1995, the shed was up and the keel had been laid. The lofting out of all
the main frames had been done by Peter Martin, assisted by Ralph Bird of
Devoran, during October of '94.
May '95 saw all the main frames in place, these are composites of sawn
oak bolted together to provide the skeleton of the boat. By September the
timbers (or ribs) were in place and it was time to measure and fit the
garboard plank to the keel.
November and there were hundreds of nail holes waiting for wooden plugs.
These are glued in and then planed flush with the planking.
February 1996 saw the sutter plank in place and the bulwarks (or top
sides) were next in line. These were completed during April and the boat
was taking shape.
The fitting of deck beams, stern tube blocks, rudder blocks and bulkheads
were finished by the end of May, and the engines had arrived.
Time to get busy with the caulking mallet, sealing the gaps between
the timbers with oakum (traditionally old tarred rope).
June, July, August and September - knees, belting and decking were on
the agenda. Meanwhile the aluminium deck housing and bridge had been
under construction at W.R. Richard's, Falmouth and it was time to inspect
October 1996 and yet another building project was under way.
Ted and Gerald Langdon of Bryher were busy constructing a launching trolley
to support the eventual 26 tons of Hicks & Sons' new flagship.
February 1997 and it was time to put the vessel on the trolley.
Fuel tanks and bilge pipes were being fitted. The paint brush had
been working overtime and a coat of gloss red paint appeared on the hull.
7th March: the deck has been sealed, the painting was finished and
deck hatches, Samson posts, etc., fitted. The whole end of the shed
was removed and it was time for the vessel to emerge like a butterfly from
its chrysalis. The engines were swung aboard and lowered into place
ready to be installed.
6.00a.m. on 8th March and the wheelhouse was waiting to be unloaded
from the Gry Maritha. The passenger cabin and engine house arrived
on the 10th and presented a slight problem as it was too wide to leave
the quay by the normal route and had to be switched to another lorry waiting
on Town Beach.
During the 10th and 11th March the component parts of the bridge and
deck housing were put in place and the shape of the new vessel was there
all to see.
April, May and June were occupied with installing the electrical wiring,
V.H.F. Radio, Navigation equipment, Radar, and all the other last minute
finishing touches, such as the fire retardant lining in the engine room,
etc. were completed.
The shed has been removed to be assembled again on the opposite side
of the boat houses.
19th July and "Sea Horse" was on its way to take its first drink of
water. At between 2 and 3p.m. mission was accomplished and with a
blast on the horn Mike Hicks took charge of his new steed as it slipped
effortlessly through the water away from Porthloo Bay.