First ever St Mawes OD, Aileen, returns to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall 31/5/07

The first ever St Mawes One Design, Aileen, has returned to the pontoon at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall after her winter face lift.

Aileen was designed and built in 1923 by 21-year-old Frank Peters who needed a faster boat to beat his rival, Dr James, in friendly races off St Mawes.

She was extremely successful and Peters was soon asked to build two more, forming the first of the St Mawes One Design (SMOD) fleet. Since 1923, over 40 boats have been built to Peters’ design. The SMODs still race today, making them the oldest one-design class in the area.

Andy Wyke, the Museums Boat Collection Manager, explained: “She is in such good condition that we only needed to do the minimum work in our workshop at the museum in order to make her ship shape for another season of sailing. Unfortunately we don’t race her, as she’s too precious but she enjoys trips out during Falmouth Week and St Mawes regatta day.”

Peters, who sadly passed away in 1995 was renowned for introducing this new boat design and left a legacy of boats behind him. All but two of the original 24 boats he built still sail and race on Falmouth’s Carrick Roads today.

SMODs are one of only two classes of boat designed and built in Cornwall specifically for racing. Class racing takes place on Fridays and Sundays, at the local village regatta circuit. There are three Class Championships held every summer.

Aileen had been sold out of the area but was spotted in 1987 from the top of a double decker bus in a front garden in Thames Ditton and was subsequently donated to the Association by the Goldwyn family. She was gifted to the Museum by the St Mawes One Design Association in 2003.