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Registered Charity

No. 1142930

May 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends of the St Ives Jumbo Association,

Greetings to our regular and former members and a warm welcome to those who have joined us recently!

As we are all using our devices so much more as a result of the lockdown, we thought this was an ideal opportunity to switch to an online newsletter. Not only does this save costs but it allows us to produce a fuller account of our activities which we hope you’ll find a diverting and informative read.

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis…

As you may already know, we are delaying launching and sailing our Jumbos and all group activities until the lock-down is relaxed. The good news is that the boats are safely stored where they are and, owing to their recent maintenance (see more below) are all in fine fettle.

But meanwhile, we continue to be liable for the fixed costs of storing and insuring the vessels (£1500 and £1031 p.a. respectively), and harbour dues (£544). Together with maintenance costs (£500), this is an annual total of £3575 based on 2019 figures.*

Until recently, our fixed costs were met by our membership fees and fundraising.

Owing to the interpretation of GDPR regulations a couple of years ago (which we now understand to have been over-cautious), we felt unable to contact many of our occasional supporters and our overall membership fell accordingly. Meanwhile our costs have considerably increased so that our membership fees alone will not meet this year’s fixed costs. In addition, not only have charities been hard-hit but so too the bodies we might in ordinary circumstances approach for help.

*NB. A copy of our accounts for 2019 is available on request from the Treasurer

So, to keep the Jumbo Association afloat, we are making two requests of you all:

I . Please rejoin us or renew your annual membership by setting up a standing order via your online bank account. Alternatively, you can use Paypal or pay by cheque.

Please complete and submit this form:

Online Membership and Donation Form

2. Please consider making a one-off donation this year. If all members were to donate an additional £30 we would be home and dry. Clearly not everyone can afford this so, if you feel able, please add a bit to cover for them. Alternatively, if this is beyond your means, please persuade someone else to join who might benefit from membership.

Thank you!

Bank details: The St Ives Jumbo Association, sort code 54-41-16; A/c 46530614

Our email address for Paypal

Please post cheques to: Jill Block, Teak Studio, Tremorva, Wheal Margery, Carbis Bay, St.Ives TR26 2RH

Since our last newsletter...

Saturday 4th May 2019

 Celeste’s twelfth season began a little later than usual owing to the tides. She was joined by William Paynter a fortnight later. In the meantime, Phil Slater organised some skipper-training sessions which now mark the beginning of our sailing season. Nonetheless, it proved to be a long season as Celeste was not recovered until mid November amid wintery squalls. It was also a successful one: there were 37 sailings offering 173 crew places with both boats sailing on seven occasions. 

Regular Saturday Sailings

During 2018, an initiative set up by local skipper, Rupert Manley saw the introduction of a series of Saturday sailings, when members may show up at the appointed time without prearrangement. They have proved very successful again this season and have been well-attended. The spontaneity of these events has also attracted several new members. Dates for whatever may remain of the 2020 season will be posted on Facebook.

July 5th-7th 2019
Looe Lugger Regatta

Looe felt more like the South of France than South Cornwall for last years Lugger Regatta. The settled weather ensured a good turnout and a spirited meet up of the extended lugger-revival family (now well into its second generation) that began here 30 years ago.

The small boat class, which included three Beer luggers, was particularly well represented. The jumbo was clearly out-matched by the high-tech wizardry from Beer yet, owing to frequent wind shifts, we (the only dipping lugger in our class) were able to sail through them on occasion!

So folks, no prizes this year but at least for the last two years, the prize has gone to boats that Jonny has built.

We were the same team as last time, but this year George and Michelle joined us for the Saturday afternoon race helmed by Scott. Kerstin and Naomi Gorvin, who had worked frantically to get their recently acquired lugger 'Mispah' to the event, kindly towed us in and out of the harbour.

Sat 17th August 2019


An impromptu party was held as an incentive to tidy up the site, use the empty Barn and create another opportunity to socialize with members of our sister organization, the Cornish Maritime Trust.

Saturday 31st August 2019

The jumbo William Paynter, and ‘Coffee Shop’ Mike in the punt joined Rupert and Alastair in their picarooner in a show of water-born solidarity with a lively contingent ashore who were protesting against the governments’ inaction over climate change. This green XR sail (made by Jonny from a cheap tarp and sticky tape) was more than just a banner. It enabled the picarooner to sail to windward as efficiently as the jumbo!

That evening, 6 of our members heard Manda Brookman explain the undisputed facts behind the climate emergency at the Arts Club.

Whilst the committee supports the cause of Extinction Rebellion, they have decided that it would be inappropriate for the charity to join XR for the time being.


This winter Scott and Jim have introduced a series of maintenance sessions over the weekend instead of the regular Sunday mornings and so they are well ahead of schedule.

They thought a summary of the winter maintenance programme would be of interest…

Having only one trailer for the jumbos, the boats are generally taken out a fortnight or a month apart (to coincide with suitable tides) in October/November and the punt is brought out at the same time as the second jumbo. The first job is always to remove the lead ballast (3/4 ton approx) and put it into storage. Then the boat is, unrigged, winched on to the trailer and towed to the slipway. Here it is hosed down and scrubbed to remove as much excess sand as possible from the interior and weed and barnacles etc from the exterior, before being towed to the SIJA barn located inland from Carbis Bay. At this time the summer mooring spans are also removed and replaced by winter ones.

Once at the barn, the jumbos are removed in turn from the trailer onto trestles and supporting legs for easier access to the hull. All spars and rigging are removed onto storage racks and pegs, as are the buoyancy bags and gas cylinders while the sole boards are stacked alongside. This allows the interiors to dry out before a final removal of sand.

Once dried out and clean, the interiors are treated with a thin application of 3:2:1 oil mix (wood preserver, linseed & tung) and the same mix is used on the spars and wooden blocks. The sole boards meanwhile are treated with wood preserver on its own to avoid them developing a slippery surface.

Once the insides are done, the exteriors are tackled. The topsides generally need cleaning off and then any bare patches touched up with primer and then topcoat. Every few years a complete new coat is needed. Below the waterline, any remaining marine growth and flaking paint has to be removed before touching up with underwater primer and then applying a full coat of antifouling paint.

As a break from the work in the barn, a session is also usually arranged in the Rose Lodge by the harbour where the sails and rigging are all checked over and repaired together with the summer moorings. Back at the barn, the larger servings and whippings on the rigging are coated with Stockholm Tar.

The mooring chains are also checked over at some time during the winter and, before relaunching, the winter growth of weed must be cleared from the outhaul ropes and the summer spans put back between the chains of the main moorings.

Lastly the bilge pumps have to be checked over, the buoyancy bags checked, the lifejackets serviced, the stem bands rubbed down and retreated and new anodes fitted to protect the keel bands etc from electrolytic corrosion. Then everything has to be refitted and the boats trailed back down to the harbour for launching. This is usually towards the end of April, depending on the tide and weather.

Owing to a new regime of weekend maintenance session that we introduced this winter there’s little left to do prior to launching. Once the lockdown is relaxed enough to allow working parties to recommence work, William Paynter will receive a fresh coat to her topsides and all boats need a topcoat of antifouling. Once again Hempels have donated expensive antifoul paint and the opportunity to experiment with a recent biocide-free product.

Many thanks to the twelve members who have helped out so far with this winter's work.

Jim & Scott

Saturday 22nd February 2020

Another very enjoyable evening with local stories told in local dialect by Shazz Andrew who kindly donated her time. She was accompanied with lively, traditional folk music from ‘Money to the Moon’. This annual event raised over £400 for the Association.


We are delighted to announce that the second stage of this project, which had stalled as we sought planning permission to proceed, was finally approved on 28th April. As this project has been held up since 2018, we thought you’d appreciate an explanation of our plans:

Back in 2012 we set ourselves the target of establishing a Jumbo Centre in order to ‘provide secure storage for the boats and their gear, where new jumbos maybe built offering training possibilities and a physical focus for the Association’

Eventually a site was found and a five-year lease negotiated. Early in 2016 the site was cleared, a new approach road was laid including a large area of hard-standing surrounding the barn on 3 sides. The ivy which engulfed the building was cleared, the roof structure was strengthened to take the weight of a jumbo in order to assist loading and unloading them from the trailer. A concrete floor was laid throughout. A wider gate and new double doors were hung on both the front and side elevation to improve access. By the end of Feb 2016 all our boats were safely installed in the new barn fulfilling the first stage of our stated long-term aspiration.

The second stage of our objective is to further develop the barn-site to include additional undercover storage for other traditional boats (to help meet the rental of the site), a volunteer amenity building and a compost toilet. We propose to extend the existing barn to the right (see below) with an open-fronted building of similar timber construction to create a covered area roughly to match the existing barn.

During 2018 we received a grant from Awards for All to meet the cost of completing the second stage and the preparatory ground work has since been completed.

Early indications that this proposal would not require full planning permission were recently dashed.

Following initial pre-planning advice submission, Cornwall Council decided that we would have to apply for full planning permission afterall. This would require detailed work and costly surveys, and meant that we would be unable to build the extension in the autumn of 2019 as planned.

Specifically, Cornwall Council asked for a Bat & Owl Survey and a Phase 1 land survey to be completed prior to consideration of the full planning application.

We have always intended that the site should be maintained and managed in the most appropriate and beneficial way. We are fortunate to have some keen and dedicated members who monitor our activities some of whom have already volunteered to encourage wildlife habitat around the site by planting more trees and shrubs and by providing nest boxes. So it was disappointing to have to use our limited resources on wildlife surveys however well-intended.

Nonetheless, to comply Cornwall Environment Consultants Ltd were invited to carry out the Bat & Owl Survey on our behalf. They have since confirmed that there are no nesting sites that would be affected.

One of their consultants was due to visit the site to take soil samples as part of the Phase 1 land survey in March but this was postponed owing to Covid 19…

Then, quite unexpectedly, we received full planning permission!

We are extremely indebted to Jill Block who has undertaken the lion’s share of the work behind the scenes – both fundraising and planning applications -which has enabled us to get this far.

We look forward to bringing you progress reports once work at the site resumes.


At the time of writing, there’s been no indication as to when we may be permitted to resume our normal activities. Rest assured, you will be notified as soon as we know, although it’s safe to assume that leisure sailing will be amongst the last to get the go-ahead.

One thing is clear however: when the Jumbos finally re-emerge they will be launched into a very different world. It’s just possible that after months of self-reflection we will see some positive changes. Certainly the values associated with the jumbos – that of community building through shared, carbon-neutral activity with a healthy respect for our heritage and the environment – chime with those that many in lockdown from our super-charged, over-capitalised world, are now learning to appreciate. Many influential voices are even commenting that such values will be key to planning our future prosperity which would give small initiatives such as ourselves a renewed relevance in the post-pandemic world. So, as they set sail once more, the jumbos will champion this change of view. Please be generous to ensure we’re in good shape when the time comes. Persuade a friend to join us - our best years could be approaching!

Oh, and here’s a third request – if you have any fundraising ideas for the Association, please let us know by emailing

Now, please renew your membership and persuade a friend to join!

With very best wishes from the Trustees and our sincere thanks for your support.

Jonny Nance, secretary

Jill Block, membership secretary

Matt Hayter, chairman

Keith Jones, treasurer

Scott Bowring

Jim Fletcher

Toby Procter

Photo credits: Paul Massey, Tom Wedge, Chris Oates, Alban Roinard, Rupert Manley, Sally Ewings and Jonny Nance

The St Ives Jumbo Association

Teak Studio
Wheal Margery
Carbis Bay
St Ives
TR26 2RH

You received this email because you are, or have been, a member or supporter of the St. Ives Jumbo Association.

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