The Boats

A few of us started contacting boat owners a year ago, getting dates into their diary and trying to reach a wider selection of skippers and crews. The buzz these past few months has been magnetic. Word has spread! We’ve got nearly 50 boats registered now. And those are from skippers who use mobile phones and email! We bumped into the Rose of Argyll in the Bay on Sunday night. They’ve come from Brittany… with no engine, arriving a week before the event! I feel truly humbled to be a part of this community, be it for just a long weekend
Rob McDowell, committee member and sailor
Our Festival wouldn't be the same without the spectacular boats who visit. We invite scores of historic vessels to fill the harbour, re-creating the sights, smells and flavour of what was once an important, vibrant fishing port. Traditional wooden vessels, (from Brittany to Falmouth) are rigged with spars and tan sails and line the harbour wall. They then set out for an impressive parade of sail over the three days, a sight that stirs the heart of even the most hardened land lubber. 

Boat Owners - if you would like to visit us in 2016 please send us your details using the form below. Please give us details of your boat including dimensions and the type of berthing required. Please let us know about any special requirements your boat may have and preferably include a phone number we can get you on too.
Some of the boats who have already confirmed they will be joining us this year are shown below


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Agnes is a Pilot Cutter built by Luke Powell. After extensive research, Luke built her to the lines of the original 1841 Agnes, the leading Pilot Cutter from the Isles of Scilly. Her dimensions are 46ft on deck, 13ft 3in beam, 8ft 6in draft and a displacement of 26 tons. The original Agnes had a long working life, ending her days as the last Cutter to work out of the islands, under Captain Stephen Jenkins, whose grandsons Alf and Harry helped launch the new boat in 2003. She is now based in the UK, under the ownership of Working Sail and run as a charter vessel by Luke and Joanna Powell. Her usual sailing grounds are around the Celtic shores of Cornwall, Brittany and Southern Ireland, showing people the pleasure of traditional sailing and giving them a real taste of life afloat. Click here for their website


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Barnabas is a 40ft St Ives Mackerel Driver and built in 1881. She is one of the few survivors from St. Ives, of the thousand strong fleet of Lug Rigged drift net fishing boats, registered at Cornish Ports at the turn of the 19th century. Her layout and shape remain much as the original. There's not much space below deck, no sink or shower, a twin-meths hob and the sleeping quarters are tight! There is however a small wood burner. The boat is owned and lovingly sailed by the Cornish Maritime Trust. Last year, she successfully circumnavigated the UK with crew changes nearly every week of the journey. An incredible feat. Click here for their website. Click here for more details of the history of the Barnabas.

Donna Capel

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Originally named Françoise Helene, Donna Capel has a fascinating history. She was constructed under German licence in Ostende, Belgium, during 1943/44. The oak was pre-war timber, originally destined for a boat about 90ft in length. This explains why, at 52ft, she is so heavily timbered.  She was the last of the sailing trawlers built that worked out of Ostende during the war. Though, the first to be fitted with an inboard engine. Fished off the Belgian coast until the late 1950’s, the record fish caught on one trip was 22 tons. She was then bought by Mousehole’s Howard Capel and towed by trawler from Belguim to Brixham. Here she was renamed Donna Capel after his wife and given the new registration number BM142. Mr Capel used the boat for trawling until 1970, when Terry Heard (Gaffers and Luggers) purchased her in Newlyn and took her to Mylor Bridge. Terry passed away before he was able to restore her, though she was restored by Martin Heard and managed Brest and Douarnenez in 1992. She was then bought by John Davison in 2000. With a strong-back and tarpaulins laid on, she spent the next six years untouched at Mylor Bridge.  From 2006 to 2009, she was rebuilt and now sails as a stunning 16 meter Gaff Ketch, with 4 meter beam, 2 meter draft and is 40 tonnes in weight. She’s now based in Falmouth.


Burgundy is a Nicholson 26ft South Coast One Design, built in 1956. She's a sloop with a fractional rig.  She won all three races in the 2014 Sea Salt and Sail's under 26 foot event and was awarded the Low Lee Trophy. Owned by Andy Tanner, she's based in Newlyn, though had a little mishap with her mast this winter (it snapped!). Fingers crossed, she'll be ready for the summer.


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Drekly is a 16ft  Randan Pilot gig. Built somewhere in Cornwall about 100 years ago, she was bought by Mark Edwards on Turks internet auction 6 years ago and fully restored. Drekley is now used as the workboat and general hire boat at on the River Thames, Richmond, London. She has been to SSS before and was recently rowed in the Great Thames River Race by a group of guys from Mousehole. Judging by the photographs, they did rather well! She's now fitted with mast sail and sculling notch.


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Edith is a 24ft Polperro Gaffer and dates back to the 1890s. She has documented history of registration in 1909, as FY92 in the fishing port of Polperro. There she was owned by William Curtis (whose daughter was called Edith). In 1923 she was sold ‘for private purposes’ and purchased by Charlie Ferris in St Mawes. His family owned her until the late 1980s when she was purchased by Richard Toyne. The Toyne family, along with Falmouth shipwright ‘Minty’ Murray, restored her. She was sold on to the Clark family on the River Exe and returned to Falmouth waters when Bill Rogers owned her and fished her for oysters. Mal Stone purchased her in 2007 and is still the current owner.

Elizabeth Mary

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The Elizabeth Mary was built by Pearce of Looe in1908, for the Oliver family. She measures 26ft on the waterline. She fished out of Polperro for years, registered as FY28. She carries the traditional Polperro Gaff Rig with a loose footed main. She had various owners and was used for dredging oysters in the Fal for 10 years. Trevor Vincett, from Dartmouth, bought her and sailed her in local regattas, where she gained a reputation as a fast boat. Boat builder, Julian Burns owned her for a while before she passed to John Moody who partially restored her in his Salcombe boat yard. The present owner, George Dart, first saw her in Moody’s woodyard and persuaded John to part with her. He took her to Peter Williams’ Boddinick boatyard for re-planking and spent two years completing the restoration himself. She appears on the front cover of Ian Heard’s ‘Classic Boats of the West Country’, and also mentioned in ‘The History of The Falmouth Working Boat’.


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Ellen, a 17ft Gorran Haven Crabber was built in 1882 by Dick Pill for the Willmott Family. She has a beam of 6ft and a 2'6'' draft and is reputed to be the fastest Gorran Haven Crabber ever built. Her lines and Spritsail Rig are specific to Gorran Haven. By 1900, she was being fished by the Billings brothers, Dick and Andrew, who moved her to Flushing as there were too many Crabbers in Gorran Haven! She's now permanently based in Mousehole and sailed by Cornish Maritime Trust members. Click here for their website

Eve of St Mawes

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Eve owes her heritage to the Pilot Cutters of the Isles of Scilly. She's a rugged, versatile craft, built to withstand the rigours of the Western Approaches in comfort and safety. These little ships were meant to be fast, weatherly and immensely strong. Traditionally constructed in 1997 by Luke Powell, she has a sense of history within her solid timbers and certainly built to last. She's been admired, photographed and written about countless times. Under full canvas from overhanging boom to bowsprit cap, she becomes a 51ft Cutter, able to set five sails, keeping experienced sailors on their toes. Eve creates quite a spectacle around the small ports and harbours of Cornwall, Brittany and the Scillies and is owned by Classic Sailing, St Mawes, Cornwall. Click here for their website


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Freya is 15m long with a beam of 4.5m and draws 2.5m. She was built during the Second World War on the Baltic Sea in East Germany and worked as a fishing boat for most of her working life. Once retired from fishing, she was converted to Gaff Rigged and coded for chartering around Netherlands and the North Sea. She is now a cruising liveaboard, owned by Andrew Mccloud and kept at Millbrook, Cornwall.

Girl Sybil

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(PZ 595) was built in Porthleven in 1912 by the boat building firm of Kitto. She is 35ft, plus an eighteen foot bow spirit. Originally named the Patricia, she worked out of Newlyn as a pilchard driver. Originally a sailing boat, later motorised with wheelhouse added. Early skipper was Bob Vingoe (GH). The Patricia would have been renamed Girl Sybil when the boat was acquired by the Vingoe family of Newlyn. The owner named the boat for his daughter. His daughter was the manageress of the Stevenson Grocery shop in the Strand and later married Arthur Gribble. She acquired the boat on the death of her father in the mid 1930s. He died on the boat at sea. The boat was then sold to the Stevensons who retained the name and continued to work her as a pilchard driver throughout the war years. The fishing boat PZ 476 Margaret was towed in by Joe Carr, her engines caught fire at Lamorna in 1940, the crew were saved. Billy Stevenson joined her crew when he left school in 1943, aged 15, when the boat was engaged in pilchard fishing. Bobby Jewell worked on the boat at one time, fishing for pilchards. She is now owned by Louis Goddard.


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Gladys was built in Peel on the Isle of Man in 1901. She is 40 foot long with a draft of 5.5 feet and a beam of 11.5 feet. She was originally built for the herring trade and had a standing lug rig. These boats were called Nobbys locally. Since a rebuild around two years ago, she now has a dipping lug rig, more like the Nickys of the same area. Owned by Charlotte Whyte, she's based in Penryn still has no engine.


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Grace is a 1925 wooden Danish top-masted Gaff Ketch, 77ft in length and originally built for fishing. She is owned by the pioneering Falmouth based mental health charity, Sea Sanctuary. The first of their kind in UK waters (and possibly the world!), Sea Sanctuary delivers programmes designed to improve people's mental health whilst sailing amidst Cornwall’s stunning coastal environment. Click here for their website

Guide Me

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Built in 1911 by Peter Ferris of Looe for Mr. W Pengelly, she started life as a pilchard driver and long liner and fished out of various East Cornwall harbours. She was sold in 1966, re-named Guidez Moi (FY233) and then ended up in the Channel Islands, later to Portsmouth. Jono and Jude Brickhill purchased her in 1977. During the full restoration, they found her christened name Guide Me, carved into the original bulwark. She is now based in Gweek, Cornwall. This twin-masted Dipping Lugger is in a league of her own and powered entirely by wind (or oars!). She’s 40ft in length, though overall 72ft, with a 12'10" beam and 5'10" draft. Being a very fast sailing vessel, carrying ample sail, she’s generally out front in most of the classic races. Some might say this is down to precision tactics of the skipper and crew! In 1988, the Brickhills, including four children sailed via Douarnenez Festival to Spain, Portugal, Tenerife, La Palma and then on to Brazil. They returned via Cape Town in South Africa and then later back to America.


Awaiting picture and details

Happy Return

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Happy Return is an original 40ft Cornish Lugger built at Kitto's Yard, Porthleven in 1904. She was the oldest registered fishing boat when the owner decided to decommission her in 1998. The Mounts Bay Lugger Association have totally retored her and regulary sail in Mounts Bay and to local festivals. Click here for their website

Island Swift

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Island Swift is a 35ft Gaff Cutter (Wylo II), designed and built in 1996 by Nick Skeates and John Richardson. She's one of the few examples of a modern Gaff Rigged cruiser, designed to sail around the world. She is easy to manage, safe as well as beautiful and purchased in 2013 by Simon and JoJo of Penzance. Since September 2014 the family (including two teenagers) sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean, via Portugal, Spain, Maderia, Canaries and Cape Verde. They hope to be back in Cornwall from Grenada in time for Sea Salts! JoJo comments,"she's a low tec boat, we do not have a fridge, radar, chart plotter or shower and we love using our lead line, Walker's log and sextant'. When not saiing, they run Bash Street Theatre.


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Ibis is an East Coast Oyster Smack built in 1888 and used for fishing until the 1930s. Afterwards, she was used as a yacht and found in a very neglected state in 1980, on the Hamble River. The Davies family set about rebuilding her; a task which has continued till now. She has been at most of the Brittany and Cornish festivals since 1988 and even across the Atlantic in 2004, skippered by Helen's son, Spike aged 20! Here, she won the Spirit of Antigua Classics (2005).


Katla, owned by Aidan Begbie, is a 26ft Gaff Cutter. She was built in 2006 in Portugal by Martin Lund and is of the Wynfall design by Mark Smaaklers. She has made two Atlantic crossings to and from the Caribbean and has recently been brought back to life in Penryn.


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Built in 1913 by G and T Smith in Rye, Keewaydin is a Lowestoft Sailing Smack. She is oak on oak, 23.5m in length, 6m beam, 3m draught and is gaff rigged. She fished out of Padstow from 1919 to 21, with the early years mainly trawling the banks of the North Sea. In 1937, she became a cargo vessel sailing the Baltic Sea. During the Second World War, Keewaydin ferried refugees from Denmark to neutral Sweden and in one particular trip, transported 420 commandos to their destination. She was converted into a yacht in 1963 and had the distinction of entering the very first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1972. After being used for many years as a charter ship in the Mediterranean, she was bought in Malta during 1998 by Paul Welch, who’s still her present owner. She has now moved home ports from Cardigan to Falmouth. Keewaydin means the home wind, the North West wind. This is from the Longfellows epic1855 poem 'the song of Hiawatha'. Paul wants to promote a more sustainable way of travel and carrying cargo. Last year, she brought a cargo full of onions complete with onion johnnies to the Cornish shores.

Lady Blue

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Lady Blue is a 16ft Jolly Boat, with 6ft beam plus a 6ft bow sprit. She was
built in 1996 under license from Giles Laurent classic boats no 109. She is
Gaff Rigged with all classic bronze fittings and in a lovely condition.
Owned by Phil and Zoe Manley of Lamorna.

Lassie of Chester

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Lassie of Chester is a 36ft Morcombe Bay Prawner, built by Crossfields in Conway in 1937. She is one of the last “Nobbies” to be built in this yard and fished the Dee during WW II and later in Fleetwood. In the 80’s she was left in the mud but was then restored by Scott Metcaff in Port Penthyn, Bangor. She has had periodic refurbishment, latterly be the present owners. She has sailed extensively, taking part in Classic Boat events in Britain and France. The present owner is Arian Farey of Abergele, Conway, North Wales. Lassie appears in the list of Historic Boats.

Lizzie May

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A well-known writer on traditional sail and a former owner of pilot cutters,
Tom Cunliffe, wrote of Lizzie May "To lay amongst these timbers listening to
the sea rushing past is to feel seafaring's lost heartbeat". At 42' long,
she's a beautiful replica of a pilot cutter of the mid to late 19th century,
with her design inspired by the historic craft of the Isles of Scilly.

Lizzie May was the second creation from the acclaimed boat builder Luke
Powell, originally taking 20 months to build her in 1998, then refurbished
in 2001. Working pilot boats in the age of trading sailing ships had to have
a reasonable degree of comfort below deck, so that the pilot would be fresh
to take over a ship after spending perhaps several days aboard his pilot
cutter 'seeking' a seagoing trading ship to see safely to its destination.
Lizzie May's accommodation, deck and rig are true to pilot cutters in the
golden age of trading sail and her ambiance is widely regarded as authentic.
She is a little gem, a lovely boat to sail, handles like a dingy, proving
very smart in confined waters and easy to manoeuvre being so well balanced.

To join her on an adventure, see

Luke's Minnie

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Minnie was built on Channel Pilot Cutter lines by Luke of the Hamble in 1893. Originally a gentleman’s yacht, she spent most of her life in the English Channel but for one period of over 20 years based in Belfast around WW2. In the 70's, she cruised around Europe and the Caribbean, before arriving in the USA in 1982. She crossed the Atlantic in 17 days. Under sail she is very comfortable and as safe as one would expect with ten tons of displacement. She has a good turn of speed and has achieved first and second places in the Round the Island Race (Cowes) in the early 1990's. Click here for their website


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Maggie is a 30 ft Polperro Gaffer, built in Looe in 1908 by Ferris for the Searle Family. She was later fished by Wren Jolliff who was the Great Grandfather of the present owner. Dave Cowan found her in Hey Bridge basin and she is now back after a 70 year absent.


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Moose was built in 1925 by Pearns and Son of Looe. She was originally known as Moby Dick, owned by Looe Harbour master and used for Shark fishing. She's pitch pine on oak, 32ft long and a classic Looe Lugger. During WW2, she was one of many vessels commissioned by the MOD, to repatriate troops from Dunkirk. But only a handful of Cornish boats went in the end. She was converted to a Gaff Cutter in 1990 and from then, sailed extensively the West Coast of Ireland, Scotland and the South West of England. We're very excited to see her now owned by a Mousehole resident.

Our Daddy

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Our Daddy is a 45ft Lugger (75' with bowsprit and bumpkin) and carries 2,500 sq feet of sail. Built for (£435) in Looe in 1921 by Dick Pearce for the J E Pengelly family, she was skippered by their son Alfred John. She fished for some 65 years in the pilchard, mackerel and later shark fishing industries. She was the last sailing Lugger to work out of Looe and was then owned by Mike Darlington and Stuart Murray. Mike, who fished on the boat with the legendary Alfred John Pengelly said: `A J told me: "One day, she will be yours." But he forget to say it would take 21 years...' Our Daddy has been re-built as a stunning classic with a Dandy Rig and since 2014, owned by Steve Styles and Tim Sunderland. She will once again be working as a traditional charter vessel along the South West Coast and across to France, visiting many of the festivals en route. Click here for their website

Our Kate

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Our Kate is a graceful 18ft Gaff Rigged Pilot Cutter, built in Salcombe, Devon by Edgar Cove in 1910.  She has been owned by the Tyler family for over 40 years and is sailed from Mousehole.


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Pettifox was built in 1992 by Peter Martin and Alfie Hicks and is the last sailing boat to be built on the Isles of Scilly and is still registered (SC 139). With 1,000 sq feet of sail, she's a 36ft Gaff Cutter with a good turn of speed. Owned and skippered by the very likable Johnny Barley, she's used for day sails and chartering from the Fowey area. Click here for their website


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Penrosa was built in 1963 at Fairey Marine, Hamble. She is a 28ft Sloop Rigged motosailor and made from hot moulded Agba (mahogany) on pitch pine frames. Her owner Andy Wheeler keeps her in Penzance.


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Pomona is 27 ft Bermudan sloop, with 5.5 ft draft and a long keel with no legs. She is built from mahogany on oak in 1956 and designed by Collin Cowan, who worked in the Laurent Giles office. Her last owner circumnavigated the world and made 5 Atlantic crossings in her. Now that's a talking point for a small vessel. She is now owned by Danny Rocca.


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Ripple was built in St Ives by Henry Trevorrow and registered as SS19 in 1896. For 25 years until 1933, she was used for fishing under the ownership of the Barber family. Her skippers were William and his brother Matthew. She was originally propelled by sail, with two lugsails carried on two masts. In 1915 this was boosted by the installation of a 16 hp port wing engine. She has recently undergone a complete renovation by the present owner John Lambourn and is seen regulary sailing in the Bay.

Rebecca Kate

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Rebecca Kate is a 16ft Port Isaac lugger, built by students in Lowestoft in 2001 for the boat's designer Martin Castle. She is based on the lines of a vessel sailed and fished out of Port Isaac by his grandfather, over a hundred years ago. She has a typical two masted lug rig with a bowsprit and boomkin. She is owned by Jonny Mills.

Rose of Argyll

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Awaiting details


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Seascan was built by the famous Scottish yard Alexander Nobles and sons in
1962. She was a research vessel and finished her working life as a fishing
boat. She is larch planking on oak frames and is powered by a 6lxb Gardner.
Owned by Rob Greenway.

Sea Urchin

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Sea Urchin is a Gorran Haven Crabber, possibly built by apprentices in Mevagissey around the turn of the century. She is a smaller version of the Ellen. Sea Urchin has a Spritsail rig, similar to the Thames Barge. It's an unusual rig for this style of boat, but fantastic for down and up wind sailing. Importantly, there's no boom so perfect for kids. Also of interest, is the Ganderfied fore sails, as she's now a cutter with two jibs and small bowspirit. Both vessels are owned by the Cornish Maritime Trust and sailed
by members. She'll be skippered by Dave Gander over the festival.

St Ives Sculling Punts

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The St Ives based Jumbo Association are providing two identical traditional punts on Saturday, for our inter-crew team challenge. Members of the public can join in, however, we'd like names / teams before the event. The latest details will be on the web site in due course! Contestant will scully from the South beach, around a buoy in the harbour, before returning to leap ashore whilst team members spun the punt about. The next contestant will then scramble aboard whilst the punt is shoved off by the whole team for the next leg. It's extremely competative... and will work up a sweat. And that's just for those watching! Click here for their website


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Snowdrop is a tough little 22 foot Deben Four Tonner from the early 1930’s. With a beam of 8ft, a draft of 5ft and a 9ft bowspirit, she's a beautifully balanced boat that sails around Mounts Bay for most of the year. Winning Sea Salts and Sail's U23 foot class last festival under the ownership of Mousehole's Rob McDowell, she's now skippered by Geoff May from Penzance.


Snowdrop is a Mounts Bay Mackerel Driver. She was built in Porthleven in 1925 by Kitto, at the time engines were being introduced to sailing boats. She was launched with a 7hp Kelvin petrol start diesel engine as well as a sailing rig. Snowdrop is 44ft long, 13ft 6in beam, 5ft 6in draft and has a displacement of 30 tons. She worked out of Porthleven and Newlyn and was later sold to the Mills brothers in Mevagissey, where she was considered to be the flagship of the local fleet for a time. In her years, she's been used for netting, long-lining and shark fishing for tourists. After her cabin was fitted, she was even reputed to have been used for “social entertainment” by some of the fishermen in the port. She has taken part in numerous festivals both here and abroad.


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Twilight was built as a motor boat by H J Mean & Son at Axmouth, Devon in 1973/4 and later converted into a Beer Lugger in 2005/6 by the present owner Alan Abbott. She regularly sails in the Beer Lugger Club Races, Beer Regatta, the Biennial Looe Lugger Festival as well as Sea Salts and Sail Festival. She's a hard boat to beat!


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Veracity is a stylish 32 ft dipping Lugger, built by Marcus Rowden in 2004.
She is now owned by Holly Latham.


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Winnie was built in 1897, a 28ft Falmouth Working Boat and owned by Arthur Williams. We're delighted to see her return (enginless (ish!) to this side of the Lizard for she's an impressive sight under full sail. In a close hauled contest, there are few who cannot be inspired by the beauty of these powerful Gaff Rigged Cutters. Outwardly, little has changed in nearly 200 years for the FWB, which under the laws of local harbour byelaws, prohibits the dredging of oysters by any mechanical means.

William Paynter

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The Jumbos were a small class of open, double-ended luggers introduced exclusively to St.Ives during the mid 1880’s. The modern Jumbos are replicas of some of the smallest (20ft 6ins LOA) designed by the renowned boatbuilder, William Paynter. Although rigged in the same way, Jumbos were significantly smaller than the other luggers which earned them their ironic nickname. With all the characteristics of the dipping lug rig in an easily manageable form, the Jumbo is an ideal boat on which to learn.The replicas were researched and built by Jonny Nance in order to encourage the community of St.Ives to engage with the sea and each other and even kindle a sense of pride in the town's almost-forgotten maritime heritage. The idea caught the public imagination and took off. Today's Jumbos are operated by the St.Ives Jumbo Association - a charity of some 450 members. For more info see: and

Wylo II

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Wylo II is owned by Nick Skeates of Warminster and is a 32ft Centreboard Gaff Cutter. She was built in New Zealand in 1980 to the owners design. She has a steel hull, wood deck and has now circumnavigated 3 times, via the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, Panama Canal, New Zealand and South Africa. Nick is a fantastic character full of soul, wisdom and experience. An honour to have him here.


The Barnabas will be joining us this year. Click here to read more about her fascinating history