Gail McGarva is a traditional wooden boat builder based in Lyme Regis, Dorset. Her specialist area is the building of replicas or as she prefers to call them ‘ daughterboats’, breathing life into a new generation of historic craft. She believes all boats have a story to tell about their communities and their shores.
The new generation of ‘daughterboats’ to the Cornish Pilot gig ‘Treffry’ of 1838 tells the story of an inspiring revival in the building and racing of these beautiful working boats.
Gail believes the building of gigs demands patience, accuracy and passion. As a builder she works very closely with the local community, embracing them within the journey of the build, forging a strong connection between the people and their boats. She hopes that these ‘daughterboats’ will speak out their story for generations to come.
All three of Gail’s gigs have been commissioned by Lyme Regis Gig Club.
Gail built ‘Rebel’ with the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis in 2008. She was honoured to have the late Ralph Bird as her mentor in the building of her first gig.
She built her second gig ‘Black Ven’ as an independant builder in 2009 and then her third ‘Tempest’ in 2012.
Gail is currently restoring the 38ft Bantry Bay gig ‘Integrite’ for the international youth project ‘Atlantic Challenge’.
In 2014 Gail was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to clinker boat building and heritage crafts.’
Contact details: [email protected] or 07974 121606
All photos on this page courtesy of Nick Matthews.