The fleet of a Cornish fishing dynasty has been rejoined by its latest ‘as new’ crabber, fresh from a significant refit at Mylor Yacht Harbour, and helped by what could be the last major tranche of European funding to improve health, safety, efficiency and working conditions in the fishing industry.

The Cygnus 32 fishing boat Tizzardlee-on PW 16 is the Gilbert family’s second vessel placed in the expert hands of Mylor’s Marine Team for major improvement works, which take advantage of the €92.1m European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

The funding scheme opened in England two and a half years ago, offering help on a wide range of projects, from replacing fishing boat engines to investment in fishing ports – but once this funding pot is exhausted, there is no guarantee of further similar support for the industry in a post-Brexit Britain.

For its duration, the EMFF scheme is managed in England by the Marine Management Organisation, with guidance and support for Cornish applicants provided by the Cornwall Rural Community Charity.

“We’d certainly encourage our friends in the fishing industry to get on and take advantage of the EMFF funding while it’s still available,” said Mylor Marine Team project manager Henry Goldsmith. “From our end, it’s so positive to be breathing new life into these vessels, and giving added security to their crews.

“Like all EU grants, the application process can be tricky, but the Cornwall Rural Community Charity is there to help in the first instance, and we’re on hand to help push the applications through in the latter stages if needs be.”

Tizzardlee-on emerging from her refit.

In fact, Newquay-based skipper-owner Martin Gilbert, with his sons Daniel and Jake, has become a dab hand at these applications, which include repowering, crew comfort and safety projects, all carried out by the Marine Team and funded to a greater or lesser extent by the EMFF or its predecessor the EFF. His largest boat, Serene, will return to Mylor this winter for further work.

“This is work we could never afford through our own resources,” says Martin, “and now we’re getting it done with speed and efficiency by the best in the business.

“Jobs like these – removing and replacing expensive kit like an engine, or making significant changes on deck to improve safety and efficiency for the crew – are never straightforward, and you have to have absolute confidence in your engineers, because in the end, lives depend on the job being done to perfection.

“The standard of the work at Mylor – the skills, knowledge and facilities available – is always exceptional. The attention to detail and the finish on all fronts really stand out, and the Marine Team works closely with us, however busy they are, to get the work done quickly, so we can get back to sea as soon as possible. Our boats are looking great, and working better than they ever have.”

Henry Goldsmith continued, “Mylor Yacht Harbour is very well-known as a leisure boating centre, but the harbour’s roots lie firmly in commercial shipping, and our work with the fishing community is a prime example of this.

“We’ve maintained a strong commercial customer base, notably among the fishing, survey and port operations boats based out of Falmouth and Truro, as well as Newlyn, St Ives, Mevagissey, Newquay, Padstow and beyond.

“As with the Gilbert family, we develop longstanding relationships with the vessels and operators, so that whether the job is a small repair or a major refit, we can better serve their needs and get boats back to work as quickly as possible.”

Mylor’s Marine Team is staffed by highly-trained marine specialists, including engineers, electricians and shipwrights. Whether applying traditional skills or cutting-edge technologies, Mylor’s Marine Team puts its combined expertise into anything from a simple repair to a total refit. They also have the benefit of the greater part of the old Cygnus Marine workforce in the GRP and shipwright departments, to support the engineers.

The Marine Team has quoted on several refit projects for fishing boats from various ports across Cornwall, and is currently awaiting the outcome of their funding applications.

Further information is available at: or call: 01326 372121.


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