For love of a boat – St Ives ‘Jumbo’

Following my ‘love of a boat’ post on 25th February, I want to speak up again for a project that I have only recently become aware of but one that so obviously meets the spirit of this series that I cannot believe it has taken me so long to find out about it.

We have spent this weekend in St Ives.

I had hoped to see the Jumbo, a replica of the smallest class of St Ives fishing lugger – (details of the project can be found here).

No chance – but I made up with it in viewing the many old photographs of the original boats available around the town.

Apart for appreciating the boat as a boat, my interest was sparked by a press release dated November 2007.

An extract from it reads:

“Our aim is to establish a racing class of these boats at St.Ives in order to regenerate a waterfront community in decline. How much more effective it would be if, in addition, these boats could be eventually used for the purpose for which they were designed whilst providing a seasonal income for a couple of individuals!

Clearly, there may come a time when, in addition to any green, carbon neutral credentials, a sail-operated fishery could become commercially viable or at least a natural way of conserving resources (as demonstrated by the Falmouth oyster fishery – much celebrated as the last in the world to be worked under sail).

In the meantime the skills required need to be developed. There’s a growing recognition that this approach would at least address some serious issues; the sustainability of fish stocks, the rising cost of fuel, the dependence on imported goods and the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas to name a few.

And if successful, the model could be readily repeated elsewhere.

Only a few months ago such a proposal would have been dismissed as romantic fantasy. So far however, my inquiries have been met with a degree of excitement.”

This is a brave start and I am sure that more than a few eyebrows have been raised.

However the project has powerful backing and a great deal of goodwill, to which I am happy to add my own small cupful.

I invite you to explore their well-managed site and appreciate the enterprise.

For the origins and full set of images in this series, here