Boats of Fowey

Practical Boat Owner - - Cruising -

Pilot gig

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

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