Posted by: glandorescilly | 03/07/2011

Shuna of Melfort

Peter Martin is a well known name on Scilly. He’s the shipwright who builds race-winning gigs, repairs boats both big and small, and owns the beautiful classic yacht ‘Shuna of Melfort’. All winter ‘Shuna’ has been at his Boatbuilding shed at Porthloo, safely cocooned on her trolley and protected from the elements by a tarpaulin over her superstructure.

Not long ago, from the window of our Gallery, we saw the tarpaulin had been removed and Peter and his wife, Fiona, were working aboard the yacht to prepare her for a season of summer sailing.  Her mast was brought out of the shed and set in place with great care and attention to detail. Much polishing and hard work was carried out to get her pristine and immaculate, ready for launching from the slipway.

On the hot sunny afternoon of Friday 1st July, Steve went out onto Porthloo beach to continue working on a large beachscape watercolour. During the morning, I had seen a large tractor carefully tow ‘Shuna’ on her trolley down the slipway and onto Porthloo Beach, to await the high tide later in the day.  So, late afternoon, I put a notice on the Gallery counter ‘Back in ten minutes. Please feel free to look around’, grabbed my camera and hurried out onto the beach.

Shuna of Melfort preparing to leave Porthloo 1st July 2011

Shuna of Melfort preparing to leave Porthloo 1st July 2011

It might have been fifteen minutes actually … but I took some photos of Steve painting and also of the ‘Shuna of Melfort’ with Peter and a crewmember on board, preparing to sail to her mooring in the harbour. As I came off the beach, I met Fiona Martin who had come out for a walk with her dog and had forgotten her camera so asked if I’d got any photos. I said I had and she asked if I could email some to her. I was happy to do that and despatched three images by email that evening. I asked about the ‘Shuna’ and Fiona kindly supplied the following details (for anyone who might be interested)

‘Shuna of Melfort’ was built by Dewar’s in Bo’ness, Scotland in 1963 and designed by G L Watson.

G. L. Watson | Classic Yacht Design and Restoration | Superyacht Management

I also found an interesting blog post about the ‘Shuna’ on the Scillywebcam site together with a couple of photos showing the sad state of the yacht when she was salvaged from the Western Rocks in about 1999. Click on the image in the blog post to open it in a new window and you can see the damage she suffered.

‘Shuna of Melfort (from Scilly webcam)

'Shuna of Melfort' 1st July 2011

'Shuna of Melfort' 1st July 2011

'Shuna of Melfort' leaving Porthloo, St Marys, Isles of Scilly 1st July 2011

'Shuna of Melfort' leaving Porthloo, St Marys, Isles of Scilly 1st July 2011

After nine years of hard work to restore the yacht to its current immaculate condition in 2008, it’s a credit to Peter Martin that she looks so fabulous!

This shows Stephen working on a large watercolour of Porthloo Beach, using his adapted picnic table with adjustable legs for uneven surfaces. It’s heavy but useful.

Stephen working on a large watercolour painting of Porthloo Beach, 1st July 2011

Stephen working on a large watercolour painting of Porthloo Beach, 1st July 2011

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