Tag Archives: cornish

Marcus Lewis’s boats take the lead in racing at Cornish regattas

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Fowey River dinghy No 54 Four Brothers sailing around before the start of the Polruan Regatta held on Bank Holiday Monday

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has sent me this photo from Cornwall to mark a series of outstanding successes in local regattas.

After a week at Fowey Regatta in which she won three out of seven races ande claimed the Overall Cup for Fowey River dinghies, Four Brothers also raced to victory in the Polruan Regatta, in which she snapped up the Silver Cup.

In one race during Fowey Regatta No 54 was challenged by Marcus and Johnny Nance in No 53 Kingfisher but Four Brothers leapt into the lead on the last lap and took the winners gun.

Both boats were built by Marcus at his workshop in Fowey and were launched this year. See Marcus’s website: http://www.woodenboatbuilder.co.uk

Marcus is currently restoring a Mevagissey Tosher built by Percy Mitchell, and I understand the refurbished boat will be for sale.

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Ex-Academy student wins scholarship to build a Dorset lerret by eye

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Dorset lerret photographed on the beach. Click on the image to go to the
excellent Burton Bradstock web pages including some interesting photos
of traditional boats

Former Boat Building Academy student, instructor and Cornish pilot gig builder Gail McGarva will be back in the workshops from September to build a traditional Dorset lerret by eye.

Gail has won a £13,500 Queen Elizabeth Scholarship for the project, which is to take place under the mentorship of Roy Gollop, one of the few remaining Dorset boat builders who build this way.

She worked as a qualified sign language interpreter, but after she decided to live on a boat in Bristol became seriously interested in boats and trained at the Boat Building Academy – her course boat Georgie McDonald was a replica of the oldest remaining Shetland boat constructed in 1882. She was also was named the 2005 British Marine Federation Trainee of the Year.

Gail went on to an apprenticeship in Ireland, became part of a team building an ‘Atlantic Challenge’ gig, before returning to Lyme Regis and the Boat Building Academy to work as an assistant instructor and project leader in the construction of Lyme’s first Cornish Pilot Gig. She is a member of the Wooden Boat Trade Association and is presently building a second gig for Lyme Regis rowers in a shed next to the Academy.

The scholarship for the lerret project comes from the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, which looks for well thought out projects that will contribute to the pool of talent in the UK and reflect excellence in British craftsmanship.

She will take the lines of a historic lerret currently lying in an old barn in Dorset, and then build a replica by eye over six months – I think it will be very interesting to learn how close the ‘by eye’ boat fits the lines at the end of the project!

PS – The Academy will also be exhibiting at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show this weekend. Principal Yvonne Green tells me that they’ve got a much larger tent this year and, because several students will be bringing boats, pontoon space as well.

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Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 1

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‘It is to be understood that the author is not a sailor, but merely a civil
engineer Shanghaied as one.’

The winter holiday season shouldn’t be all work, so I’ve decided to put up some cracking reading – the wonderful Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties, by Hiram P Bailey. I trust some of you find time to look at it, but if you don’t these pages will still be just as good in the coming year or any other time.

I don’t know whether the tale told here is exactly true, but it makes a wonderful romp. What’s more, the various scenes including the dead horse ceremony, crossing the equator and the return to San Francisco (including a splendid villainous melodeon player) have a real ring of truth about them – Hiram P had clearly either done a lot of research or had spent time on ship himself.

My particular copy clearly belonged to someone fascinated by sailing ships, as just about every blank page has a cutting from a Cornish newspaper about sailing ships pasted over it.

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Why not print these out so you can read them at your leisure?

For the rest of this series of posts:
Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 1

Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 2

Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 3

Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 4

Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 5

Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 6

Shanghaied out of Frisco in the Nineties by Hiram P Bailey – part 7