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
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!