The Good Ship Irene!
Irene was launched in 1907 in Bridgwater after 4 years of construction by FJ Carver and Sons. She spent her early life delivering cargo of coal, woods and other heavy goods along the coast of the West country. She is the last of the west country ketches under sail having survived 50 years trading through 2 great wars and a recession.
Her present owner, Dr Leslie Morrish, found her in 1965 derelict on the Hamble river and fell in love with her. He bought her for £2500 and spent 20 years rebuilding her. You can read the full story of her restoration and early years with Leslie in his book ‘The Good Night Irene’. Leslie lived on her in Brentford London with his family before sending her to the caribbean to become a luxury charter vessel.
In 2003, tragedy struck and Irene was burnt to her water line and sank in Marigot bay, St Maarten. She was raised and towed back to the UK where she has been lovingly restored. The Voyage of the New Dawn Traders will be Irene first long Atlantic crossing after her rebuild. What an honour!