HISTORY OF FALMOUTH QUAY PUNT
"LITTLE PAL"(later Teale, Sea Teale, Sea Teal and Teal)
Little Pal was designed and built by W.E. Thomas in 1914 at his ship building yard in Bar Road, Falmouth,
Cornwall. Little Pal was built as a yacht at the behest of Percy Woodcock. He was her first owner who became particularly well known in yachting circles, having written several articles for cruising journals (especially Yachting Monthly)
Woodcock moored Little Pal at fowey and owned her until about 1923 ( Lloyds Regs 1923 to 1925 incl, not available). According to the best information available, Little Pals history is as follows.
In Lloyds Register of Yachts 1914 she is described thus:
Wood construction; auxiliary yawl; Petrol/Paraffin Motor, 2 cylinder 3 1/2 x 4 3/4 L&E Berguis Gloucester.
LOA 21'5" Beam 7'1" (Draft not quoted, but in 1926 was recorded as 5'0" Cranfield sails; 299 sq.ft
Changes to Lloyds entries:
1920 Sail area 280 sq.ft
1921 Official No. 131986
1922 No changes
1923 to 1925 no register available
1926 Named Teale. Draftof 5'0" registered (these changes may have occurred in either 1923/24 or 1925)
New owner Capt BH Goodhart MO Port Fowey
1927 New owner; Lady Olive E Douglas; Port Fowey
1928 No changes
1929 New owner; LV Cargill FRCS; Port Fowey
1930 No register available
1931 New sails by Lucas
1932 No register available
1933 New owner Mrs Hugh Bevan; Port Fowey
1934 New owner George Mitchell; Port Fowey
1935 No changes
1936 No register available
1937 New owner, RP Langford-Brook; Port Fowey
1938 Call sign noted; MFVZ
1939 No changes
1940 to 1945 no register due to WW2
1946 (Lloyds Supplement to 1939 edition) New owner Stanley B Hough, Port Fowey
1947 New sails by Prior and Holdorf
1948, 1949 No changes
1950 New owner CJW Clayton, New engine; Morris 4 cyl 57mm-90mm Petrol; Port Fowey
1951, 1952, 1953 No changes
1954 to 1960 Did not appear in Register
At a date yet to be discovered (though probably in 1954) Little Pal is reported to have been sailing in the Carrick Roads when her petrol engine caught fire. Being in the vicinity of St. Just-in-Roseland, her owner drove her ashore where the fire was eventually extinguished but not before her planking on the starboard quarter had burned through, causing her to flood. In this state she remained beached and after examination by Lloyds insurance, was declared a write-off. Some time later Little Pal was rescued from her wrecked state by another person (Maj. FLS Gunner ? ) who had the burnt planks replaced and a new engine installed. The next appearance in Lloyds Reg of yacht in 1961 showing that in 1958 she was furnished with new sails. Which year it was that she was relaunched is not clear, but by 1961 she had regained her status as a yacht. According to her later owner Dave Cockwell evidence of her replanking is still visible particularly when examining her hull from the inside.
1961 New owner; Major FLS Gunner T.D; New name Sea Teal; New sails by Penrose noted for 1958; New engine noted BMC 4cyl 26bhp Petrol 1960; Port Shoreham
1962 to 1968 incl; no changes
1969 New owner EA Stapleton Registration No 131986 quoted; Port Shoreham
1970 and 1971 No changes
1972 New owner G Saint; Port Shoreham
1973 to 1975 No changes
1976 New owner B Holland Port Shoreham; Southwick Yacht Club; Sail No. quoted "No.4"
1977 to 1980 incl No changes
1980 onwards : Lloyds registers ceased production
1989 New owner Dave Cockwell; Port ? Owed by Cockwell until 1995
1995 New owner Geoff Roff; Port Alderney C.I until
2004 New owner Andy Rankin Port ?
At or around 1989, Little Pal, Sea Teal was purchased by Dave Cockwell, A shipwright who at the time was working in Bristol, Cockwell was much impressed by her construction as well as the quality of and nature of her timbers. He cruised her for some nine years during which time he took her across the English Channel. One such crossing from France to Falmouth took just 16 1/2 hours, averaging 7.5 knots. According to Cockwell, the main part of the voyage was accomplished without having to touch the tiller even once. For all this, Little Pal did appear to have one disturbing characteristic when traveling at (or beyond) her theoretical maximum hull speed; she was inclined to "sit her stern on the waves" that is, as her bows parted the water with a marked bow wave, it was as if her underwater after sections were too fine to provide adequate bouyancy so her stern would seem to dip in to the "hole" in the water that her bow sections had carved. The consequence of this was that water would begin to pour in over the coaming.
The feature described above is exactly what Dr. Harrison Butler had seen in her lines when, in 1911, he called upon W.E. Thomas in the hope of being able to borrow a half model from which he could draft an article for Yachting Monthly on the subject of taking lines from a half-model. The model which Thomas offed to Dr Harrison Butler was that which was eventually to become Little Pal. At that time Dr Harrison Butler criticised the design on the grounds that her stern quarters were too fine, providing insufficient bouyancy to keep her from dipping her stern when traveling at speed. Cockwells experience of her seems to have born this out even though at the time he was not aware of Dr Harrison Butler's earlier comments.
In about 1995, Little Pal/Sea Teal was purchased by Geof Roff who lived in Alderney. She was seldom used and spent most of her days laid up ashore at Alderney harbour, The vessel's archive includes a letter from an irate inhabitant of Alderney who, having withnessed her neglect and having heard of the research being undertaken into the history of Falmouth Quay Punts, wrote to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall to inform upon her state (Letter 09/03/2003)
There is a suggestion that a second vessel was built to the same design, now called Water Wraith, At present ( December 2004) she is laid up at Pensharden, Falmouth. One big difference appears in contrast to Little Pal, She has a counter stern. Whether this was applied at the time of build is not yet known, but it is proved that she was built in or around 1914 by W.E. Thomas and with the same moulds, then it could be said that she is indeed, a sister vessel, Why though the counter stern ? Was it applied at the time of build or at a later date ? And why should it be built so ? Was it due to the dipping stern ?
In 2004, Little Pal was purchased from Roff by Rankin who, since owning her has refurbished her and sailed from Maldon to the Baltic, At December 2004 she is laid in Tallin for the Winter.
That is all from the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall.
Since that was written Teal was sailed to the far end of the Baltic and back to the UK engineless (see Classic boat magazine July 2007)
In around 2009 Andy Rankin sold her on
She was bought by Graham Stone who had her moved to Oxford and started to do some repair work but after the work stalled she was put on ebay in April 2011.
She was then purchased by Rob Sargent and transported to Ironwharf in Faversham Creek but no progress was made.
Bought by us, Adrian Nowotynski and Ken O Driscoll in November 2011 and shipped to Hegarty's yard in Skibbereen Ireland for an extensive sympathetic restoration.
Relaunched in in May 2014 and sailed for the her centenary at Baltimore Wooden Boat festival May 23rd 2014.
I will give an update to the NMMC when she is once again afloat.
They have a register of all the Quay punts here http://www.nmmc.co.uk/index.php?/collections/nsbr/ and search by CLASS and falmouth quay punt