Hi, it's me, Russell Ferriday that is, born with two passions in life, boats and wood (just as well for someone intent on rebuilding a 100 year old fishing smack!).

First the boats; I learned to sail as a child and apart from the usual "boy" things like messing around with motorbikes and cars, it became the most important thing in my life. I even ran away from home at age 13 because my father threatened to take my boat off me.

I became qualified as a sailing instructor at the age of 14 and have sailed regularly ever since, at times earning a living by instructing, a good smattering of racing for pure pleasure. What really grabbed me though was the chance to sail on "Telegraph" a few years ago. That did it, I had to have a boat like that of my own!. Since acquiring "Victorious" I've also been lucky enough to spend some time crewing on "Leader". In recent years I've been working as a Shipwright (on wooden boats of course) which leads me onto the wood;..

I've always found the beauty of wood fascinating and loved making things from it, from games to posh wood interiors for plastic boats. I've already made the ships wheel for "Victorious", 5'; diameter in laminated Teak on stainless steel, a real eye-catcher.

Oh, by the way, did I mention music, my third passion in life?. Having played saxophone in my youth, I took up guitar in my 30s. Finding all the affordable instruments somewhat brash and tackilly built, I decided to build my own and spent a couple of years developing a design that turned into a small production run of several 6 string instruments, a bass and a 12 string. Despite getting superb reviews in the music press, commercially the enterprise failed, although the few people who were bold enough to buy them are thrilled with them both from a musical and aesthetic point of view (if you're interested in a beautiful guitar with a difference just click to the page on them as I still build them but only to special order). And yes, I did also carry on with the playing, this was what enabled me to develop the original design into its present form. I find playing takes me into another dimension where my mind can explore its creative potential in all spheres not just musically.

What of me the person?. A bit of a loner, very individualistic. With one exception, a small boatyard dealing only in repairs to traditional wooden boats which tragically closed down earlier this year, I have never enjoyed working within the confines of an organisation. I hate having to compromise on standards and work to specifications which cut corners to minimise costs. This has earned me the reputation of being eccentric, a strange, tall character in a bowler hat, a man who may occasionally prove difficult to get along with, but whose work is always flawless. Someone who can never resist a challenge!

The challenge for me now is to rebuild "Victorious" not simply how she was 100 years ago. (That would waste 100 years of technology and advancement) But to rebuild her incorporating a number of design ideas of my own made possible by advancing technology which will enhance not only her aesthetic appeal but also her seaworthiness and the comfort of those who sail on her. This has to be done with a high degree of awareness and respect of her Victorian elegance and workboat origins. Restoration and evolution combined.


Donations to the project would also be welcome and the recent delivery of useful oak and mahogany was indeed a pleasant surprise!