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* News March 30th 2014 - Pet Rebuild. - *Pet update 30/03//2014

* News 2010 - Pet sinks. - * Pet update 01/10/2010


PZ 211: A 1903 pilchard driver from Porthleven based in Penryn near Falmouth during her restoration which was completed in 2003.

Owned by Ann and Ray Rowe and built originally in Porthleven in 1903 for Richard Henry Thomas, who was born in 1863, as a Class II lugger or Pilchard Driver, Pet’s first registration number was PZ211.

Richard died at sea in 1909, and Pet was sold by his widow to Henry Johns of Mevagissey in 1910 and Pet started working out of that port, changing her registration number to FY129.  In 1917, she received her first engine of 8 h.p.  She remained in the hands of the Johns family, commercially fishing until 1961, when she was sold off to Commander Rutherford on the Helford for private use.

(A retired shipwright by the name of Ron Rashleigh contacted Ann and Ray by phone, following an article printed in The Falmouth Packet on the re-launch of Pet. He worked on Pet after she was sold from Mevagissey to Commander Rutherford of Port Navas. Another phone call was from the grandson of the original owner!  He put them in contact with his sister, who still lives in Porthleven, Florence Eddy (married name) who is now aged 82. These two very interesting phone calls filled in some key parts of Pet's history)

After laying on the Helford for some years, William Arthur (Arfy) Treneer bought her in 1966.  She was repaired, re-rigged and re-registered as FH376 and returned to commercial fishing including oyster dredging.

She was de-registered and sold off in 1976 to an unknown buyer.  She was briefly re-registered again and re-named in 1992 as the Lady Linda FH607. 

She was then no longer under sail and had a wheelhouse and a 100 h.p. motor fitted.

It was at this stage that Ann and Ray acquired her in 1993 with the intention of totally rebuilding her. Pet was to be stronger than before with her original appearance of 1903 and to be once again a sailing lugger. 

The rebuild was a long and arduous job as Ray did all the work himself (with Ann’s help at weekends and holidays).  After 8 ½ years, Pet was re-launched on 9th August  2002.  She still needed about 2 more tons of ballast before she could be sailed.  At this stage no engine was fitted and she was purely a sailing vessel.  

Ann and Ray took her for our first sail on Sunday 25th May 2003. They were thrilled with the way she handled and left her anchored in Falmouth for a few days, then sailed her back to the pontoons at Challenger in Penryn. They fitted their bunk forward and a couple of temporary bunks in the main saloon so that they could attend the Cornish Lugger Regatta at Looe in June and also have some time sailing her through the summer months before starting the full interior fit-out during the winter.






After the re-launch in 2002.




At anchor in Falmouth. 



Pet made her debut at the Looe Lugger Regatta in June 2003, which coincided with her centenary.  



Pet under sail, courtesy of the late Martin Heard, who was crewing on Eileen at the Looe Lugger Regatta sailing past the 60ft tunnyman La Nebuleuse.



Thursday July 15th 2010

Pet sank in a gale at Havelet Bay Guernsey when she broke her moorings. She had been owned by Claude Van-martyn who had bought her three years previously from Ray Rowe. The Association was soon contacted by Falmouth coastguard after sails and rigging from Pet were found in the Channel.

Pet Sunk Pet Sunk Pet sunk

Relevant Guernsey and West Cornwall press cuttings:-

"Sailor's Dreams are Sunk" - Guernsey Press Saturday, July 17th 2010

A SAILOR’S life-long dream has been washed away in a matter of hours.
Claude Van-martyn, the owner of the 60ft long yacht that sank in Havelet Bay on Thursday night, had planned to sail for a year around Europe.
It had been something he had always wanted to do and he had been fixing up the 107-year-old yacht. He had planned to set off on his trip at the end of August.
But during Thursday night’s gale, the boat started drifting from its moorings and within a couple of hours it had sunk.The boat was not insured.


"Is this auf Wiedersehen Pet?" - Guernsey Press Tuesday July 20th

A 107-YEAR-OLD Cornish pilchard boat which smashed against the Castle Emplacement might be lost forever.
The 60ft Pet sank in Havelet Bay during last Thursday’s gales.
Yesterday, the sailing boat, which was too heavy to lift, was dragged up-beach near the Havelet sea wall.
All metal, plastic and fluid has been removed from it to ensure there is no immediate environmental impact on the area.
A UK master craftsman, who has examined the wreckage, will discuss the cost of shipping and restoration with the owner, Claude Van-martyn.

Anyone interested in restoring the yacht can call Mr Van-martyn on 07911 737870


"Sail dream is wrecked in a gale" - Cornishman July 29th 2010

A sailor's lifelong dream has been washed away in a matter of hours – and with it a piece of Penzance's heritage.
Claude Van-martyn, the owner of PZ.211 which sank in Guernsey last week, had planned to sail around Europe for a year.
It was something he had always wanted to do and he had been fixing up the 107-year-old vessel, called Pet, ahead of setting off on his dream trip at the end of August.
A gale last Thursday caused the boat to drift from its moorings and within hours it had sunk. The boat was not insured.
"I had money, passports, and possessions on there and now I have lost everything," said Mr Van-martyn. "It's all gone now. To me it's a huge loss and I don't know where to go from here."
He said he was unable to secure fully comprehensive cover because insurance companies were wary of giving cover to a classic yacht of that age.
Pet was built in 1903 for Richard Thomas as a pilchard driver. Following his death the boat was bought and fished out of Mevagissey, changing her registration to FY 129.
In 1917 she received her first engine and continued commercial fishing until 1961.
Mr Van-martyn paid £36,000 for the boat three years ago and had spent £4,000 on improvements.
The boat's previous owner had spent eight years working on it.
"I have spent three years working on this boat leading up to this point, but now that is all down the drain.
"I have no more money," said Mr Van-martyn.
"I was planning a year's voyage and was hoping to leave very soon."
He said he had tried to get to the boat on three previous days that week to sail it and moor it elsewhere but the sea had been too rough.
The yacht is believed to have broken free of its anchor and then crashed into the wall at Havelet, Guernsey. All metal, plastic and fluid was removed to ensure there is no risk to the environment.
Immediately following the incident he hoped to find someone who would be interested in restoring the boat.
But those dreams have ended and Mr Van-martyn is resigned to losing the vessel.

Update 01/10/2010

Pet has now been transported to Gweek Quay Boatyard on the upper reaches of the Helford River in Cornwall.

We have included some images here of her sorry state:-

Pet at Gweek Pet at Gweek Pet at Gweek

Pet at Gweek Pet at Gweek Pet at Gweek

Pet at Gweek Pet at Gweek Pet at Gweek

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We are pleased that Pet is now well on with a complete re-build at Gweek yard and this is her state at present in March 2014 - she was relaunched in 2002 after her total re-build by Ray Rowe which took over 8 years. This new venture is truly another massive and excellent achievement and we congratulate the new owner.

Pet rebuild at Gweek Pet rebuild at Gweek Pet rebuild at Gweek Pet rebuild at Gweek

Pet rebuild at Gweek Pet rebuild at Gweek Pet rebuild at Gweek Pet rebuild at Gweek

Pet rebuild at Gweek