RNLI to benefit from massive gathering of Old Gaffers in Plymouth

Historic boats will be gathering in Plymouth tomorrow and Thursday as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Old Gaffers Association (OGA).

The OGA is the
world’s leading organisation for the preservation of gaff rig and
traditional boating.

As part of the celebrations 60 of these
wonderful vessels will be gathering in Plymouth on Wednesday 8 May and Thursday 9 May and the RNLI
stand to gain from the party.

The fleet will be hosted
at the Mayflower Marina with at least four of
the boats aged more than 100 years old.

What’s more these beautiful vessels
will be open to the public for part of the event.

The idea is to promote
the work of the OGA and to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the charity that saves lives at sea.

OGA spokesman John Gallagher said: ‘The association was founded in 1963 to preserve and promote the gaff rig
which was used by all manner of work boats in previous times.

using our 50th anniversary to take our Old Gaffers on tour with a Round
Britain Challenge and this week the fleet will be calling in to

‘On Wednesday 8 May the boats will be open to the public and
the next day we will hopefully be having a grand parade of sail in
Plymouth Sound before heading off to our next destination in the Isles
of Scilly.

‘The RNLI seemed an obvious charity to support as part
of our celebrations because of the work they do saving lives at sea and
I’m delighted to say their sea safety team will be with us at the
Mayflower Marina and will be helping to bring in the funds.’

The RNLI praised the support being given by the OGA:

Guy Botterill, RNLI community fundraising manager, said: ‘The
RNLI relies on voluntary contributions to ensure our volunteer lifeboat
crews and our lifeguards have the best training and equipment so
generous support like that shown by the Old Gaffers Association is
extremely valuable to us.

‘I’d like to thank everyone taking part in the
50th anniversary celebrations for thinking of us and wish them every
success with the Round Britain Challenge.’

  • A Gaffer is a sailing boat with a four-sided sail. The top is held up with a pole called a ‘gaff’.
  • Old Gaffers are a group of people who own, sail or just
    appreciate gaff rigged boats. These boats range in age from the very new
    to the very old and can be as small as 8ft long to as big as 50+ft.

Find out more at www.oldgaffersassociation.org

Click here to visit the OGA’s fundraising web page.

(Picture:The Old Gaffer Periwinkle:Credit:
RNLI/Old Gaffers Association)