A beautiful model of a ring-netter

[ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]

Jay Cresswell’s model of Ribhinn Donn I, and (bottom right) Antonia & Ruaraidh

This stunning model of a ring netter has been made by Jay Cresswell, an ex-trawler skipper, long-standing Old Gaffers Association member and authority on marine history who has for many years lived near Aberdeen.

He writes:

‘You might like to see the attached. I’ve nearly completed a 3/4in to 1ft model of the 54ft Alex Noble & Sons-built ring netter Ribhinn Donn I. (Her sister is Silver Quest, which is currently sitting in the mud at Penryn down by Falmouth.)

‘I still have to complete rigging details, wheelhouse interior and other bits and pieces such as semi-balancing edge to rudder. The bottom is quite literally anti-fouled. The model is built from original yard drawings for these two boats.

‘This is the second ringer I’ve tackled, the other being a Weatherhead & Blackie 56-footer to same scale named Antonia & Ruaraidh after my two oldest children. (See above.) The original boat in this case is the Catherine Anne, which was chopped up a few years ago in one of the UK fishing vessel decommissioning rounds.

‘I hope you like the images. It’s been a year’s worth of spare time. There are no metal fastenings in the hull, with all planking dowelled to the frames.

‘Regards, Jay Cresswell, Aberdeen’

I certainly do like them Jay – you’ve created a couple of meticulous models that rival or better many of those seen in museums. I particularly like the way every detail seems to be properly to scale. Many thanks for sending them over.

15 thoughts on “A beautiful model of a ring-netter”

  1. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the very kind comment

    Sent you an email direct

    Presume your address hasn't changed thse past two or three or four years?



    1. Hi Jay
      You models are lovely. Love the shape of these boats, the kick up of the shear towards the stern looks perfect. I live in New Zealand and we had several Scotts families that emigrated here at the turn of the century and built boats. The Millers, yes related to the St Monice ones. Over the years the boats have changed but all their boats looks nice. I am restoring a K 4 Kelvin from the Bridlington fishing boat Energy. Looks like she was a converted Zulu. Do you know how I could track her history? She had a H reg. How could I get the lines and construction drawing of Ribhinn Donn 1? I would like to build a model. I am also involved with the St Ayles skiffs down here. We now have 10 built. Hope to come to Ireland for the worlds next year.
      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Baden Pascoe
      MFV John Dory

  2. Superb model, sir!

    I am the owner of her sister ship, Silver Quest. She is, indeed, berthed in mud in Penryn, pending her rebuild.

    Am I correct in saying that Ribhinn Donn is now broken up?

    Thank you, for sharing such quality pictures of your work.


  3. I am building a model of a ring-netter from the pictures on the web site but for the life of me I can't work out the boom rigging. The picture does not give a very clear illustration unfortunately.I was hoping that you would help if possible for it is a beautiful model……..Thankyou……Ken.

  4. Jay, I was drawn to a website featuring this beautiful model from, believe it or not, a TVR car owners site!

    As a child, the Rhibbin Donn was owned by my uncles in Scalpay, Harris (I am the eldest son of Angus MacLeod who, as a civil engineer and Gaelic singer didn't fish with his brothers).

    This boat took me and my family many, many times between Scalpay and Tarbert- coming and going on annual holidays. I'm utterly stunned to find that you have modeled this- let alone made such a fantastic job of it!

    I have had to register to this site to comment and therefore included my email address. Can you please contact me, via the mods, and let me know where you are up to with the build and what plans you have for it upon completion?

    Very Best Regards,


    1. Kenny
      Good heavens, I’ve just found your email
      I’m so pleased the model brings back memories
      Built off the original yard drawings that were used to build Ribhinn Donn I and Silver Quest (she’s languishing in Cornwall)
      I was at the ring net just once … Catherine Anne and Maryeared in late 70s when the fishery department would charter a pair of boats to sample the Clyde herring stock
      I spent a bunch of years at the prawns, a little pair trawling for herring, lining for dogs, etc. I had the ex LH ringer June Rose for a number of years (name was Margaret Alison at the time I bought her). Se was a Weatherhead boatie
      Are you aware that the now old lady is in Southern Ireland … a yacht conversion. She was a dive boat out of Tarbert (Kintyre) for a time prior to going to Ireland. You will find her on either the Trawler Pictures or Trawler Photos websites
      Do you have any pix from those days?
      As for me, I’m taking a break from modelling though the frames, etc are mostly cut for a Danish seiner, but using the lines of a hull that was built for the Greenland fishery. I might do more next winter
      Kind regards

      1. Hello Jay,I am presently restoring and converting to a ketch rigged motor sailer the very beautiful Scottish built 56ft ring netter “Investor”B151.She was built circa 1962 for the Warnock family of Portavogie,Co.Down ,N.Ireland. However , I am searching for details of her builders(could be Weatherhead &Blackie or possibly Nobles of Girvan) and also for her original yard plans.I am a professional shipwright and am based in County Waterford in the South of Ireland.I would appreciate any links or other information you might be able to help me with . I can send you some photos of the project which is well advanced at this point.Best wishes,Tony McLoughlin

  5. Have just stumbled on this site having raked the web to see such a model. This is model is nothing short of stunning. Born and brought up in Argyll my father used to take me as a wee boy when he carted fish from the tarbet boats to Glasgow. The crews quite often fed me hot sausage pieces on cold nights and the sight of a ring netter in full varnished plummage will always be with me as my favourite boat and reminder of earlier days. I would love to own a model of one although I doubt my skills of self build would produce anything remotely as wonderful as this. Thanks for being able to view this.

    1. Robbie
      And your note too
      Yes, they were gorgeous boats
      I first encountered them in my teens … magic looking boats and mostly fastidiously kept
      It all came to a relatively sudden end when pair trawlers especially were allowed into the West Coast herring fishery. That buggered it for the ringnet boys and so they mostly switched to prawns (nephrops), scallops and crechans (queenies). In the Clyde it was Carradale boats that last worked the ring-net and the last of all was when Shemaron did the fishery dept’s sampling (can’t remember the year). Alex Noble arguably built the best, but Weatherhead (latterly Weatherhead & Blackie) built fine boaties too

  6. She’s currently still fishing from Portavogie in Northern Ireland – down the south coast from Belfast.

    I have seen her many times, looks wonderful – even if she is now painted green !

    ps -I am the younger brother of Kenny who posted before and yes our uncle’s owned her Please google her as there are some great photos of her online.
    In fact the last photo taken of our father & his brothers was in the summer of 1973 in Girvin just before her launch.

    Great model – well done. x

  7. Would you sell the Model of Ribhonn Donn 11? It was my wifes father that got her built and we would love to get him this model as a 80th birthday present

  8. Certainly has beautiful lines, my grandfather’s brother was skipper/owner of the Brittania ins 68, built in Buckie 1962, have been trying to find a set of plans that I can use to build a model of her and accidentally came across this article, it would appear that she has the same hull design but a different deck layout, if someone could please point me in the right direction to getting a copy of some plans I would be much appreciated.

  9. I also would like to get a copy of the plans for this boat, as my Grandfather had a similar vessel, CN132 in Campbeltown. I would like to make one in his memory.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.