Shufflebottom has embarked on an exciting one-off project – the first of its kind in the UK – to manufacture a replica schooner which will take pride of place in the transformation and redevelopment of the harbour at Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, the life blood of the highly-anticipated Wales International Coastal Centre (WICC).
WICC is a £10 million Welsh Government, European Funding Body, and Coastal Communities Fund venture, the final project of eleven in Wales to receive the go-ahead for tourism destination improvements. The development will bring about high-quality facilities and experiences to create a must-see and unique coastal visitor tourist attraction. It will put Saundersfoot on the global tourism map and change perceptions of the small seaside town as a summer-only destination. The vision is that it will become as important in January as it is in August. At the heart of the project is the improvement of marine facilities and increasing water access times for boat users and to increase capacity of boat operation from 200 to 300+.
WICC will offer visitors a coastal schooner experience via its Coastal Schooner Centre incorporating an outdoor cinema, a crabbing centre, and activity mast climbing and hi-ropes, as well as commercial units.
Shufflebottom is proud to be part of this development and it marks an interesting shift from our normal operation of manufacturing and supplying structural steel buildings for the industrial, agricultural and commercial sectors. It’s good to diversify into marine, and we were the natural choice for this prestigious client – positioned locally with in-depth expertise and experience in structural steel fabrication.
So it’s been all hands on deck as we’ve set about manufacturing the structural steel for the hull, the masts (made in hot formed CHS to BSEN10210) and the rigging attachments with all the degrees of complexity that involves. All in the safe hands of Projects Manager, Steven Sharp, who has previously been involved in the manufacture of the replacement masts for the SS Great Britain in 2003. It’s great to have such experience on board.
It’s a big and beautiful beast – a project of scale: 30 metres long from the end of the bow spirit to the stern, 3.8 metres wide, 2.65 metres high to deck level, and masts 19.8 metres high from the deck level.
We look forward to seeing our boat in situ at Saundersfoot in the not too distant future and playing an important role in this world-class development.
'The Schooner is an exciting change from normal structural steel buildings. It would appear to be the first of its kind in the UK and we are proud of our involvement.'