Cornish wooden boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has unveiled his beautiful 14ft Mayflower dinghy, built under the gaze of the TMS project’s cameras and which marking the revival of a classic gunter rigged design.
Marcus, from Fowey in South Cornwall, spent last summer painstakingly replicating the original Mayflower designs. It has a steel centreplate and is skilfully crafted in mahogany and cedar, with Canadian spruce planing and steamed oak ribs.
The Mayflower fleet, of which there were only about 100 produced, were originally built by Skentelbery’s in Plymouth.
Marcus said: “Unfortunately all the patterns and templates were destroyed in a fire in the nineties. I had been looking for a boat of this size to build for a while. They are an ideal size for teaching the grandchildren to sail and they conjure up that Swallows and Amazons sense of romance and adventure. They are good steady boats, with a moderate sail size, and they are easy to keep on a trailer. It is also a very well-respected design which has proven to be popular over the years.”
The building of the boat used traditional skills that were recorded by the TMS projects. Every stage of the build was captured on video and on a time-lapse camera and the footage will form part of the virtual learning tool for future generations of wooden boat builders.
Marcus added: “I am not a big enough entity to take on an apprentice, so this project is a way of passing on skills and techniques through a different channel.”
For more details call Marcus on 07973 420568 or visit www.woodenboatbuilder.co.uk