Tag Archives: marcus lewis

Fitting planks on a clinker vessel

When I was a kid, I decided that anyone who could build a clinker built boat and make all those beautifully shaped pieces of timber fit tightly together must be some sort of wizard. I’m still inclined to think so.

See Marcus Lewis’s website.

Marcus Lewis makes the Fowey River dinghy and Troy class keelboat racers ready for the season

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has been in touch to tell us about the work he’s been doing – and here’s been a lot of maintenance, repair and painting work to do on the local Fowey River dinghy and Troy class keelboat racers, as you might expect during the run-up to the new sailing season.

Here’s what he says:

‘It’s fairly busy in my boat shed! We have finished all the woodwork on a new Fowey River sailing dinghy, and the owner has taken it away to do his own varnishing and painting.

‘We’ve also been getting on with the sanding and painting of several of the Troy Class keelboats – we currently look after or maintain about ten of these, and they all need to be back afloat ready to race by the first Saturday in May.

The photos (above) show Ruby (no. 6) and Aquamarine (no. 16) in my workshop, and then there is the yard at the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club, where we have the masts out for varnishing, and Troys nos 1,3,7,18,19 and 23 almost done.

Ruby is now afloat, (pictured on the water above) and we have 10 days of launching and rigging of these boats ahead right now, as well as some varnishing and antifouling on a few Fowey River dinghies.

‘Also, a couple weekends ago, I organised a lifejacket clinic at the sailing club, with service engineers from Ocean Safety in Plymouth. Folks could bring their lifejackets along for a once over, and hopefully learn a bit about them. The checks were free, but any spare parts fitted had to be paid for.

‘We had a huge attendance , with 248 lifejackets looked at over six hours.

‘Attached is a pic of a typical poorly treated jacket, left in the locker all winter to decay. the rusty cylinder can chafe through the bladder, and is not recommended. The RNLI sea safety team were also there to answer questions on EPIRBs, kill switches, mob devices, and any other safety queries.’

I must say running a lifejacket check sounds like a great way to get folks minds focused on safety at a time when they’re getting their boats ready, and setting out on their annual shakedown trips.

Thanks Marcus!

Marcus Lewis yard news – including a nice Wattie-built rowing boat

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has been in touch with news from his boatyard – including a sweet little Wattie-built rowing boat of just 13ft – so sweet that I wonder whether its hull has been measured for offsets for future use. Here’s what he has to say:

‘Apart from the usual laying up and bits and pieces in the autumn, we had in a 13ft rowing boat that is at least 80 years old in for some woodwork jobs. At one point it seems she had a 1.5 Stuart Turner fitted, but later removed.

‘She was built and used by Billy Watty, brother to the original Troy Class boatbuilder, Archie Watty, and is still owned by a relation. We fitted a new thwart, new stringers, a couple of ribs and some new floorboards and a rubbing strake.

‘She’s a lovely shaped little boat. Billy Watty and his brother Brice built small boats further up the river Fowey at Mixtow, with Brice living on board a houseboat. (See the houseboat photo above.)

‘We also had in a 16ft sailing dinghy, built by Dickie George in 1963, at Restronguet, on the Fal. Jenny was well used initially, but then spent quite a few years under a cover in the corner of a field, and is now owned by Ian and Eve Heard.

‘Ian is a maritime historian and illustrator and artist, and son of Terry Heard of Gaffers and Luggers at Mylor.

‘Jenny was in a bit of a state, and after stripping off all the paint inside and out, she was re-timbered from stern to foredeck, had a new transom fitted, her keel was eased back up to the transom to return the original rocker, all the seats and stringers out, cleaned up or replaced as necessary, and we altered the decks and coamings to the sketch we were supplied with and repainted.

‘Just before christmas we started the construction of a new Fowey River dinghy – photos of that will follow at some point.

‘We also have a customer’s 14ft motor boat, Gandy, with 1.5hp Stuart Turner engine for sale.

‘Originally a hire boat on the river, she looks a bit rough after suffering in the autumn gales, but has a fairly sound hull and her engine has worked recently. She has been retimbered with new stringers and gunnels, and has had new foredeck in recent years.

‘Gandy would make a good little project – she just needs painting and some engine tinkering, and is on offer at around £650.’