Building Fritha – Sailing Sunday
Following on from the stunning WW post on the McMullen & Wing built 74’ brigantine – Fritha, Chris McMullen has shared with us a gallery of photos from the build.
In Chris’s words – it shows a bunch of mainly young guys building a proper sailing ship. Chris commented how lucky they all were to have had that opportunity. The photos should be credited to M&W ex apprentice Grant Thomas who was the leading hand on Fritha.
The Fritha was built traditionally but certainly not by eye. You may notice the cabin trunks were well underway before the hull was planked. This was possible because M&W had a very experienced team. The workmanship got better every boat they built but the estimate of time was exceeded. (Chris stressed how lucky they were to have an understanding owner who appreciated what he got). Further, it became almost impossible to get good wood. Chris’s business partner Eric Wing was by then running their haul out yard at Westhaven.
Sadly “Fritha” was the last real boat M&W built. M&W was sold and became a ship yard rather than a boatyard.
While most people associate M&W as metal boat builders, Chris said that they did that, as we had to. There is nothing wrong with a wooden boat providing it is built properly of good timber. There was no wood left so it was metal or frozen snot. They chose to build metal boats but employed mainly woodworkers.
Chris would like to pass on thanks to the late owner of “Fritha” Mr JR Butland and the loyal team he had that built some beautiful yachts.
View the previous WW story on Fritha here – lots of photos https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/02/24/fritha/