Marcus Lewis builds a Mayflower dinghy

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis builds a Mayflower dinghy.

I don’t know how I missed this before – it might have been because the Traditional Maritime Skills people and I have been rather slow to make a connection. Still, they say say they’ve put me on their mailing list now.

They have an excellent set of videos on Youtube, including another timelapse presentation, this time of the building of the Grayhound.

Marcus Lewis builds two more Fowey River dinghies

Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies

Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies

Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies Marcus Lewis builds Fowey River Class dinghies

In all the gloom at this time of year, it’s great to hear the cheery news that Marcus Lewis is building two of his splendid 15ft Fowey River dinghies down at his workshop. Here’s what he says:

‘Hi Gavin – You’ve had some good posts lately! Just thought I would drop you a line about what has been going on in my workshop lately. This winter we had two orders for Fowey River dinghies, originally 15ft ‘knockabouts‘ designed by Reg Freeman in the late 1940s.

‘We have just finished fitting the thwarts and knees, and now comes the big clean out and dust down before we start coating up the inside with a couple of coats of International quick dry sealer, followed by International original and schooner varnish.

‘Building two together saves a little time, but it does fill the shed up, and doesnt leave much room for handling timber through the thicknesser or bandsaw! The photos show the new boats half built, how they are now, the designer’s lines and layout drawings, and photos of Fowey River 56 – a boat we built a couple of years ago.

‘The distinctive coloured sails are not compulsory by the way – but most owners get their crayons out and design their own colour scheme.

‘By the way, the gunter-rigged and clinker-built Mayflower dinghy we built last year is still available. Perhaps it will sell when the weather warms up!

‘Best wishes


Thanks for the post Marcus – and for the new header shot.

Marcus can be contacted on tel 07973 420568 and via his website

A waterside stroll around Plymouth

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Smeaton’s Tower, Plymouth Hoe. As usual, click on the thumbnails for much larger photos

Today we have one of’s waterside strolls – and this time it’s a series of photos taken by my wife Julie Atkin on a recent trip to the old maritime city of Plymouth.

The town shows the scars of having been devastated by a notorious wartime bombing raid in 1941 but still has quite a few old gems of buildings left from earlier times. It also has some striking large and small monuments, many of which are rather touching.

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Cattewater Harbour Commission; the impressive Royal William Victualling Yard built in the 1820s; the wonderful 1935 Tinside tidal swimming pool; and the site where they make the fabulously fragrant Plymouth Gin

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Apart from the smack in the first group of photos there weren’t many interesting old wooden boats around, but she found these  – the one on the left is for sale

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The Sir Francis Drake monument; the Mayflower monument; a list of the Pilgrim Fathers (click on the image to see it at a readable size); Roanoke Colonies; Tolpuddle Martyrs; iron pipes!

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Monuments on the wall of the Royal National Lifeboats Institution shop make loss and survival at sea intensely personal: see how the name Launder comes up several times, and the memorials to the crew of the Pescado, the last of the old time trawler skippers and the last steam trawler skipper. And don’t miss the memorial to the elderly couple whose long lives are attributed to eating a lot of fish