Palmawatch establishes a Shipwright’s Dept. in Mallorca.Peter Franklin
The time-honoured trade of Shipwright is one of the oldest and most traditional skills in the world of boatbuilding, repairs and refits. And even with the most modern construction methods employed in the yacht construction industry these days, a time served and experienced Shipwright tradesman is one of the most sought after and valuable members of the workforce.
Owners of the most expensive and luxurious superyachts in the world are usually individuals who recognise and value hand crafted workmanship performed by an artisan, and for this reason an in-house Shipwright’s Department is an essential service to be able to call upon, for a repair and refit specialist company like Palmawatch.
Since taking on British born Paul Muston, a qualified Boat Builder and Shipwright by trade for 25 years, the company have seen a big increase in demand for his carpentry and joinery skills, according to Pierre Oberon the boss of Palmawatch.
“Right now Paul is busy laying teak decking and refurbishing a swim platform on a 40 metre Jongert, and his work schedule looks full for the coming two months. We are therefore actively seeking another skilled Shipwright to meet the increased demand for such work, as we have already gained a solid reputation for it with our clients ” said Pierre.
In fact the trade of Shipwright has been so revered as part of the UK’s Maritime Industry, that the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights was established in London over 500 years ago, and maintains an active organisation with its own ‘coat of arms’ in the City of London to this day.
With London being an ancient port on the Thames where shipbuilding activity was high along the banks of the river in days gone by, it was entirely logical that Shipwrights were to become one of the oldest recorded trades there – so old in fact that there are no records of the origins of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
But it was recognised as being ”prescriptive”, that is, before things were written down, which generally means ‘in existence before 1199.’ The earliest written references to City shipwrights, “Citizen & Shipwright”, are said to have occurred in the 13th century, when there were groups of tradesman around London Bridge and Thames Street in the City of London. Some of the families were apparently wiped out in the Black Death and the survivors did not feel strong enough to require formal recognition as a major craft until the 15th century.
The oldest surviving version of the Company’s Ordinances (its written constitution) is dated 1428!
So, one of the oldest recorded trades in the maritime world is being commercially continued in sunny Mallorca, where Palmawatch are bringing its irreplaceable skills and workmanship to the refit and repair work they are carrying out on a daily basis on their customer’s yachts!
More details from Palmawatch