Watch the team in action

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall commissioned the build of a full-size reconstruction of Lifeboat 13 for major exhibition, Titanic Stories. The replica Lifeboat 13 was constructed by a local boat builder supported by museum staff and volunteers, in house, in the museum’s boat building workshop, situated towards the back of the museum in Falmouth. The build was on public display and visitors were able to see the team in action when visiting the Museum.

Richard Doughty, Director of National Maritime Museum Cornwall said: ‘The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is known for its collection of small boats, so why are we telling a story about what was in 1912 the world’s largest ship? It’s because everything we know, or think we know, comes from the 706 people who left the ship in the lifeboats. Titanic Stories is a small boat story.’

Guest co-curator of the exhibition Dr Eric Kentley said: ‘The Titanic carried fourteen lifeboats of the type the Museum is reconstructing.  We chose the number 13 partly because there’s a very good account written of what happened in the boat and how it nearly came to grief – by the English schoolmaster Lawrence Beesley. But Boat 13 also helps us examine some of the Titanic myths, such as ‘women and children first’. Looking at who was in the boat we begin to see a more complicated picture.’

The exhibition presents a luggage label for every named person on the boat (55 people) displaying their name, age, and why they were on the Titanic.

The in-house build is part of a programme of reconstructions of historical craft in the Museum’s boatbuilding workshop – the question is – what will the team build next??

The Museum’s boat workshop is managed by Boat Collections Manager Andy Wyke and Workshop Manager Mike Selwood. The build is being led by accomplished local boat builder Andrew Nancarrow supported by Advanced Apprentice in Boat Conservation Reuben Thompson and a small team of museum volunteers and students from Falmouth Marine School.

Mike Selwood Boat Workshop Manager said: ‘Our ambition is to develop a respected centre for restoration, conservation and repair of historical vessels. And we’re slowly building up that resource. Our core responsibility is the maintenance and care of the nations small boat collection, but alongside that we’re developing a reputation for keeping alive traditional boatbuilding skills.’

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