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
6 thoughts on “A chance to own a 1932 Mevagissey tosher built by Cornish boat builder Percy Mitchell”
Iam very interested in the work of Percy Mitchell as i own the 30 foot Britannia, which was built by him in 1968, she is a beautiful boat, i also know of two other boats that were built by him also that were owned in Alderney, were Britannia is at the moment, they were, Jaylene, and Barbelotte.
Have you read Percy Mitchells book, A Boatbuilders story? every wooden boat Owner should read it! quite hard to find – even on the internet search sites.
The Tosher is still avaiable for re-fitting to a customers requirements,
I was born in Mevagissey in the early 1950’s and my grandfather (Claud Hunkin) was a shipwright, working with Percy Mitchell.
I have a couple of photos of a boat being launched from Percy’s yard in Portmellon in the late 1960’s. I’m not sure what she was called but could post a copy of the picture if you’d like.
always interested in pics of boats being launched, especially Percy Mitchell’s, as it was such an operation to get the boats near the sea!
gooday everybody. my kymbrell family was i believe related to percy mitchells family .i am, after many years of trying, still looking for info about my grandad henry kymbrell’s vessel the “Fly”. it crossed my mind that you might know something? regards peter.
there is a tosher dayboat ella, 1928 here in elba