History

Teal was built in 1914 by W.E. Thomas, a well-known Cornish shipwright, for the writer and artist Percy Woodcock. Percy was not in good health at the time and wanted a small boat, simple to sail, and where everything would be in easy reach. He originally named her Little Pal, but the name didn't stick long she has been known variously as Teale, Sea Teal and Teal since. An article by Percy describing his new boat appeared in Yachting Monthly in May 1915. She also features in "Looking Astern", an autobiographical look at the boats he had owned.

Teal passed through a number of owners in the first half of last century, until disaster struck sometime in the early 1950s. Her petrol engine caught fire and the planking on the starboard quarter burned through before she was beached and the fire extinguished. Declared a write-off, she lay abandoned for several years.

Quite who rescued her isn't known, but she appears again in Lloyds register in 1957, her port of registry now listed as Shoreham rather than her original base at Fowey.

By the late 1980s Teal was again in a perilous state from neglect, but was lovingly restored by Dave Cockwell, only 17 at the time but who now runs a successful boatyard in Falmouth. His website has a page featuring the restoration work he undertook. Dave undertook several long passages in her around the South Coast and to Brittany. Sadly, the next owner was unable to maintain her, and soon laid her up on Alderney. Her condition had once again deteriorated considerably when I found her eight years later.

As she wasn't in sailing condition, I had her shipped to Portland harbour, and taken from there by lorry to the Maldon on the East Coast, where I refitted her.