Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) hosted partners from Belgium and the Netherlands last week to visit key Cornish traditional boat builders and discuss how they can benefit from the EU-funded Traditional Maritime Skills project.
Mashfords in Cremyll, and Mylor Yacht harbour – both boatyards involved in building, repairing and maintaining wooden vessels – were visited as well as the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC), Falmouth Marine School and Cotehele Quay in Saltash.
The fact-finding tour was part of a three-year transnational project aimed at preserving specific traditional boatbuilding skills and techniques currently known only to a reducing group of experts.
Jos Denis, project lead partner from Maritime Institute de Ruyter in the Netherlands, said: “We were able to see a complete scope of traditional boatbuilding in Cornwall. We now have more than a thousand photographs from the three study visits either side of the English Channel illustrating the differences between traditional boatbuilding across the regions. These images will help us provide better content and visualisations for the project website.”
The training package will be widely available and promoted across Europe in both English and Dutch translations to encourage people, businesses and organisations to engage in and with the traditional boatbuilding sector and to encourage people to pursue a career in boatbuilding.
The programme, called ‘2 Seas’, is worth a total of £1 million and is funded through Convergence. The area it covers includes the North Sea and Channel coastal areas in Belgium (Flanders), England, France and the Netherlands.