Twenty years after the master shipwrights of Mylor Yacht Harbour built a trio of classic wooden Falmouth Sunbeam yachts, they are now embarking on a new generation challenge: an immaculate Sunbeam finished to the specification of the 1920s originals – but made of GRP.
The hull of ‘Tilly’ arrives at Mylor next week, fresh from being moulded on the Isle of Wight from Alfred Westmacott’s original 100-year-old design. Just as Tilly is a Sunbeam for a new generation, so Ollie Graffy, whose project it is to bring her to Cornwall, is the new generation at Mylor.
“Mylor Yacht Harbour has had a long-term relationship with these beautiful boats – building three wooden ones, fully restoring several others and the ongoing maintenance of many of the original fleet,” Ollie says. “When the opportunity arose to get involved with building a modern version that has all the grace and style of the originals, performs the same, has a water-tight bulkhead and is much easier to maintain, we jumped at the chance.”
With the bare GRP hull at Mylor Yacht Harbour the Marine Team of shipwrights and GRP specialists will work their magic on fine teak joinery, modern sailing systems and exceptional attention to detail creating a glorious little yacht ready for the water. Once complete, there will be little to tell Tilly from her wooden sisters.
“It is such an exciting project for our expert teams to re-create a boat that has such great history.” says Ollie. “We have got to maintain all the qualities of the traditionally built vessel but with easier maintenance and a lower cost of ownership. It is a passion project that strengthens our boat-building skills and the numbers of Sunbeams in the Falmouth fleet at the same time.”
Mylor’s great wish is to see many more Sunbeams sailing in the Falmouth area with the modern models competing in the racing fleet as they already do on the Solent, securing the longevity of the class going forward.