Tag Archives: marcus lewis

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.’

Highlights of the 2013 season of Troy racing

Film of the Troy class racing at Fowey during last season – my thanks to Troy and Fowey River dinghy builder Marcus Lewis.

Troys at Fowey

Troy class keelboat racing at Fowey

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has written to say that he’s had Shimmer, T4 of the Troy Class, in the workshop for a bit of attention, including 11 new ribs, rudder refitting, and painting all over – what he calls the usual maintenance stuff.

Shimmer was built in Fowey by AH ‘Archie’ Watty during the winter of 1929/30. She was made for the local squire Colonel Edward Treffry, and was sometimes sailed by his daughter, Elizabeth.

The old photo below shows Shimmer winning the Royal Fowey Yacht Club Regatta race in 1930 with the colonel at the helm. As the results show, Shimmer started her career in fine style.

In 1946, the boat was sold and bought by author Daphne Du Maurier’s husband, Lt Gen Sir FAM Browning, only to be bought back by Elizabeth Treffry around 1953.

Two of the older Troys are now for sale, T6 Ruby and T7 Sapphire, both in good condition, and still competitive boats, but both are to be sold on condition they do not leave Fowey, and that they continue racing. (The Troy fleet now number 28, four of them built by Marcus in recent years.)

There is more information about these boats on Marcus’s website: www.woodenboatbuilder.co.uk

Lt Gen Sir F.A M Browning winning Fowey Yacht Club Regatta in Shimmer, 1930

 

1930 Fowey Yacht Club regatta results Troy 4 Shimmer in Marcus Lewis' workshop Troy 4 Shimmer paint job

Troy 4 Shimmer ready for the water

Marcus Lewis dinghy for sale – and a Percy Mitchell tosher too

11ft dinghy 4

 

11ft dinghy 3 11ft dinghy2 11ft dinghy1

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis has this newly built 11ft clinker-built rowing dinghy for sale.

The handsome little boat is based on a tender to the sailing yacht Veronique owned by Colonel Treffry, of Place near Fowey in the 1930s. It is planked in spruce, with steamed oak timbers, mahogany top strake and seats, and will be supplied complete with a pair of scoop paddles, bronze rowlocks, and a cover.

Marcus tells me he’s currently building two Fowey River dinghies scheduled for completion this spring: the planking is almost complete, the green oak is ready to slice for timbers, and the copper nails are on order.

Also, the 18ft Percy Mitchell-built Tosher Marcus has stored for some time has got to go because he needs the space it is currently occupying.

It needs a complete rebuild, but Marcus says it has suberbly shaped hull suitable for almost anything. ‘The last owner put in a big Lister two-cylinder diesel and went fishing, but the usual treatment these days is a gaff rig, with a 4-5ft bowsprit, jib and staysail, with a topsail if you are feeling adventurous.

‘It bit of time would have to be spent working out the sail plan and centre of effort, and a bit of a calculation about an additional keel – she has no external ballast keel at all, but a 300-400lb shoe well bolted underneath, and a bit of internal trimming ballast would keep her down to her marks, and make her a stiff enough to sail well.’

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Lovely Youtube video of classic Troy racing yachts off Fowey

There’s a high definition version featuring different music here. The film was taken by Troy class racing yacht skipper John Forsyth, who captured his material by strapping a camera to various parts of his boat.

We’re glad he did. My thanks to Fowey traditional boat builder Marcus Lewis for pointing out this one!

PS -Max, who writes the Bursledon Blog has a post on the Troys, and a few nice photos.

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis restores a classic Uffa King National 12 racing dinghy

  

  

 

Marcus Lewis spent some of his summer renovating this splendid Uffa King National 12 dinghy

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis sent over this collection of photos showing some of the things he’s been working on during the summer of 2012, including this magnificent Uffa King National 12 class racing dinghy. Here’s what he says:

‘Just thought I would fill you in on what we have been up to over the summer, apart from the usual repairs, maintenance, and replacing broken bowsprits on Troy class racing yachts, we have had a major rebuild to do on an old National 12. Flook, boat number 888, was one of the last Uffa Kings to be built – she is believed to have been built around 1947.

‘This Uffa Fox design revolutionised the National 12 class in the 1930s.

Flook had been in a barn for over 20 years, but had a few split planks, a few old patches, delaminating decks, usual sort of stuff. We went right through her, refastening the centreline, replacing eight planks, completely re-timbering her, cleaning up her original wooden mast and re-rigging, re-decking, and a good varnishing all over.

‘The owner also had a new set of sails and is now enjoying watching his grandchildren coming to terms with a rather tippy National 12!

‘We have also had Wayfarer number 11 in for a bit of a tidy up, refastening the panels to the stringers, making good old repairs, paint up, repair original wooden mast, re-rig, etc.

‘Cheers, Marcus’

That National 12 looks great after your had work. I wonder whether those youngsters knew what grandad had got them in for – though in those days I guess the boat likely had a nice heavy steel keel to help keep things under control. It’s also nice to know there are still some of the earliest Wayfarers afloat – I know not everyone loves them, but I’m a little soppy about them as I learned to sail in a Wayf, and round our way their numbers are dropping like flies…