Sailors in Thornbury proudly unveil revamped vessel
SAILORS in Thornbury have proudly unveiled their refurbished safety vessel following 18 months of painstaking renovation work.
On Saturday, August 19, Thornbury Sailing Club inaugurated the new boat, christened Tom Skuse after the former landlord of the Anchor Inn in Oldbury; the pub where members met in the sailing club's early years in the 1950s.
The launch was purchased in 1968 as a rescue and safety boat but this duty is now primarily taken over by two RIBS to support the extensive dinghy racing programme.
The original boat had served the sailors well but after 47 years of continuous use was in need of a major refit.
Tom Skuse will be a support vessel on the numerous long distance races the Thornbury Sailing Club runs up river during the summer.
Barry Leat, an ex Commodore who led the project, said: "A dedicated team had worked many hundreds of hours to complete the task both at home to make the various modules and every Wednesday at the club. "
The original hull was completely stripped with just the engine remaining.
New floors have been fitted as well as a new deckhouse. The launch was completely rewired and a new fuel system and full navigational aides installed.
He added: "The cold weather in the winter held us up a bit, but a concerted effort in the spring and summer ended with a launch in proper style with a bottle of champagne on August 12.
"This was very fortuitous as it was the commencement of the very popular Club Week. Tom Skuse accompanied all the racing dinghies to Lydney on the following Sunday and confirmed that all the work proved her to be a very seaworthy vessel and should serve the club for many years to come."
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