Falmouth and Penryn could soon have its own community tall ship after local community group The Mayflower Trust launched its campaign to convert a training ship into a traditional sailing vessel.
The trust, based in Penryn has been using the 58 foot TS Silver Quest to take volunteer crews out on educational trips for seven years, focusing on |history and sustainability, and now aims to convert her into a replica of a carrack from 500 years ago.
The trust’s founder and skipper of the TS Silver Quest, Wayne Booth, has started work on refitting the ship, and plans to build new poop, fore and quarter decks and add three masts to the boat, with almost everything to be built from reclaimed materials.
He said: “We’ve been sailing this boat for six years now, and we want to build her into a traditional sailing vessel, a carrack, which was the Land Rover of the seas.
“I’ve been collecting reclaimed wood for seven years: beams from sail lofts and railways sleepers, spars and other bits left from other vessels.”
Two of the ships masts will be made from old BT telegraph poles, Wayne is hopeful that he will be able to get a main mast of Duchy of Cornwall oak.
“We will be working full time over the next six months to get her ready for the tall ships meeting. She won’t be fully rigged, but will be quite improved and we’ll be able to take people around.”
I have my friend, Oak Roberts, who has left a secure job to project-manage the build, and we need plenty of volunteers, either with boat building skills or who are just interested.”
Once completed, it is hoped the ship will sail along the South West coast, |visiting communities and to educate and provide sail training.
Wayne said: “I hope to get her into a tall ships leg, to do that we have to have a classic rig and a crew which is half volunteers.
“We do that anyway, and train them to RYA standards.”
The project is to be part paid for by crowd funding, as it needs to raise at least £5,000 to access Lottery money, which will go towards running costs and extra timber which is still needed.
People who donate money will get their name on one of the ship’s beams, younger sponsors will have their own bolt and a map showing its location, and there will also be the opportunity to use her for events.
There will be a crowdfunding launch at 5 Degrees West in Falmouth on Wednesday evening, running from 4pm, involving live music and free food and grog, with treasure for the children. The website will go live at crowdfunder.co.uk/TheMayflowerTrust.