News from Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has written to tell us about some of his recent yard news:

‘Hi Gavin, hope all is well. I just thought I would drop you an email with what has been happening.

‘Recently I’ve built a lovely little 8ft pram dinghy for a customer, replicating a dinghy of his grandfather’s that had been stored for years and is sadly now beyond economical repair. It is of spruce and mahogany on oak timbers, and was delivered a few weeks ago.

‘Also, earlier in the year, I had the chance of buyng the GRP mould for the Mayflower dinghy. The mould had been around for years, but had not been used lately – even though it is GRP, it is still a real classic, and we can now build the wooden version or supply the grp alternative, fitted out with top quality timber.

‘A friend of mine who has a lot of GRP experience has been renovating the mould, and after many hours polishing and waxing, we are just laying up the first hull.

‘The Mayflower is an ideal rowing boat, or with a small outboard, or as a sailing dinghy as originally intended, and all versions will be available, as customers require, with built in buoyancy and RCD compliance.

‘Cheers, Marcus’

Thanks Marcus – it’s good to hear from you. That’s a sweet pram, and I’m looking forward to seeing the first new Mayflower from that mould. I would think it would be quite a desirable little boat, particularly for folks who want a boat that won’t dry out and leak.

Marcus Lewis makes progress with Mayflower dinghy to be shown at the Southampton Boat Show

Marcus Lewis Boat Builder Mayflower dinghy Marcus Lewis Boat Builder Mayflower dinghy

Marcus Lewis Boat Builder Mayflower dinghy Marcus Lewis Boat Builder Mayflower dinghy

Fowey, Cornwall boat builder Marcus Lewis has sent in some photos of his latest project, a 14ft Mayflower dinghy that he’s currently building to take to the Southampton Boat Show.

Mayflowers, which are gunter-rigged and have steel centreplates, were formerly made in Plymouth by Skentlebery’s. If this sounds like the boat you’re looking for, I’d contact him soon as it might well sell at the show!

Meanwhile, those who saw the last set of photos from Marcus may be pleased to know that the newest Fowey River dinghy, No 61, swept the board in its class with eight wins in eight races. We were told that the folks that commissioned the boat were experienced racers, but Marcus will have every reason to be delighted with such success.

PS On the 4th September local small boat sailors have organised their two-yearly Try a Troy Day. Everyone’s invited to turn up to the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club between 10.30 and 2.30 to be taken out for a sail in a Troy, completely free – donations to junior sailing at the club will be accepted however! Marcus says that they usually get 100-120 people turning up, and that it’s a really great day, weather permitting!

Try a Troy at the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club poster

Marcus Lewis builds a new clinker-built Fowey River sailing dinghy

 Marcus Lewis Fowey River dinghy

Marcus Lewis mayflower dinghy time lapse 002 Marcus Lewis mayflower dinghy  time lapse 005

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis has got in touch to show us these photos (top) of the latest clinker-built Fowey River sailing dinghy that he has built.

‘This is number 61 in the long established local class. It was built in the spring and launched a couple of weeks ago.

‘Named Puffling, she is built of Canadian spruce with mahogany sheer strake, thwarts, gunnels and steamed oak ribs, all rivetted together with 1300 copper rivets.

‘She was built for champion Dart 18 catamaran sailors Kim and Sarah Furniss, who live near Fowey, and have now decided to sail something more sedate but still challenging given the fickle winds and frustrating tides of Fowey Harbour.

‘They have already raced Puffling successfully already in the Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon races.

‘My latest project is a 14ft Mayflower dinghy, which is gunter rigged and with a steel centreplate. These were formerly built by Skentlebery’s in Plymouth, (there’s an article in Classic Boat magazine in January 93 for those with an extensive collection).

The company has licensed me to build them, and am building one ‘on spec’, hopefully in time to show it on the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association stand at the Southampton Boat Show. If any reader’s in the market for a newly built gunter rigged dinghy of about this size, I might be well worth getting in touch with Marcus right now – his website is at