Boat-mad Paul on the crest of a wave

A couple sold their house and risked everything to restore an old motor torpedo boat to its former glory. Now a documentary has been released showing the

A couple sold their house and risked everything to restore an old motor torpedo boat to its former glory.Now a documentary has been released showing the trials and tribulations of Paul Childs, who spent two years and all his savings rebuilding the vessel.The torpedo boat, believed to be the only one of its kind left in the world, was designed for the Coastal Forces to operate against enemy submarines and German E-boats during the world wars. Paul is now hoping to raise enough money to keep the vessel in Portishead Marina.Paul, aged 44, said: "As a child watching films and reading books, I found the torpedo boat so exciting. It was pure power, the Spitfire of the sea. I knew that one day I had to restore one and bring a piece of maritime history back to life."When in 2003, Paul discovered the owner of the motor torpedo boat, HMS Gay Archer, had died and his last wish had been for the boat to be restored as a lasting tribute to The Coastal Forces Heritage Trust, he knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He bought the boat for just £1 and persuaded his wife, Rhian, to join him in risking everything they had to pursue his dream. They sold their house in Bristol Road, Portishead, to finance the reconstruction of the boat and moved into a caravan near the Cheshire boatyard where the vessel lay in dry dock.Paul said: "There's a twist to this tale, because my uncle actually served as a petty officer on this very boat, HMS Gay Archer. "There was a huge amount of work to do, but without the former owner's previous love and tender care, the project would have been a much more difficult trial."Paul, Rhian and their team, which includes both sets of parents, then sailed HMS Gay Archer into Watchet harbour in Somerset where the boat is currently moored.It costs Paul and Rhian, who currently live near Bridgwater, about £5,000 a year to keep it moored and in good condition and Paul is hoping to raise the cash to fund its upkeep. Zagreus films has released a one-hour documentary film, which charters Paul's two-year project, and all the money raised from the film will help pay for the boat's upkeep and its journey to Portishead Marina. For further information on the documentary visit

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