A Boatbuilder's Story

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This delightful book is a reprint with extra pictures of the origional that was published in 1968.

Born in 1901, Percy Mitchell, of Portmellion, according to Commander W. B. Luard, "One of the finest traditional boatbuilders in the world", left elementary school at the age of 14 just after the outbreak of the First World War to commence his apprenticeship at a wage of 3/- a week. Fishing boats were just beginning to have auxiliary engines fitted and he took an active part in subsequent alterations to luggers to accommodate these engines.

At the very early age of 22, he took over the Boatbuilders' Yard at Mevagissey from his employers and became his own boss. Having been asked by a local fishing family to build a 39 foot first-class lugger for them, he had to move from Mevagissey because it was impossible to launch a boat of that size through its narrow streets. He went to Portmellon, an open cove three quarters of a mile to the west.

Percy had only a rudimentry education, but taught himself to design boats from a set of drawings in an old encyclopedia. Starting with only a building space open to all the wind and weather, no building sheds, no capital, no launching equipment, with only his practical gunius and patient courage, he overcame every obstacle and designed, built and launched a magnificent variety of fishing boats, yachts, tugs, passinger launches. from a 7 foot pram dingy to vessels of over 30 tons dead weight. 172 pages hb.

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