The Gjoa story continued from Forum

The Gjoa story continued from Forum

As previously mentioned in Forum 49, we moved the bare badly shaped hull from where Wilkins had plastered it to Maldon. I was not keen to have it on display in my own yard, so arrangements were made for it to be put well out of sight at the end of Dave Barke's yard in Maldon where my son Peter and I would work on it.L

We rebuilt the hull to as symetrical a shape as possible and fitted a deck to the new shaped sheer. I designed an appropriate rig for her and Peter fitted out the accommodation according to Jenny and Bryan Fryatt's instructions and their very limited finances.

At the near completion stage, Arthur Keeble Boat Transport moved her the short distance to the other end of Fullbridge Wharf where we launched her with proper ceremony by crane.

'Gjoa' at Maldon Fullbridge wharf with lifting strops at the ready awaiting the crane

'Gjoa' being ceremonialy launched with Champagne by Mrs Fryatt Senior. We finished fitting the starboard bulwarks and other minor details as well as setting up the rig in the following weeks while afloat at Maldon.

Jenny Fryatt was a brilliant accredited marine artist and her and Bryan lived aboard cruising the East Coast locally until parting several years later, from which time we lost contact with both them and the boat.

Some years later in the mid 1990's purely by chance, my son Peter and I spotted 'Gjoa' in a run-down state of repair lying in the creek near Rye in Kent. We took a closer look and noted that nothing had been maintained or altered since we had launched her some years before.

In 2007 the 'Classic Boat' magazine ran a feature series of voyages and included a story of the purchase and voyaging of 'Gjoa' by new owner Jenny West. I have to say it's a great magazine infact one of the best as well as a good story (although I can't say I approved of the re-painting in bright purple). Unfortunately the 'Skua Marine' myth continues !!!!

A paragraph in part one of her story of 'Gjoa' I quote......".However, there were some pluses. She had been professionally built as one of a series of Colin Archer types at Skua Ferro Marine in Gweek, Cornwall, and under strict regulations, unlike many ferro hulls. "... end of quote. A nice story Jenny West but she was neither built in Cornwall nor by Skua Marine. She is yet another product of Hartley & Brookes.

Colin Brookes
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