Operation Tilly

Twenty years after the master shipwrights of Mylor Yacht Harbour built a trio of classic wooden Falmouth Sunbeam yachts, they are now embarking on a new generation challenge: an immaculate Sunbeam finished to the specification of the 1920s originals – but made of GRP.

The hull of “Tilly” arrives at Mylor next week, fresh from being moulded on the Isle of Wight from Alfred Westmacott’s original 100 year old design.

Just as “Tilly” is a Sunbeam for a new generation, so Ollie Graffy, whose project it is to bring her to Cornwall, is the new generation at Mylor:

“Mylor Yacht Harbour has had a long-term relationship with these beautiful boats – building three wooden ones, fully restoring several others and the ongoing maintenance of many of the original fleet,” he says. “When the opportunity arose to get involved with building a modern version that has all the grace and style of the originals, performs the same, has a water-tight bulkhead and is much easier to maintain, we jumped at the chance.”

With the bare GRP hull at Mylor Yacht Harbour the Marine Team of shipwrights and GRP specialists will work their magic on fine teak joinery, modern sailing systems and exceptional attention to detail creating a glorious little yacht ready for the water. Once complete, there will be little to tell Tilly from her wooden sisters.

“It’s such an exciting project for our expert teams to re-create a boat that has such great history.” says Ollie. “We’ve got to maintain all the qualities of the traditionally built vessel but with easier maintenance and a lower cost of ownership. It’s a passion project that strengthens our boat-building skills and the numbers of Sunbeams in the Falmouth fleet at the same time.”

Mylor’s great wish is to see many more Sunbeams sailing in the Falmouth area with the modern models competing in the racing fleet as they already do on the Solent, securing the longevity of the class going forward.

For on-going information on Mylor Yacht Harbour’s “Operation Tilly” – and the wider work of the Marine Team on projects classic, modern and industrial – please visit www.mylor.com  or www.mylor.com/marineteam  or call 01326 372 121.


Photos – all free to use with a credit for Mylor Yacht Harbour much appreciated.


Mylor Yacht Harbour – Mylor Yacht Harbour is a centre of excellence for the care and restoration of yachts and motor boats, providing a full complement of services afloat and ashore, based at one of the most beautiful locations on the South Coast.  For more visit www.mylor.com

The Marine Team –  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 simple repairs or maintenance to a total refit.

Please see www.mylor.com/marineteam  or call 01326 372 121

Contact: Judith Ball at Mylor Yacht Harbour: 01326 372 121  – judith.ball@mylor.com  or Louise Midgley Communications – 01326 319884 / 07831696093 – louise@midgleycomms.co.uk