Home : Happy Return : Her History : Restoration : Sailing : Lines and Sail Plan
This is an original 40' Cornish lugger built at Kitto's Yard, Porthleven in 1904. It was the oldest registered fishing boat when the owner decided to decommission her in 1998. She has a beam of 13'6" and draught of 7'.
The Mounts Bay Lugger Association saved her from being broken up and she was brought back to Penzance harbour in Mounts Bay under her own power on 4th May 1998 by her previous owner Peter Barrett to undergo total restoration.
Although she was launched as the Happy Return (FE 5), prior to decommissioning she was called Britannia (LN 224) and was used by skipper Peter Barrett for potting in the Channel from Swanage in Dorset.
She was originally paid for by public subscription in Folkestone, Kent on a wave of public sympathy for a local skipper John (Jack) Warman Saunders who lost his boat the Good Intent (FE 21) in a storm in 1904.
The entry in the original registry in 1905 shows the Happy Return as a dipping lugger built in Porthleven belonging to the port of Folkestone and propelled by lugsails for lining and trawling.
The first entry is the registration on April 4th 1905 to John Saunders, Fishmarket, Folkestone, and the second is for the fitting of an auxiliary 8 hp Kelvin engine on 18th February 1916.
The vessel is built with carvel planking on sawn Oak frames and the traditional planking timber used in Porthleven was Norwegian Red Deal or Pitch Pine, often at extra cost, the keel is Elm.
The engine in place on decommissioning was a six cylinder Ford diesel engine on the centre line with no wing engine. This was fitted in 1972 by Peter Barrett and the previous engine was known to be an Ailsa Craig 4 cylinder diesel.