Local boat builders Jim and Dave Currah, were responsible for building our three gigs, Ryder (1992), Samphire (1999) and the recently launched Talisman(2011). Ryder was named after the last row/sail lifeboat to be stationed in Looe during the 1900's, whist a local beach became the inspiration for Samphire. You can see our newest boat Talisman in the photo below
From the early days there were two styles of gigs, one heavier for carrying cargo, and the other slim and light for piloting, where speed was essential. These lighter gigs were used to ferry pilots from their home ports to the merchant vessels trying to gain access to a port. This is how gig racing orginated, as crews would compete to put their pilot on the vessel first, knowing they would recieve a purse of money for doing so
Taken from traditional design, the gigs that are built today follow the orginal specifications as laid down by the Peters family of St Mawes in the form of the gig Treffy (1838). Built from narrow leaf, ideally Cornish elm, the modern gig is a speedy seaworthy vessel, racing out in the open sea and able to withstand inclement conditions.