Rebuilding the Rhoda Mary
The Rhoda Mary Project will have significant public appeal both within Cornwall and beyond. The site of the rebuild is envisaged to serve as a visitors’ centre and provide revenue to support the project. In Rochefort, France, the site of the building of a replica of the Hermione, the frigate that in 1779 conveyed Lafayette to North America, has been open to the public with great success.
The rebuild site will be a weatherproof hangar big enough to accommodate the Rhoda Mary and positioned to allow the visiting public to appreciate her true size and shape. Adjoining workshops, for wood-working machinery and a forge will be needed. A spar and sail loft will also later be required.
Masters and apprentices
The core restoration team will consist of 4 skilled shipwrights and a blacksmith. The rebuild will start with 2 trainees, adding another 2 every three months, working alongside those that are already in the team until there is a complete team of 8 trainees built up over the first year.
These trainees will be given a variety of tasks, working through all aspects of the project – woodwork, metalwork, engineering, sail making and rigging. These positions will be partly supported by public funding.
The Rhoda Mary Project will have significant public appeal.
The skills of the Ferrises found some expression in many of the schooners built on the south-west coast.
Basil Greenhill, The Merchant Schooners