The Cornish lugger IBIS (FY 519) was built in 1930 by Percy Mitchell, of Portmellon, near Mevagissey, for the two Lakeman brothers. Her hull was of pitch pine planking on oak frames. She had two 7hp Kelvin petrol/paraffin engines and the traditional dipping lug on the mainmast with a standing lug on the mizzen. She fished for pilchards with drift nets and also used long lines (with numerous hooks attached) in the Channel during the winter to catch turbot, ling, conger and ray. She was for many years the largest lugger to work from Mevagissey and was the first to go to sea on Sundays. In 1960 the Lakeman family sold her to an owner at Newlyn to continue fishing. By the mid-1960s she was sold again and worked as a crabber out of Salcombe, Dartmouth and Plymouth. In 1970 Robert Gavin found IBIS at Weymouth and had her refitted by Philip’s at Galmpton, on the River Dart. Herbie Uren bought her in 1975 and fished for mackerel and crabs out of Porthleven in West Cornwall. In 1978 she was sold again and given a full refit, including a new engine. She was then used to fish for mackerel, shark angling and trawling out of Looe until the mid 1980s, and in 1989 was restoredto sail with the traditional lugger rig.
She was sold to a Brixham owner in 2002 and is now based at Dartmouth. Although major work has been done on her hull, decks and masts to keep her seaworthy she is said to remain at least 80% original.
Source: Historic Sail, Britain's surviving working craft, Paul Brown, the History Press.
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