Not all civilian vessels were requisitioned, but those that escaped this still felt the impact of the War in other ways. Many of the methods by which vessels were constructed and enjoyed were effected by the onslaught of the conflict. Racing, both at sea and inland, came to a halt as did much pleasure cruising with the vessel crews and owners fighting or working for the war effort. Shortages of steel, iron and timber not only caused vessels to be laid up, or construction abandoned, but in some cases also led to a hunt for new materials for vessel design.
At the start of the First World War ETHEL ADA continued to trade in coal around the Suffolk coast, despite having suffered a serious fire when loading coke in 1910, but switched to ballast work in 1915