour restoration gained recognition by Classic Boat's Restoration of the Year Award 2013. She is also listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels and as such flies the National Historic Ships UK Defaced Ensign.

In September 2016, Betsie Jane came home to Solent waters from the Norfolk Broads, where she is once again a Solent boat.

We must extend very special thanks to Paul Rainbird for all the time and effort he spent researching the history of Betsie Jane, along with the Ebbisham, Dick and Toogood families, who have provided us with so much information about and photos of Betsie Jane over the years. As the new custodians we will continue to research the history of Betsie Jane to piece together her journey and if you have any further information on her history we would be delighted to hear from you.

Betsie Jane's Statistics

Designer Saunders Roe of Cowes
Builder Saunders Roe of Cowes
Date 1938
Length overall 40 ft 0 in /12.2 m
Beam 9 ft 6 in /2.9 m
Draft 2 ft 6 in / 0.76 m
Displacement 7 Tonnes
Construction Carvel teak planking on oak frames