Yacht damage described as “looking like a graffiti artist with a knife had run free” sustained in the South West’s severe spring storms has been painstakingly repaired by Falmouth Boat Co.
The team worked on Jubilo, a 1960s yacht swept off her moorings in the middle reaches of the River Tamar near Plymouth during the 90 mile an hour winds of 4 February 2014.
During what the Met Office announced as “the stormiest period of weather the UK has experienced for at least 20 years” fierce waves took her across the Tamar river. The force of the swell and high winds launched the GRP Sparkman and Stephens designed yacht at a granite quay that she smashed against until the storm moved on.
Boat owner Alan Blair was shocked when he saw the damage to his boat. He said: “It looked like a graffiti artist with a knife had run free over the hull. The granite quay had pummeled punctures and deep scratches into the composite. The interior was severely damaged from the constant crashing of wind and sea. I really wasn’t sure if Jubilo would ever set sail again.”
Mr Blair’s insurance company recommended that Falmouth Boat Co. assess the damage. They decided that Jubilo could be saved despite the fact that her dated composite materials could be challenging to work with.
Jonathan Fielding who owns Falmouth Boat Co. said: “It’s an absolute joy to look at Jubilo now. We had to remove and reinstate an extensive part of the interior fit out due to damage from percussive impact. The hull was in a bad way but we fully repaired it with advanced composites. As an AWLGRIP paint application centre we frequently transform the appearance of boats but this was an especially satisfying ‘before and after’ project.”
Jubilo was damaged during the same storm that destroyed nearly 50 metres of the Dawlish railway track, leaving the South West inaccessible by train, and led to six boats sinking in Porthleven, a Cornish fishing harbour.