Slippen – the oldest gig of them all

Slippen is the oldest pilot gig, she was built in 1830 and was then known as Bernice – at that time she was a St Martin’s boat. In 1869 she was sold to St Agnes and became the Slippen. In 1907 Slippen went to the rescue of the Thomas W Lawson after she grounded off Annet – two of the 18 crew were rescued. The TW Lawson was the largest 7 masted, steel hulled trading schooner ever built and was from Massachusetts. After the disaster a historical society from Massachusetts part funded her restoration. Slippen is now a St Mary’s boat.

At the 2015 World Gig Rowing Championships a ladies team from Massachusetts were lent the Slippen in order to race in her – a nice historical connection – she had been especially refurbished for the occasion.

Slippen 1The re-rurbished Slippen on the beach in American colours

Slippen 3Looking over towards the old life boat slipway

Slippen 2She is in very good condition

Slippen 4 The brass plaque commemorating the TW Lawson disaster

Slippen 2014Here is Slippen in her 2014 colours being rowed by a crew from Appledore


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