At the time of going to print Portaferry had not named their boat. John Smith Funeral Directors kindly provided the Portaferry boat-building shed at their premises off High Street.
“Working together as a community regardless of boating experience was wonderful”
Portaferry was once a ship building town and was a centre for commerce and trade. Local punts would have piloted large vessels through the narrow navigation channel of the Narrows.
Early ferry boats would have used sail and oars as they transported people and livestock between Strangford and Portaferry .
Local family names such as Curran, Murray, Tweedie and Brown are all associated with building smaller craft such as creel fishing, boats, to collect dulse, for leisure and for racing. “The St. Brendan”, built by John Murray, is well known as a heritage tour boat on Strangford Lough.
Hugh Tweedie was a Portaferry cobbler and boat builder. His expertise was later used by Billy and Dickie Brown who designed and built boats at Ballyfoundry.
Portaferry have named their boat Gilpin. If you are interestered in maintaining or rowing Gilpin join the Portaferry Rowing Club by contacting Maura Bettes 07894998809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The club row most weekends weather permiting.
Check them out on Facebook here