Students to restore 1908 motor-sailer in Sunderland

The Señora Trust has raised £20,000 to restore this classic motor-sailer, which will take pride of place at the 2018 Sunderland Tall Ships Festival

A 107-year-old motor-sailer will be undergoing an extensive restoration over the next three years, after the necessary funds were raised to set up a new boatbuilding college in Sunderland.

Señora is a 50ft Alfred Mylne ketch motor-sailer design that was built on the Isle of Bute by Archibald Malcolm in 1908.

Her original Gardner paraffin engine has been replaced by a Chrysler Diesel engine, giving a top speed of 14 knots and earning her the nickname ‘the E-Type Jag of the Western Isles’.

Former owners include the chairman of P&O, a wealthy Scottish industrialist and a racing driver.

Señora was also requisitioned by the Amiralty during both World Wars and took part in the Dunkirk evacuation.

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However, she has since fallen into a state of disrepair on the South Coast and her larch and oak hull was due to be broken up for scrap until The Señora Trust intervened.

The People’s Yacht

Following a successful public appeal, £10,000 was raised in two weeks to fund the restoration project, before local builders merchant James Burrell doubled the total.

Kim Simpson from The Señora Trust said: “We have been delighted by the public response to Señora’s plight.

“Now that we have purchased her for Sunderland, she will become ‘The People’s Yacht’, creating training and jobs.

“And when she is restored to her former glory, she’ll give hundreds of people every year the chance to enjoy sailing for themselves.”

The first year’s work will be carried out by a team of 24 local students undertaking NVQ level 3 City & Guilds qualifications in boat building, carpentry and engineering.

They will be supervised by a master boatbuilder and project manager, hired by The Señora Trust to work on this historic motor-sailer.

However, the grand total needed to complete this mammoth job is £270,000, a target that the Trust hopes to hit in time for her planned unveiling at the 2018 Sunderland Tall Ships Festival.

For more information and to get involved in the restoration, visit the Senora Trust Facebook page.


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