Restoration of 'RIPPLE' 19SS (SS19)

Ripple restoration image gallery

Double ended Mounts Bay fishing lugger
length overall, 44 feet - keel, 34.3 feet - beam, 12 feet - 8.72 registered tons
NEWS! The Ripple gets her hull planked ready to take to the water. She will soon be berthed over in Newlyn's historic 'Old Quay' underneath the Red Lion pub.  
  Cutting the first piece of new wood for the keel -  
  Newlyn heritage restoration project - RIPPLE SS19 ex shipwright visits November 2003
  Newlyn heritage restoration project - RIPPLE SS19 arrives at Newlyn - October 2003  

Ripple is a survivor, there is as far as is known only one other left of these original double ended sailing fishing luggers once commonly seen at Newlyn and in the waters off Cornwall fishing with nets for pilchards, mackerel and herring. They landed their catches at Newlyn a hundred years ago.

This is a unique boat with a long and colourful history. Although now dilapidated, she is most worthy of restoration.

Ripple was, until recently, currently laid up ashore at a Penryn boatyard which is now being cleared for a housing development. After purchase at auction Ripple was transported by road to its restoration site in Newlyn Harbour, adjacent to the Cosalt chandlery on Strand Road.

Newlyn has been chosen as the ideal location for the restoration because this is where Ripple landed her catch and would have so much to contribute towards the envisaged presentation of its fishing heritage.

The site, which is sufficient in size to accommodate the boat plus some working and observation space was selected because it will provide an opportunity for the local community plus others who are interested, to readily see the progress of the restoration as it proceeds. It is hoped that this will in turn create a desire to contribute to the restoration by giving advice and drawing memories and artefacts. Such responses would also help to fill in gaps in knowledge about these luggers, which might otherwise remain dormant or lost to future generations.

Even at this early stage, news that Ripple has survived all these years and is to be restored in Newlyn has revived long forgotten memories. Descendants of her first owners in St Ives are sifting through their attics to see if photographs and records of her fishing days can be found. For her even longer period of existence as a houseboat her then owners descendants are now looking thorough their family photograph albums. Others have promised advice on how these boats were built and rigged. Hopefully advice too will be forthcoming on maintenance methods and how to sail a lugger.

Built in 1884, registered at St Ives in 1886 the Ripple fished until 1933 under the ownership of the Barber family, She then spent the next sixty eight years as a houseboat in and around the Fal estuary, fifty of which were under the ownership of Ralph Tomlin, until eventually after having several more owners she sank at her moorings and had to be taken ashore. Construction is carvel with 15 planks plus a sheer strake on each side fastened to 28 frames. Originally propelled by sail only, principally two lugsails carried on two masts, this arrangement was later boosted by the installation of two wing engines. She carried a crew of five.

Initial indications are that restoration work will consist of replacing stem and stern posts and decayed/damaged frames and hull planking. A new deck is required plus a complete refastening of the hull. It will take an estimated 12 months to accomplish this first stage. Once this has been completed the remainder of the restoration work could be carried out with Ripple afloat. This second stage would include general refitting, installation of masts, rigging sails and two wing engines.

The restoration should result in Ripple becoming again, a fully functional sailing lugger, kept in her original setting at Newlyn as a part of the fishing heritage and regularly sailing in local waters as she did over a hundered years ago.