Two Witches on show at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Andy Wyke and Dorset crab and lobster boats Witch of Worbarrow and Witch of Weymouth Andy Wyke and Dorset crab and lobster boat Witch of Weymouth

Boat Collection Manager, Andy Wyke with Witch of Worbarrow (front) and Witch of Weymouth (back). Boat Collection Manager, Andy Wyke with Witch of Weymouth.

Boat builder Ian Baird’s Witch of Weymouth replica of a Dorset crab and lobster boat is now on show at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, together with the 100-year old original on which she’s based.

Witch of Worbarrow was built in 1902, and was used for catching lobsters and crabs up to six miles out to sea in Worbarrow Bay, near Weymouth. She is believed to be the only boat of her type still surviving, but after so many years of use is now too frail to put on the water.

While as a student at the Lyme Regis-based Boat Building Academy, Ian decided to build a replica of Witch of Worbarrow and so built Witch of Weymouth. The result is a traditional clinker built boat, with larch planks laid over oak frames.

Naturally, the new Witch is now the only boat of her kind still in use.

‘It would be impossible to recreate over 100 years of modification and wear and tear that her older sister has endured,’ says museum boat collection manager Andy Wyke. ‘Ian, however, took great pains to accurately copy the lines of the old boat and the final result is a beautiful representation.’

The two Witches will be on display together NMMC until end of December 2011.

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