‘Donation’ Shadow 1870’s Restoration


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So at the end of May 2021, Shadow finally moved from her beach berth at Mylor to the yard for restoration. She needed a cradle to save her from breaking up during the floating, towing, lifting and transportation, but I’m pleased to report she landed safely and in good shape.

Where do we start with a 150 year old boat that hasn’t had much love for almost half her life? As an old shipwright once said “start at the bow and work aft” and another good bit of advice was “remember, any twat can take a boat to pieces!”

So the plan is to shore her up in the correct and stable position, take lots and lots of photos and measurements, compare those measurements to the lofting drawing and record as much detail as possible. We then need to write a list of ‘skantlings’ - basically a list of timbers and fastenings required...

... what have we spent so far?

well she was purchased for £1000, plus engine £2000, plus yard fees £2000, plus cradle & transport another £1000... but let’s not think about what she has cost so far, let’s instead think about how much heritage she has and what the restoration might cost... at a guess I’d say £15,000-£30,000 for materials and maybe the same again on skilled labour, however we are confident we can get lots of community volunteers to help as her heritage is second to none - oldest purpose built Truro River Oyster Boat built 1870’s by Ford & Hitchens of Point  Boatyard Restronguet - fastest passage Fowey to Falmouth 2hrs 47m - still licenced to gather wild Cornish Native Fal Oysters

We are now looking for local trees: oak, elm, larch to see if we can source local timbers for her restoration. We already have a sawmill nearby, plus a shipwright who has some big machinery for thicknessing and planning etc and a yard with workshop for fitting out...

What will she do when back afloat? She will once again gather wild oysters and other shellfish amongst the unique sailing fishing fleet on the Fal Fishery, she will conduct research as part of the SavingESTER campaign, she will compete in local regattas and she will be available for boat trips and charters so you can witness first hand how the fishery is truly unique.

Finally, we will be archiving the restoration in many formats and will be publishing these when she is relaunched... but how long will that take? you ask! Well that depends on how long it takes to raise the funds... 

All donations and fundraising will be totally transparent, we will publish a running total of money raised and what it has been spent on. Shadow will provide access to the fishery to those that don’t have access to a vessel, but skippers and crew will have to sign a ‘code of conduct’ so that the fishery is preserved and the SavingESTER campaign is supported.

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           Shadow 1870s - Truro River Oyster Boat