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The Jumbos were a class of fishing boat introduced uniquely to St.Ives during the mid 1880's by the renowned boatbuilder, William Paynter. Diminishing demand for fishing boats and a disastrous fire had recently put an end to his business in Kirkeel. Returning to his native home, Mr. Paynter turned his attention to building smaller and more economic craft. The name 'jumbo' is an ironic reference to the fact that they were so much smaller than the rest of the lugger fleet. (The famous elephant of that name had been sold a few years earlier, amid much contraversy, by London Zoo to Barnum circus and shipped to the U.S.).
The charity also organises 'Boats in the Bay' an annual gathering of luggers in St.Ives Bay in early September which started in 2006.
Today's jumbos (20ft 6ins LOA) are replicas of the smallest recorded and were researched and built to Mr. Paynter's original lines by Jonny Nance.
The first, 'Celeste', was launched in 2007 to be followed in 2010 by 'William Paynter'.
Comparatively light and forgiving, the jumbos are the perfect craft on which to learn to sail and appreciate the advantages of the much-maligned dipping lug rig.
They are sailed and maintained by members of 'The St.Ives Jumbo Association' www.stivesjumbo.com a charity open to all.