A CHILDHOOD holiday to Padstow has inspired an Okehampton resident to turn his passion for boats into a business that offers speedboat trips around Plymouth.

After purchasing Apollo of Torbay, a 1971 speedboat built by the Pearn Brothers in Looe in 2007, Simon Metcalf and his wife Elaine renamed her 007 and have worked tirelessly for months to restore her to her former glory.

Simon said: 'We've put in 130 hours restoring the outside of the boat — even through the snow and ice we had!

'It really was a labour of love, Elaine and I put an awful lot of hours in.'

Now their hard work has paid off.

The boat's restoration is nearly complete and Simon and Elaine plan to run trips around Plymouth Sound in the boat full time.

The 25-foot boat, a Looe Lady type, has a 180 horsepower Ford Dorset engine.

007 can hold 12 passengers, and can reach speeds of around 24 knots with several passengers aboard.

Simon remembers with fondness the childhood holiday that inspired his passion.

He said: 'The first boat I ever went on was the original 007 boat down in Padstow, when I was seven.

'Since then I've always loved speedboats. I decided to name this one in memory of the original 007 boat I went on while on holiday.'

007 is set to be back in the water this Sunday, with Simon preparing her for duty with tests and trips to make sure she's sea-worthy.

When these are finished, she should make her first commercial trip of 2011 in the school Easter holidays.

For information on the trips available, visit http://www.007plymouth.com">www.007plymouth.com or call on 07989 505676.