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‘Phyllis’ – The ‘Avis’ Connection

'Avis' & 'Phyllis' a historic connection!
During our researching of the providence of 'Phyllis' and with the help of the contributors, (see acknowledgements page), the yacht 'Avis' came to my attention. She also played a part in the restoration of 'Phyllis' too.

Little was I was to know that when I was looking for spars and sails an advert for these was placed by David Moss Boatbuilders at Skippool Creek who introduced me to 'Avis'.  I was lucky enough to spot the advert and met with David who explained that they were from a boat in his yard which had been abandoned for quite some time.  Indeed I was offered the complete boat and naturally declined as I had one of my own already!  How little did I know at the time, 'Avis' was the very first boat built to class and by the same designer as 'Phyllis' (G H Wilmer), although at different yards on the Wirral.

At this time I was so impressed with David's work that I returned home to Cheshire, somewhat a little despondent that my restoration work would never equal anything that I had seen in the boatyard.  Soon I called David and asked if he could help with the restoration. Year, after year David declined as his yard was already very busy. Then one time I said: if I moved 'Phyllis' to the front door of the boatshed, would he agree.  On this occasion, yes he did!

Then 'Phyllis' came to life.  After some considerable work, which turned out quite abortive, David pointed out she had two beam shelves and was quite 'slab' sided. Oh dear, after some serious heartache and following further research we decided to renovate rather than 'torch' her after all her years.  A threadbare blueprint of 'Avis' was the overriding design plan. The removal of the recently laid iroko deck was heartbreaking as 'Phyllis' was returned to bare bones before the start of her rebuild.  I recall sitting in the cabin and cockpit of 'Avis'.  That evening I called David to ensure that we modified our new build to give us some more 'elbow room' which amazingly he managed without changing the class criteria. A nice cosy cabin and cockpit for three ensured we had a comfortable and well-balanced vessel.

I'm not sure who abandoned 'Avis' at Skippool but one thing for sure is that the set of sails referred to an article published in 'Northern Boat' and later repeated in an OGA Gaffers Log still carry the marque of the 'Fleetwood Trawler Supply Company', which now fly on 'Phyllis'.


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