Classic Boat

BUILDER RETURNS TO BOAT

As my own memory gets less dependable, I am increasingly impressed by those among my seniors who don’t seem to have the same problem. So a couple of years ago, when I interviewed the then-97-year-old Arthur Frazier – the sole survivor of the Mevagissey boatbuilding family – I was full of admiration when he was able to instantly recall the difficulty of steaming planks around the stern of a boat he helped to build when he was an apprentice.

“She was a beautiful design but a devil to build,” he said, while also recalling the names of many of the other men who helped to build her. It was in 1936 that W Frazier & Son built , of pitch pine on oak, for retired naval officer BS Prewett. She is entered in the first Lloyd’s Register of Yachts, in 1939, which shows Prewett as her designer, while in subsequent issues the design is attributed to her builders. “No original drawings have survived,” said current owner Neil Christie, “but I think it is likely that Prewett took a conceptual design to the yard, who then said, ‘OK, but this is how we are going to build it’. The canoe stern was probably his idea, as Fraziers had only ever built transom boats.” She.

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