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Away All Boats !

The St. Mary's Boatmen's Association Vessels in Action

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2005

The efficient movement of the large numbers of visitors to the Isles of Scilly who stay on St. Mary's or land there by air or sea for a day trip is mainly handled by the various vessels belonging to the members of the St. Mary's Boatmen's Association. The owner / skippers coordinate their daily sailing programmes to cater for passenger demand. In recent years a number of traditional launches have been replaced by new, purpose built passengers vessels. Most of the old launches finding a new lease of life with Cornwall Ferries which operate a "Park and Float" service into Falmouth.

During the peak season between 09:30 and 10:00 and also 13:30 and 14:00 Hugh Town Quay can appear as busy as a railway station in the rush hour. Getting the hundreds of passengers away is done quickly and efficiently - with a degree of military precision - hence the title for this page being taken from the well known naval movie starring Jeff Chandler!

A well loaded  OSPREY (built 2003 by Kingfisher Boats) departs St. Mary's bound for Tresco on July 30. She is one of the latest vessels to enter service with the Boatmen's Association. The 50ft vessel has a passenger capacity of 93. The vessel includes a flying bridge above the wheelhouse.

MERIDIAN (left) is a sister to the OSPREY and also built in 2003 by Kingfisher. However, she  also has passenger seating on the larger flying bridge. She has a capacity for 100 passengers.

SURPRISE (1945) and SEAHORSE (1997) approach Hugh Town Quay. ISSCO LYONESSE LADY can also be seen.

Old and new depart - the GOLDEN SPRAY III of 1947 and WIZARD of 2004 depart from Hugh Town on July 31.

The Boatmen's Association advertises that the WIZARD is available for charter for high speed (90 minute crossings) to Penzance.

GUIDING STAR - Built by Perry Mitchell of Mevagissy in 1933 the 72 passenger vessel departs from Hugh Town.

The queue shortens at New Grimsby Quay as first SEA KING (1947) (right) and KINGFISHER OF ST MARY'S (1995) scoop up visitors returning to St. Mary's on August 01, 2005. SEA KING has a passenger capacity of 85 and KINGFISHER 80 passengers.

It isn't always busy even during the peak summer season. The GOLDEN SPRAY (left) returns with a handful of passengers from St. Agnes on an evening "Supper Boat" excursion to the popular Turk's Head pub at Porth Conger Quay. Whilst WIZARD returns empty to Hugh Town passing GUIDING STAR at her harbour mooring on the evening of August 01, 2005.


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