Boats of Fowey
Gig rowing has a long tradition in Fowey. The early pilots used to row the gigs to get out to the ships and the first one there would get the work. Today, members of the Fowey River Gig Club complete all around the south west in their distinctive red gigs.
These wooden keel boats are identified by the letter ‘T’ on the main sail and are unique to Fowey. The first one was built in 1929 for the daughter of Sir Charles Hanson of Fowey Hall. The start of the 1930 season saw six identical boats on the water, which led to the formation of a class. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch – a friend of du Maurier’s – was Commodore of the Royal Fowey Yacht Club at the time, and had written novels called Troy. He was asked for and granted permission to use the name for the new class.
Fowey River class OD
The River class is based on the Yachting World Knockabout dinghy designed by Reg Freeman in the late 1940s. The first boat was built by Hunkins Boatyard at Polruan for the local dentist. The fleet grew to 15 boats by 1957 and 36 boats by 1965, before almost disappearing.
However, since the 1990s over 20 new boats have been built and many older ones restored, and there is now an active racing fleet and class association.
Fowey River class one designs