Falmouth Maritime Museum’s latest restoration project culminated last week when the White Owl, a 15-foot rowing boat, was launched.
White Owl was built in Falmouth in 1908 by Jacketts Yard at a price of just ten shillings per foot. Jacketts was one of many yards in the Falmouth area at that time and probably their most well-known customer was the famous painter Henry Scott Tuke.
The boat has undergone extensive conservation work but still retains much of her original timber. The work was started by renowned local boat builder Ralph Bird before he died and finished by a team of museum volunteers led by Henry Wylie.
Assistant boat manager, Mike Selwood, said: “Our team of volunteers have done a wonderful job of getting this piece of Falmouth history back on the water where she belongs. We are hugely grateful to everyone who gives up their time for free to help preserve our Cornish maritime heritage.”
Now, as one project ends, another begins, with the team starting work in earnest on the restoration of a Mevagissey tosher. Sea Queen was built in Mevagissey in 1924 by Percy Mitchell.
The first stage of her restoration is being funded by a generous donation from one of the museum’s trustees and extra money is now being sought to buy materials for the remaining work.
Percy Mitchell’s son Gary will be giving a talk at the museum on March 3, when he will be discussing his father’s life and work which saw him build more than 360 boats of all kinds – from dinghies to racing yachts.
Tickets for this lunchtime lecture cost £14.50, to include a set lunch, and are available by calling 01326 214546.