Falmouth Sunbeams are still built to the same rule as the original 1920’s boats.

Classic Yachts

Mylor Marine Team – the Classic Choice for Traditional Boat Repair and Maintenance

Mylor Yacht Harbour has a long and distinguished history of traditional boat building and maintenance. 200 years ago it was England’s smallest naval dockyard. Today it is Cornwall’s busiest boatyard and marina – and we are proud to maintain that tradition.

Times change, materials and methods change, but quality remains absolute. The latest laminates, state of the art electronics, revolutionary hybrid power units….we employ all of these with precision and pride. But we also retain timeless values, timeless skills and a great respect for the graceful leisure and working craft of the past.

Mylor Yacht Harbour owner (and Sunbeam helmsman) Roger Graffy said: “Here, we share a passion for these fantastic boats. There’s nothing that delights our staff more than working on them.”

We have even built our own, just to keep our hands in. Three Sunbeams – Milly. Kitty and Spray – have been launched from this yard in recent years.

Virtually all classic sailing craft have one thing in common with our Sunbeams; construction from wood sawn, shaped, secured and sealed. Not on a production line, but as unique products of a steady hand and an experienced eye.

The nature of the materials and the effects of the elements mean that they are in a constant state of deterioration. And that’s where the Mylor Marine Team step in. They’ve seen and done it all, from race-day spit and polish to lovingly restoring boats which appeared to be beyond rescue.

Restoring Dilkusha

Take Dilkusha, a 35 ft West Solent One Design, built of red pine on elm and oak in 1931 and recently voted one of the world’s 250 top historic craft by readers of Classic Boat magazine.

We replaced her stern gear – which involved making a pattern for a bespoke cast-bronze ‘A’ bracket – and updated the electrics, installing VHS and nav lights, and creating a custom-made switch panel in keeping with her age.

Following some repairs, we sanded back the topsides and painted her. Which is where Steve ‘Beefy’ Burley took over – and there is no finer finisher with either brush or spraygun. That is not just our opinion, it’s also the judgement of one of our paint manufacturers, who rate him the best in the world at applying their products.

Dilkusha’s owner, Julian Fenn, said: “Mylor did a lot of excellent work; they have a very good team across all the disciplines and I found them very helpful and responsive.”

Owning a Classic

Martin Thomas is clear. Ownership of a classic sailing yacht is not only a pleasure, but a responsibility. “We are just stewards for these old boats; we have to pass them on, and like to pass them on in a better state than we found them.”

That is why he brought his own to Mylor Yacht Harbour. ‘Charm of Rhu’ is an International 8 metre cruiser/racer, built of mahogany on elm in the Fife Yard at Fairlie in Scotland in 1963. She was moored at Lymington when Martin bought her in 1997 and he kept her there for the first couple of years. But then he decided to move her to Cornwall, “because I knew the guys down there knew about wood.

“The boats in the Solent are plastic, and it is also expensive. Mylor wasn’t so expensive and you had traditional Cornish shipwrights who really know what they are doing.”

Regular repairs and refurbishments

That was about 14 years ago. Since then Martin has engaged the Mylor Marine Team on a structured annual programme of repairs and refurbishment.

Martin ticked off a couple of his personal highlights. “They re-decked her, which was a very skilful job – it’s a proper teak deck, not the pre-made type you stick on. And they hand-built a mahogany main hatch cover from scratch which is really beautiful. It’s living history.”

Our shipwrights have also completely refastened and resplined her, and replaced the coachroof, transom and stemhead. The keel was dropped to replace the keel bolts, and our engineers have put in a new engine, gearbox, propshaft and cutlass bearing. Below, we have refitted tongue-and-groove bulkheads and interior mahogany joinery and installed new heads, galley and water tank.

Martin said: “I’ve had something done every year and been really pleased with the work carried out at Mylor, the boat is in very good shape.”