Saturday, 4 April 2015

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 90



In a few weeks Simon will have owned the ship for two years. Doesn’t time fly when you are enjoying yourself? After his first night aboard (29 June 2013) he reported “Awesome, spent last night on board and yesterday and today clearing the decks for the welder. So peaceful down here, I love it!  BBQ last night and fed the swans the scraps, woke up to blue skies and the clang of lines on masts not sirens and traffic”. (Photo 901)  


    One of the (many) jobs that will have to be tackled when he does have more time is painting the hull. He recently spotted the owner of a neighbouring boat taking advantage of the tide being out to paint his hull (Photo 902). A facial mud-pack is one thing, but everything below the waist is a bit much I think!  Simon is determined to find a better way!



     This story is running on this Blog and three other appropriate web-sites.  A total of around 900 people view the posts each week and the overall figure has now passed 60,000.  Those of you who have followed from the start (or gone back to the beginning and caught up) will know that there have been highs, lows and plateaus (plateaux?), both in the renovation and the historical research. Patience has certainly been a virtue in both areas! At the moment both areas are in a plateau phase – Simon being inundated with wall-papering projects (he is happy about that of course) and I am searching for new avenues to explore, including those ‘inaccessible’ CIL records lurking somewhere in Dublin.
    In 1878 the Cormorant cost £7,500 which in today’s money amounts to over £600,000 calculated on purchasing power. That is roughly the cost of two Rolls-Royce Phantom cars!  I still have not yet discovered anything about the Victoria Shipbuilding Co., West Passage, Cork.  Every source I have found identifies this company as the builder of Cormorant in 1878, but I cannot trace it.  There was a great deal of shipbuilding around West Passage and there certainly was a Victoria Dock (later the Royal Victoria Dock), built by H&W Brown (Photo 903), but the only company I can find operating here in the 1860/70 period was the Passage Docks Shipbuilding Company. 


However, according to the Heritage Boat Association, the yard(s) weathered a general slump in ship-building in the 1870/80 period and changed hands a couple of times, so the name may well have changed as well.  I do believe Cormorant was built in the Victoria Dockyard, but by whom? Maybe someone over in Cork can find out the answer for me…..
David