A Victorian yacht built to race in 1860
MERMAID, a wooden gaff cutter yacht built and designed, in 1860, by ALFRED PAYNE, FOR RACING IN THE SOLENT 150 years later she could be back racing again with a sail configuration similar to those used in 1860, wooden mast, but with modern sail cloth and Harken winches.  It will be exciting to see how she goes.  Unfortunately we couldn't be there for the sea trials but here are two of the photos taken in September 2012 of Mermaid sailing.

Mermaid's restoration began in 1997 and is now close to completion, soon she will be the oldest classic wooden sailing racing yacht in use.   Currently she is at The Ocean Yacht Company in Cornwall.
The photo above shows Mermaid at low water taking the ground with her new sails on 14th October 2009.   On September 18th this is the message Brian sent us "She is in , Engine run up , gear box's superb , plenty of power .
Will require about 3 tons of lead ballast
Regards B" and here above is the photo Brian took.  There are many more pictures in the photo gallery and a  current description.
Thirteen years ago we we're searching for an old sailing boat to restore and a letter from Patsy Pope that was published in the Classic Boat Magazine lead us to Mermaid.  We found her lying in a derelict state at  Weir Quay Boatyard.

Weir Quay has also undergone a transformation since 1997 as can been seen from their web site.  Weir Quay Boatyard is a traditional boatyard set in an area of outstanding natural beauty.  It offers 120 sheltered swinging moorings on the River Tamar - just 6 miles from Plymouth Sound and in the centre of England's finest cruising waters. 

This web site is the tale of Mermaid's restoration and her history.  We hope you enjoy learning about her and our journey of discovery.  She is in the water and has had her new mast and spars fitted and looking more like the 1860s painting by Barlow Moore above, than the 1997 photo.

Mermaid was built in 1860 by Alfred Payne in Crabniton, Northam, Southampton, on the River Itchen.  

Mermaid is on the National Historic Ships Register.