Nearly 40 yachts gathered for the ‘Bring Your Hurley Home 2016’ festivities

The Hurley Owners Association (HOA) held a weekend of celebrations in Plymouth to mark 50 years since the first production of the Hurley 22 and Hurley 18.

The ‘Bring Your Hurley Home’ festivities also celebrated the history of Hurley Marine and the companies which succeeded it which continued to build Hurley boats into the 1990s.

On Friday 22 July, some 38 Hurley boats gathered at King Point Marina and crews were welcomed with a reception provided by Sutton Harbour Holdings, owners of King Point.

Nearly all classes of the Hurley boat were represented, Silhouettes, 18s, a lone Signet, 20s, 22s, 24s, 27s and a 30.

Hurley 18 Womble. Credit: Robin Price Studios

Hurley 18 Womble. Credit: Robin Price Studios

Boats came from many points along the coast, from the Solent to Falmouth and one H22 came from Bude. A number of the smaller boats were trailed across country to take part. One of the particularly notable voyages was made from the Solent by David and Justine Edwards in their diminutive but beautifully renovated H18 Womble.

On Saturday 23 July, after a briefing by Steve Dart the BYHH coordinator, the Hurley fleet sailed into Plymouth Sound for a photo shoot by Robin Price Studios and sail-past of the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club (RPCYC), where friends, family and ex-Hurley Marine employees were gathered to watch.

Among the watchers were Marion Hurley, widow of George Hurley the founder of the company, and members of her family.

Hurley fleet forming for sail past. Credit: Robin Price Studios

Hurley fleet forming for sail past. Credit: Robin Price Studios

Tim Sharman, chairman, of the HOA Committee said: ‘The sail past was a spectacular success, helped by fine weather and an ideal wind from the west.

‘Many skippers and spectators reported feeling distinctly moved as the fleet of over 30 boats sailed past the club in good order.

‘The sight of so many Hurley boats sailing in the Sound, then forming-up for the sail past, made a huge impact on all who witnessed it.’

On the Saturday evening, 100 people met for a presentation supper at RPCYC, including members, their families, ex-Hurley Marine employees and Mrs Marion Hurley and some of her immediate family.

George Hurley had been a member of the club and in 1986 had been presented with a hand-made plaque depicting a Hurley 22, in recognition of his support over many years.

This plaque had been refurbished by Tom Eaves, President of the Silhouette Owners International Association and Andy Thomas, rear commodore sail of RPCYC presented it back to Mrs Hurley. She in turn kindly suggested that it should remain in the club in a prominent position.

Marion Hurley unveils the plaque, accompanied by family members

Marion Hurley unveils the plaque, accompanied by family members

Finally, on the morning of Sunday 24 July, HOA members gathered in Richmond Walk, Stonehouse, to witness Mrs Hurley unveil a blue heritage plaque commemorating her husband’s pioneering work in production boat building methods.

Mr Sharman added: ‘The HOA recorded its gratitude to Plymouth City Council for their generous provision of the plaque, which is fixed to one of the several buildings in Richmond Walk used by the Hurley Company.

‘HOA also owe many thanks to the English Cities Fund, Plymouth Gin, Force 4 and Noble Marine for their generous support to BYHH.’

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