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  1. ITV Report

School students building new Cornish pilot gig to keep tradition alive

At the end of their course the students will be fully qualified boat-builders. Credit: ITV News West Country

Falmouth Marine School students in Cornwall are building a new Pilot Gig, as part of a new project.

The Energy2 project aims to ensure boat-builders of the future have the right skills to construct the 32-foot wooden boat.

This project is similar to one that the school had many years ago. Credit: ITV News West Country

It's lovely to be working with traditional tools, learning about the wood structure and form. It's lovely to make something that's functional and be part of that.

– Mollie Harvey, Boat building student

We've commissioned the school to build a gig and she'll be finished this June.

There's a bit of a resurgence in traditional boat-building skills. We've got about six or seven active builders at the moment, building gigs for us. It's good that the younger element can pick up these skills and build gigs.

– Shane Sullivan, Cornish Pilot Gig Association
Thousands of rowers and spectators descend on the Isles of Scilly each May to take part in the World Pilot Gig Championships. Credit: ITV News West Country

The hope is that the current gig that is being built will eventually make it to the Isles of Scilly to compete in the World Pilot Gig Championships.

It would take a professional builder four to five months to build one of these boats. We've set our students the task of building one in nine months, so its quite a challenge and so far they have really risen to the challenge.

– Chris Bosanko, Falmouth Marine School