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Ripple An Historic Cornish Sailing Lugger

Photographs John Luxton 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007, Conor Lindsay 2011 & John Lambourn 2012

The photographs in this section are presented in reversed chronological order with the most recent first.
The latest photographs of the historic Cornish sailing lugger Ripple have been supplied by John Lambourn and show this splendid historical vessel under sail in Mount's Bay and off St. Ives - large photograph. John has also supplied updated information for the Cornishman article which is reproduced at the bottom of this page.

This photograph of the fully restored RIPPLE was sent to Irish Sea Shipping by Conor Lindsay of Howth Yacht Club in July 2011.

The record posted on Irish Sea ships ended when the RIPPLE returned to the water in 2007 - due to your web master not having stopped off at Newlyn recently.

Many thanks to Conor for bringing the story right up to date.

RIPPLE really does look a splendid vessel just compare it with the pre-restoration photographs at the bottom of the page taken in 2003.

Photograph Conor Lyndsay 2011.


Ripple was relaunched into the waters of Newlyn harbour on October 12, 2007 after four years of restoration work - she is seen here lying alongside the Mary Williams Pier on Monday October 22, 2007. Her masts still need to be added.
The above photographs show the restoration progress as at October 24, 2006 - three years after RIPPLE was delivered to Newlyn. She has now gained a deck house and her prop shafts have been installed. The transformation is quite amazing.

The above photographs show the progress of rebuilding this historic Cornish sailing lugger on Good Friday - April 14, 2006 around 54 weeks after the photographs below were taken. On the right can be seen a photograph of the vessel when she was in use as a house boat at Lelant. On the far right some of the timbers at Newlyn which will be used for her masts and yards.

In the 50 weeks since I last photographed the RIPPLE the project has obviously gathered pace. Work to rebuilt the hull is now well underway. Interpretation boards have also been provided which provide an illustration of how the vessel would have looked when undersail. Easter 2005.
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Since the first photographs were taken in Autumn 2003, RIPPLE has had a sheltered compound built over her as work continues. The above photographs were taken on April 06, 2004
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These photographs were taken just days after the historic Cornish Fishing Lugger RIPPLE [SS19] was brought to Newlyn for restoration in October 2003.

The Cornishman Newspaper reveals more about the project to restore the RIPPLE.

A 110-year-old Cornish fishing lugger has been brought to Newlyn harbourside for major restoration - and hopes are high that she will sail again.

She was last in the port nearly 70 years ago. Work on the massive task has begun by owner John Lambourn, 57, who spent 30 years in Hong Kong. He is the son of artist George Lambourn of Mousehole and younger brother, Sam, is a leader in the Cornish fishing industry. The St Ives lugger 'Ripple' SS19 has had a remarkable history and, says Mr Lambourn, "when restored will be come part of Newlyn's marine heritage."

She was brought by road from Penryn on Monday and 'brought ashore' by crane after 68 years as a houseboat in and around the Fal estuary.

"The 44-ft long overall, 15-tons Ripple is a survivor. As far as is known there are only two other original double-ended sailing fishing luggers left and one of these is on the East coast of America.

"These distinctive fishing boats, peculiar to West Cornwall, were once commonly seen off Cornwall, fishing with nets for pilchards, mackerel and herring.

"This is a unique boat with a long and colourful history. Although now dilapidated, she is to be rescued by a full restoration to seagoing sailing conditions at Newlyn.

"Newlyn was chosen as the ideal location because this is where Ripple landed most of her catch and would have so much to contribute towards the presentation of its fishing heritage envisaged by the Newlyn Fish Industry Forum."

Built in 1896  by Henry Trevorrow on the beach in St Ives harbour - she was registered in the same year  at St Ives and fished until 1933 under the ownership of the Barber family, through Bessie Barber. The first skipper was William who with his brother Matthew worked Ripple.

Mr Lambourn who has made his home in the port said: "It is not restoration for restoration's sake. People will be able to go on board and we are going to try to give her a new function when the work is complete.

"But she will be returned to full sailing conditions to sail in local waters." The Newlyn Harbour Commissioners have provided a site on land adjacent to Cosalt on The Strand.

This site, which is large enough to take the boat plus some working and observation space, was chosen because it provides an opportunity for the local community - and others who are interested - to watch the progress of the restoration.

This, in turn, will lead to advice and draw out memories and artefacts.

"Such responses will also help fill in gaps in knowledge about these luggers which might otherwise be lost to future generations.

"Advice has been promised on how these boats were built and rigged," he commented. She was originally a sailing lugger, principally by two lugsails carried on two masts. This was later boosted in 1915 by the installation of a 13hp port wing engine.

"Following a bad experience in a gale William Barber decided that Ripple should be lengthened by ten feet. She came to Peake's at Newlyn, sawn in half and ten feet added in her middle. This was probably done in 1927 when two new engines of 26hp were fitted.

"This would have meant the end of sail as the main means of propulsion," John remarked.

"Following a serious engine room fire in 1933 at St Ives, only put out with the help of the fire brigade, Ripple ceased fishing."

Then came the years as a houseboat on the Fal, 50 of which were under the ownership of West Cornwall brothers Ralph and Arthur Tomlin.

After having several other owners she sank at her moorings and had to be taken ashore.

SS 19 will prove a popular attraction in England's top fishing port in the coming months and years.


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