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.