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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Builder Ian on crest of a wave as trawler makes history

Crowds gathered at Workington harbour on Monday to see the first boat built in Workington for almost 80 years lowered into the water.

The 32-tonne trawler scalloper, called New Venture, had taken four years of hard graft by Workington man Ian Harker.

Ian, 48, of Calder Drive, now plans to start work on building a boat twice the size next year.

He said: “I would love to get a bit of land near the harbour and start a shipbuilding business.”

He began work on the boat while running Harker Garage in Reedlands Road. He closed the garage two years ago and began working on the boat full-time with help from his brother Adrian at weekends.

He said: “I started building it as a hobby and now I’m making a business out of it. I got sick to death of cars.

“I cannot wait to get it out on the water.”

The final touches to the vessel’s inside are still to be completed but it should be finished in three weeks.

Ian and Adrian, 38, of Rose Hill, Harrington, will then use it to fish for prawns and scallops.

They have been working on the boat in the yard of Numech on Stanley Street.

Ian, a welder fabricator by trade, said: “It’s amazing what you can do with just a set of gas bottles and a welder.

“People have been really interested in it from the start and always asking about it.”

Numech manufactured the drive equipment for the boat.

Owner Geoff Tubman said: “It is the first time there has been a boat built in Workington for a long time and may it long continue with Ian. He has done a fantastic job.”

Crowds gathered at the harbourside to see the boat lowered into the water.

Raymond Torley, of Newlands Gardens, Workington, said: “It’s a hell of a good job he has done and it is brilliant to see a boat being built in the town.”

Jean Graham, of Moorclose Croft, a friend who has watched the boat being built from the start, said: “It is a brilliant achievement.”

Brian Tingey, of Moorclose Croft, added: “It looks a mighty fine boat.”

The last ship built in Workington was in the 1930s. It was a tanker called The Sodality and was built in Williamson’s ship yard.

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