The Cellardyke Trust is undertaking the restoration of the pre-war wooden fishing vessel, the Manx Beauty, a 50ft ring-netter built in 1937

The Cellardyke Trust is undertaking the restoration of the pre-war wooden fishing vessel, the Manx Beauty, a 50ft ring-netter built in 1937

The Cellardyke Trust on the Isle of Man has undertaken a project to restore a fishing boat which has historic significance to the island.

The Manx Beauty is a 50ft wooden ring-net fishing boat that was built on the harbour side (Bulwark) at Cellardyke in Fife in 1937. Within days of her launch, she arrived in Peel on the island to take part in the herring fishing from the Isle of Man.

She has spent her entire working life in the fishing industry and is now a very rare surviving example of a pre-war fishing boat. For the last 50 years, she was owned by the Maddocks, a fishing family of Birkenhead. Then, when the family decided to put her up for sale in late 2019, she was bought on behalf of the Cellardyke Trust and in February 2020, returned to Fife by road.

The Cellardyke Trust has set a goal to restore the boat with the involvement of the community, and the employment of a professional boat builder which will ensure excellent skill sharing, as well as the craftsmanship needed to restore the boat back to her heyday.

Phases of the Project

  • The project has been divided into phases, with the initial phase of stripping out and surveying almost complete.
  • The next phase, for which the Trust is currently seeking support, is stabilisation and preservation of the boat, and building up a small fund to enable them to approach major funders for the full restoration project.
  • The plan will see the construction of a steel frame to hold the hull in shape during future restoration. They also plan to buy a cover to protect the hull from rain and treat the timber with a boron-based preservative to prevent further rot.
  • The Trust estimates the complete project will cost in the region of £300,000.
  • A boat builder will be employed for three years to bring the Manx Beauty back to life and to make her fit for purpose, MCA certificated.
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The Manx Beauty after the Trust bought her for restoration

The Final Phase and Manx Beauty’s future

“There is no point in restoring an old boat if it is not rooted in the community for the future,” says the Trust.

Post restoration we intend to use the boat to:

  • Give practical sea experience to young people.
  • Visit maritime festivals promoting the community, our history and local businesses.
  • Act as a mobile oral history collection point, attracting people to tell their tales of the fishing industry and communities.
  • Create unique summer school events and offer live aboard experiences.
  • Develop partnerships with local businesses to enable us to do sea fish cookery demonstrations aboard.

Nick Chalmers from the Cellardyke Trust said “The Manx Beauty is a very rare surviving example of a pre-war wooden fishing boat that the Cellardyke Trust is restoring and rebuilding as a community project. We have started a crowdfunding project through which we are aiming to raise £48,000. Please have a look at our project page and website to learn more about her important place in the Peel herring fishing history. We hope you will consider supporting the project. Any contribution large or small will be hugely appreciated.”

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Trust seeks Crowdfunding for restoration of fishing vessel Manx Beauty

by editor time to read: 7 min