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February 2024. We’re delighted to welcome our first Business Member: the TREGENNA CASTLE HOTEL as they celebrate their anniversary.

BOATS IN THE BAY 2023 Friday30th June. Undaunted by the worst forecast for several months, a dozen small luggers ‘kept our maritime heritage alive’ as they cavorted about the harbour roads chased by squally showers and powerful gusts during Boats in the Bay last Friday afternoon.

Capturing the spirit that Boats in the Bay sets out to achieve, the expression on these faces says it all!
Photo: Spike Davies.

It was another case of snatching success from the jaws of cancellation and, counter-intuitively, all the more exhilarating and memorable owing to the poor conditions which effectively banished the paddle boards, self-drives, jet skis and tourists in general from the harbour making the whole event much easier to manage.

Collaborating this year with the harbourmaster, Ben Lawlor, has been a game-changer for us in the Jumbo Association who host the event. We’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him and to the support we received from Cornwall Council. The moorings and parking for the participants were kindly provided by the Harbour without which the cost and inconvenience alone would have proved too great a deterrent for those travelling.

An unfortunate lack of skippers meant that both Ariel and Peter’s Punt were left on the moorings to enable a dozen members to sail on the jumbos – although it must have seemed like ‘a baptism of fire’ for new members, Neythan Hayes (a relative of Edward Hain) and Peng!

Ben Lawlor (another new member) spent much of the afternoon helming the jumbo, William Paynter, skippered by Tony Farrell. He later remarked “I was surprised how stable she felt in those squalls! It’s been a great day for traditional sail in St.Ives and a valuable exercise. Running the event in fine weather will be our next challenge. I look forward to working with Jonny and The Jumbo Association to create a larger event next year.”

Clearly, restricting the event to a single day this year has made it a very long one for the visiting boats. The photo shows Sam’s rig ready to go whose Golf brought 3 punts and 6 crew! He wrote, ‘We had a great time. Thanks for organising it all, it was fabulous!”

Meanwhile, Jill had decked out the Rose Lodge with jumbo merchandise and provided tea, biscuits and a cosy convivial atmosphere in which to dry out.

The result of the scully race which followed was unclear though Peng’s performance was impressive! The Jumbo Association’s latest, and perhaps most energetic, recruit successfully completed the course even though it was only her second attempt at scullying. Peng wrote to say, “I had great fun last Friday! It’ll be a day to remember for sure, including getting completely soaked while sailing in strong wind, really enjoyed the scully race also.”

The buzz of excitement then spread to the Pilchard Press as all hands gathered there to conclude the event entertained by Pete Stratton and friends with songs of old St.Ives written by John Barber.

Previous events…

Please join us at St.Ives’ most venerable venue for a seasonal funraising get-together and let’s raise some funds whilst we’re about it!
We’ve laid on a variety of entertainment and, of course, great company is guaranteed.
Tickets are only £7 (NB food will not be available at the event)
But hurry as tickets for this delightful old venue are limited; this event will sell out!
Book yours now via this link:

Presentation of a new tiller for BARNABAS. This was one aspect of the cancelled event (see below) that we were able to reschedule. In recognition of her origins and her 140 years, St.Ives Town Council made a substantial contribution the cost of a new tiller which they presented to her crew during a special event organised by the Jumbo Association at the Guildhall on Friday 18 November. Tony Mason’s video captures the community-atmosphere of the occasion which made front page news!

BOATS IN THE BAY 2022 9th/10th September (This event was cancelled folowing the death of Her Majesty the Queen).

The fishing lugger Barnabas, which was launched at St.Ives in 1881, is to pay a courtesy visit to the town.

Saturday 10th September will be a special day for St.Ives. The celebratory atmosphere generated in the streets by the opening of the September Festival will once again extend out across the water into the harbour and bay.

After a break of several years, the St.Ives Jumbo Association is to revive ‘Boats in the Bay’- their former annual gathering of traditional boats, in order to celebrate the anniversary of a very special visitor to the town.

The fishing lugger, Barnabas, which was built in St.Ives in 1881, is to pay a courtesy visit to the town. During her visit she will be returning to Porthgwidden – the very beach from which she was launched an incredible 140 years ago – predating even the original Jumbos themselves! 

“Barnabas is an extraordinary survivor from the heyday of fishing; a living representative of St.Ives’ maritime heritage. To put it in terms that today’s festival audience might appreciate: her courtesy visit is a maritime equivalent of Stanhope Forbes visiting the Tate!” explained Jonny Nance, one of the event organisers, adding

“As the town prepares for another arts festival, it’s worth remembering that it was the activity within this bustling fishing port that attracted the early artist-settlers in the first place, providing them with an ever-changing and irresistible subject. Together, we hope to provide an opportunity for the town to acknowledge not only her recent artistic heritage but also her equally illustrious maritime heritage that prevailed before the artists came.”

On Friday 9th September, Barnabas will sail 40 miles ‘round land’ (around Lands’ End) from Newlyn using the wind and tide much as she would have done 140 years ago. Today she is sailed and maintained by members of the Cornish Maritime Trust.

Weather-permitting, she will be met off St.Ives Head by the Jumbos and a flotilla of small boats to escort her to the harbour. A welcoming reception of St.Ives town councillors, family and friends will be held at the Council Chambers in the Guildhall from 6pm.

On Saturday afternoon there’s to be a Parade of Sail in the bay followed by the ever-popular  ‘scully’ relay race in the harbour soon after high tide at 6pm. (Scullying is local word for the technique of propelling a boat with a single oar over the stern). Scully-racing as a relay was introduced in 2013 by The St.Ives Jumbo Association as a more entertaining and manageable spectator sport to help revive the technique. It provides the highlight for Mousehole’s biennial festival, Sea Salts and Sail and is spreading across the county.

St.Ives Museum will be mounting a special exhibition in support of Barnabas’ visit.

Thursday 21 July ’22. Celeste enjoying a last sail in Mounts Bay before returning to St.Ives Harbour. She had been staying with Barnabas and Silver Stream (run by the Cornish Maritime Trust) over in Newlyn since the beginning of the month, following Mousehole’s Sea Salts and Sail festival, in order to provide our members with a taste of south coast sailing. (Photo courtesy of John Young)

David ‘Tatty’ Muirhead 1950-2021. A personal tribute to our friend and founder-member.

Following in Greta’s wake, the G7 2021 comes to St.Ives.
The most appropriate way to arrive to avoid carbon emissions and parking.
“A symbol of regeneration, respect for the past and a commitment to a low-carbon future…” Could this be St.Ives’ ambassador for 2021?

Working with Covid: A report on first maintenance session of 2021.

Sunday 3 January ’21. Tony, Jim & Scott met at the barn at 11am for the first session of the year. Each masked up and working on different boats with both sets of double doors wide open and a breeze blowing through, good initial progress was made.
The small amount of remaining sand in the punt was removed and the lower planks and bottom boards given a coat of wood preserver. She is now ready for oiling next time.
Both jumbos had the sand brushed down and some removed from the bilges. The bilge paint was scraped down and the bare wood treated with wood preserver. Next time we can hopefully get the rest of the sand out and repaint the bilges.
Lockdowns permitting, the next session will be over the weekend of Sat 16 & Sun 17 January when we hope to hire a generator so we can hoover out the last of the sand. In the meantime, if anyone would like to help, all the jumbo sole boards need treating with wood preserver. A simple job that can be done anytime.
Please contact Scott if you would like to help (07941 058509).

Our long-awaited volunteer hut is up and waiting for us – but Covid won’t let us in!

18 November ’20. In view of the photo below, you’ll be relieved to hear all the boats are now safely ashore where our volunteers have a new shed waiting for them. Maintenance sessions begin again on Sunday 3 January, lockdown permitting. Please call Scott Bowring 07941 058509 before travelling.

27 October ’20. Time to start thinking about recovering the boats!

A stark contrast with the photo at the foot of this page!

10 October ’20. Success snatched from the jaws of disappointment. A dozen members showed up for sail but it was decided there was too much wind to sail despite the deceptively calm conditions inside the harbour. So the punts were called into action including the seldom used standing lug rig that one carries. So, whilst some practiced scullying others had an exhilerating sail around the harbour dodging moorings.

Not having a rudder, we use the scully oar instead.

19 September ’20.

Both jumbos were joined by Scott sailing MAIA in poor visibility (right).

July ’20 The Jumbos are back! Despite everything, we’ve finally managed to launch our boats. However, crews will have to be limited to 3 to comply with social distancing. Please contact Scott Bowring 07941 058509 for details.