Tag Archives: mevagissey

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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A chance to own a 1932 Mevagissey tosher built by Cornish boat builder Percy Mitchell

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tosher1

Fowey wooden boatbuilding specialist Marcus Lewis has written to say that he has acquired a genuine 18ft Percy Mitchell-built Mevagissey tosher built around 1932 that he is offering as a restoration project with himself doing the work.

Despite a few soft areas, he says she’s basically sound and would make a lovely day boat for any South West harbour or further afield. He’s planning to start stripping out the grotty bits shortly followed by a programme of work put together to ensure the survival of a classic craft. Contact him directly on 07973 420568 if you would like more information or would like to view her.

For those from outside the area, I should explain that Percy Mitchell of Portmellon was a very highly regarded boatbuilder in Cornwall. Claude Worth, for example, described him as ‘an artist in wood’.

Mitchell took over his employer’s yard in Mevagissey in his twenties and later moved the yard to Portmellon for easier launching. During World War II he built motor cutters and boats for the Admiralty. After the war his boats were in great demand; one of his most famous builds being the 28 ton Windstar, which the late King George V often sailed on, as did the young Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II.

Marcus tells me that Mitchell went on to write a well-known book, A Boatbuilder’s Story that covers his entire working life and the struggles and successes of a wooden boatbuilder. Copies are rarely available, says Marcus, but feels strongly that it should be reprinted.

See Marcus’s website: http://www.woodenboatbuilder.co.uk

Some ancient photos of famous old boats

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Tilikum at Margate, with Captain John Voss
standing at the bows. As usual click on the
images for much larger photographs

Fishing luggers sailing out of Mevagissey,
Cornwall

Falmouth quay punt

Lowestoft trawlers in a shot that looks more like a
painting than a photo

West Mersea smacks looking very handsome on a near run

I picked up a dusty old book the other day, and found it contained many photos of some well known old boats. Here are just a few. I must say I was particularly pleased to find the Tilikum shot, as it gives a clear impression of what the boat was like when Captain John Voss had her and sailed such enormous distances. Voss’s book The Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss is a jolly read, as you’d expect from someone who became a professional adventurer – there are some copies at ABE Books. There’s a bit more on Voss’s voyage here, and thanks to the kind folks at the splendid Duckworks forum, I’ve just learned that Venturesome Voyages is also available online.

On other topics, there are various intheboatshed.net posts on luggers to read and others on Falmouth quay punts, and on fishing generally.

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