'Kindly Light' soon to be sailing again
Published: Wednesday, 27th July 2011
Spars for the Pilot Cutter and Historic Ship 'Kindly Light' well underway at Collars
'Kindly Light', designed by William Stoba built and launched in November 1911 by Armour Brother, she cost the pricey sum of £525 and was for the Barry pilot Lewis Alexandra.
She represented the final evolution of the pure sailing pilot cutter and was considered to be the fastest and most successful of the one hundred and sixty or so pilot cutters working in the Bristol Channel immediately prior to the First World War.
Pilot cutters then often traveled a fair distance beyond Land's End to pilot ships into the Bristol Channel. More than often it was the fastest boat that got the job, a point on which the Kindly Light scored high, and in the process she set many records and made her owner a wealthy man.
In 1922 she was bought by Commander Linklater, renamed 'Theodora ' and converted into a yacht.
She remained in private ownership and in 1960, she became the founding vessel of the Ocean Youth Trust and continued to take young boys and girls to sea until she was sold to the Maritime Trust in 1971 to become a museum exhibit in 1977 at Cardiff. Eventually, in 1993, she was sold by the Maritime Trust back into private ownership on the understanding that she would be restored.
After 14 years she is nearing completion of her meticulous restoration at Gweek in Cornwall and Collars have been commissioned to supply all her spars in solid laminated Douglas Fir. With the help of Stones Timber, specially cut and sized Fir has been carefully selected from the Pacific Northwest and is on it's way over for work to begin. Although still a lot to do, David Walkey and his team are aiming to get her ready to be sailing again this summer to mark her 100th birthday, something I sure will be featured again in a future Newsletter.