Cornwall

Largest wooden sailing ship being built in Truro

The Pellew
Image caption The boat has been made using traditional methods

A traditional wooden sailing ship is being built using old photographs of a 19th Century vessel.

The 68ft (21m) pilot cutter is being created by a team of shipwrights in Truro, Cornwall, and is a replica of the Vincent, which was built in 1852.

Luke Powell, who heads the team, said: "Nobody has built a boat like this for 150 years."

He said the ship, which they started working on a year ago, will be the biggest of its kind in the country.

The new ship, called the Pellew, is scheduled to launch in spring 2019.

Image caption The ship has been named after the Cornish Admiral Edward Pellew
Image caption The oak has been sourced in Britain, France and Eastern Europe

Pilot cutters were built for speed and strength in order to get pilots out to incoming trade vessels as fast as possible, where they could earn a fee for guiding ships in.

They would sail west into the Atlantic beyond the Isles of Scilly in search of ships.

They had eight pilots on board and would only return to port when all pilots had been placed on other ships.

Image copyright Luke Powell
Image caption Those behind the project want the Pellew to be an exact replica of the Vincent
Image caption The oak planks used are an average of 45ft long

The Vincent was built in St Mawes for the family of the same name and remained in service for 70 years until 1922, ending its days as a houseboat on the Percuil River.

It was one of the longest-serving cutters and was well-documented with photographs, which is part of the reason it was chosen by the team.

The project is part of a community-interest company and any profits made will be reinvested in the purpose-built shipyard to train future boat builders.

Image caption When finished the Pellew will weigh 74 tonnes

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Image caption The shipwrights are a year into the project

The new ship has been named after the Cornish Admiral Edward Pellew, regarded as one of the finest frigate captains of all time

Mr Powell said: "Wooden boats are an important part of our heritage and if we forget how to build and maintain them it will be a great loss to our nation."

He added that he wants to "teach a new generation the art of the shipwright, before these skills are lost forever" and to create a "sustainable thing that outlives us".

Image caption Plans for the launch are yet to be finalised but it is hoped a crane will not be required

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