Early 20th century Alfred Mylne yacht Belle Poule arrives at Stirling and Son

Early 20th century Alfred Mylne yacht Belle Poule arrives at Stirling and Son

Early 20th century Alfred Mylne yacht Belle Poule arrives at Stirling and Son

The 46ft Alfred Mylne-designed sailing yacht Belle Poule built shortly after the First World War has arrived at the Stirling and Son yard for restoration and repair.

Will Stirling reports that she has all the classic features of a fine Mylne yacht; her plans have been identified among the original A Mylne & Co archive collection.

Her current owner has had her shipped back from the USA, where she was saved by the Gannon and Benjamin boatyard, and stored at their premises at Martha’s Vineyard.

She is now due for an extensive rebuild, which will include centreline, some framing and some planking. The restoration will commence in the spring of 2012.

Stirling and Son carries out traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair and is based at Tavistock, Devon. Web: www.stirlingandson.co.uk, tel 01822 614259.

For many more posts featuring Stirling & Son, click here.


Projects at Stirling and Son, autumn 2011

Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy ashore in the mud Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy with one reef

Stirling and Son Victorian Yacht Hull Planking Complete and Faired Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy with All Plain Sail Stirling and Son 14ft dinghy Sailing Twice Reefed Down

Stirling and Son Mast Making Stirling and Son Lock Gate - Tenon Measuring Stirling and son Lock Gate Timbers

Click on the thumbnails for bigger images

Those busy folks at Stirling and Son have been getting on with an amazing range of projects. Building and marketing beautiful small traditional clinker-built dinghies is one thing, rowing to Magnetic North Pole is another, but how about building lock gates or appearing in adverts for soap? All this and a regular round of repair and restoration jobs are all in a day’s work for those Stirlings…

  • As the photo above shows (click on the thumbnail for a much larger image) the hull of the Stirling & Son Victorian yacht named Integrity is complete, and the rudder has been hung. The mast has also been hewn from a tree selected in a local forest. I say Integrity looks amazing and I believe she is available for sale.
  • Will has taken the 14ft sailing dinghy out for a trial. It was fairly windy, so he began with two reefs, and later shook them out as the wind fell and sailed under all plain sail. He reports that it was so much fun they kept sailing on past high tide – and it was a pretty muddy business getting her back out…
  • In a surprise non-boat project, Stirling and Son are building a new lock gate and cantilever bridge in oak for the Tavistock Canal. Due to the size of the timbers and the poor access, both have to be assembled in the shed, dismantled and then taken to the site in order to rebuild them in position. I guess it makes sense, for there’s no doubt that anyone who can build a Victorian-style yacht knows something about working with oak.
  • And what about the soap? From the Stirling & Son newsletter I gather the makers of Dove soap products decided that Will should be the subject of a shower product advert, and so their ad agency visited with a film crew.

Stirling & Son is based at TavistockDevon and can be contacted via the website at www.stirlingandson.co.uk or by ‘phone on 01822 614259.

Photos of Stirling & Son Victorian cutter build

Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity housed dovetail on companion (never to be seen again!)

Difficult-looking housed dovetail joint

Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity ash and copper fastened blocks Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity bronze bound bowsprit roller Stirling & Son Victorian cutter Integrity finishing the 24ft bowsprit

Ash and copper fastened blocks; bronze-bound bowsprit roller; finishing the 24ft bowsprit

Will Stirling of Stirling & Son has sent in some more photographs from the building of the Victorian-style cutter Integrity. Here’s what he has to say:

Integrity is coming on well. We are putting on her deck which has been an exercise in higher mathematics. It is tapered and swept so that the outboard planks follow the covering board yet the planks midships are on the centreline. A typically Victorian attitude of seeking the aesthetic with little regard for labour!

‘To us it seems relatively complicated; as one of the shipwrights wryly commented, perhaps that is why it died out! I shall send a photo of the sequence once it is all on.

‘Hope all continues well, best wishes,



Will and his colleagues are always up to something interesting, and he has a very interesting range of plans for traditional craft for sale. For more posts about Stirling & Son, click here.

Stirling & Son traditional yacht building and wooden boat repair is based at Tavistock, Devon. For more information see www.stirlingandson.co.uk.