We’ve been driving the Hannah Molly since May 2014, a lovely 19 foot Cygnus cruising boat. Cygnus meaning swan, but what are her origins?
We have found that the Hannah Molly’s inspiration started right here on a Helford creek. A young university student, Patrick Bray, back on his holidays, was asked to help a local fisherman with some mouldings on his boat which was on a creek on the Helford. Other fishermen saw the remodelling and Patrick saw an opportunity. He and his university friend Chris Brook established a company in Falmouth called Cygnus Marine Boats in 1975 and employed local tradesmen to build the moulds. The business bloomed with the rise in mackerel fishing and grew, as did the size of vessels they built. Then as the owners approached retirement they closed the business in 2007 and sold off the Cygnus moulds.
It’s lovely to think that the Hannah Molly’s heritage is from a Helford creek. The Hannah Molly a GM 19 mould, built in 1992, was from that original boat yard. Whilst the Cygnus mould is still being produced by others Hannah Molly is one of the originals. Described by Cygnus Marine as ‘a sturdy workboat capable of launching from shallow waters and features an upright stern, long keel and low bilges. The GM19 have been used as crabbers, netters and purse seine skiffs and many diverse operations’.
The Hannah Molly, whose home is on Port Navas Creek, just off the foreshore at the Budock Vean Hotel, which could well be the creek where her mould was inspired. It’s shallow draw is certainly designed with the Helford creeks in mind allowing us to not only share views of the stunning houses, fishing villages and great gardens of the Helford, but also it’s stunning creeks Frenchman’s, Polwheveral and Port Navas creeks each with an abundance of wildlife and many stories to tell.
Unable to find the origins of it’s name ‘Cygnus’ we can only think that Patrick was perhaps inspired by the swans and their cygnets who enjoy the creeks on the Helford.