launching Concord

Concord of Mersea is a beautiful classic yawl built in 1937 by Harry King and Sons of Pin Mill. She belongs to a time when the Corinthian spirit of adventure was at its height – the golden age of the little Ship Club and its smaller cousin the Narrow Seas Club. Commissioned by the wonderful East Coast character Archie White, Concord was built to make long passages to faraway places. Archie was an artist and writer and the stories of those early voyages are beautifully told and illustrated in his logbooks. Concord also features in his most famous book Tideways and Byways.

My story with Concord began when I found her lying in a sorry condition in a shed on the banks of Loch Creran. Since Archie’s death in the 1950’she had been with several owners but for the last thirty years had belonged to one family who had loved her dearly and sailed her on epic voyages together. Sadly Concord was now in that most dangerous of conditions for a wooden boat; laid up in a shed, paint peeling, water seeping into her joints, her rigging lying tangled across her deck. Nothing however could hide the beautiful and rare craft waiting to be released.

to Fowey

I had her transported to a small boatyard on the river Fowey in Cornwall where, together with master Boatbuilder Peter Williams and the immense support of my family, I began her long and arduous restoration. The day of her relaunch in 2009 was unforgettable. Crowds of friends, many of them made during my time in Cornwall, came to wish Concord well in her new life. Archie White’s daughter Jenny, in tears at seeing the boat for the first time since her childhood, poured champagne on Concord’s prow and eighteen people piled aboard to sail her around Fowey Harbour. As Concord spread her wings again and heeled to a gentle breeze a huge cheer rang out across the water from the two Fowey yacht clubs.

From Classic Boat magazine

Classic Boat magazine recognized our achievement by presenting Concord with their coveted Restoration of the Year Award at the 2010 International Boat Show in London.

I kept Concord in Cornwall for a little while, exploring that rugged coast and entering the Fowey Classics Regatta where Concord won, most appropriately, the award for ‘Most’Ansome Transom’.

In 2010 I sailed Concord back to her home waters of the East Coast and in 2012 she will begin a new adventure. Having inspired her first owner’s writing and painting she is now inspiring my work as a musician.

Concord is on the register of National Historic Ships who, during her restoration, awarded two grants for an anchor windlass and a new mainsail and mizzen from renowned sailmakers James Lawrence of Brightlingsea.