New work boat is launched for Excelsior
PUBLISHED: 16:21 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:34 09 July 2019
The historical reconstruction of a traditional ships' boat has been hailed as a wonderful project for students.
The Lowestoft-based sailing charity, Excelsior Trust, has taken delivery of a traditional ships' boat, which has been built by Lowestoft's International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC).
Excelsior's new smacks' boat was officially launched for the first time on Monday evening with the ceremonial send off featuring a pint of Green Jack Brewery's Excelsior bitter.
The new ship's boat was launched by the Excelsior chairman's wife Susan Campbell during a prestigious event at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club marina.
The new work boat is an historical reconstruction based upon a drawing held by the Science Museum recording a smack's boat in 1937.
Funded by The George W Setterfield Trust, the boat will be able to take passengers from ship to shore on Excelsior's many voyages, and will also provide team rowing activities for participants this season and beyond.
John Wylson, Excelsior founder and vice president, said: "We are extremely grateful for the support of The George W Setterfield Trust in enabling us to commission this traditional smacks' boat which is very much in keeping with Excelsior's authenticity and history.
"Built by our neighbours, The International Boatbuilding Training College, the boat brings a welcome addition to the range of activities we can offer aboard our beautiful traditional sail training ship, Excelsior."
Excelsior will be 100-years-old in 2021 - with events being planned to mark the the ship's historic anniversary, including the possibility of a 'Sea Festival' in her home port of Lowestoft.
Mike Tupper, director of the IBTC, said: "Building Excelsior's work boat has proved to be a wonderful project for IBTC Lowestoft students, both enjoyable and educational.
"In a time when most wooden boats are built for leisure it is a privilege to build a robust traditional boat that will be put to work rather than be placed in a museum."
Trustee Michael Howell added: "The George W Setterfield Trust is delighted to be associated with Excelsior and the valuable experience crewing her can give to young persons.
"Teaching teamwork and an appreciation of the discipline required, as well as a unique opportunity to enjoy sailing such a traditional craft.
"The assistance given by the IBTC in this project is greatly appreciated and, we trust has given their trainees a valuable experience also."