Phyllis A Restoration Photos From Len Burgess

The 1925 ‘Phyllis A.’ is now high and dry at the start of it’s restoration process at the Gloucester Marine Railways.

–Len Burgess

The Phyllis A. Marine Association is in the process of the restoration of this gill-netting fishing ship and has received some funding from the citizens of Gloucester through the Community Preservation Act.

A brief history of the Phyllis A. from "The Wheel House", How it all started!

Albert Arnold, the man who had the vessel built, owned a boat before the Phyllis A. called the Anna T. Captains Albert, Cy Tysver, and Mike Shoares, all “Michigan Bears”, had her built in Essex in 1913. She was about the same size as the future Phyllis A. and also a gill-netter. In 1923, Albert loaned the Anna T. to a family friend. Unfortunately, she was lost on the bar off Wingersheek Beach in the Annisquam River. The pilot house of the Anna T. floated to shore and was dragged up next to “the frog rock” (rocks painted to look like frogs) and made a shed out of it. The Anna T.’s pilot house/shed is there still today, sitting just south of frog rocks.

The insurance company paid Albert $4500 for the wreck, which he used to commission the building of the Phyllis A. at the Warner Shipyard, in Kennebunkport, Maine. Phil Boudain joined the venture with his nets, and when the Phyllis A. came down the ways in 1925, they set off gillnetting together.

Fishing the Phyllis A. has always been a family affair. Son Alvin Arnold took over from Captain Albert and sons Kenneth and Robert crewed. Later on, the youngest son, Richard, took on the captain’s position. From the beginning, Mrs. Arnold kept the books and kept everyone moving. Young Phyllis Arnold, though not a crew member, was present with the family when the vessel was christened and named for her. Then 3, she cried when she broke the bottle of champagne on the bow and splashed on the beautiful new deck!

Phyllis A. Marine Association

Our mission is not only the promotion of the industry and preservation of the vessel, but to provide the historical education of the fishing industry for our children.

Last Spring, the Phyllis A. Marine Association offered an educational program to East Gloucester Elementary School. Capt. Richard Arnold has done programs for the students of Veteran’s Memorial School and was interested in offering that program to the students of East Gloucester School. The program consists of a short movie about the Phyllis A., a short lecture, Q&A, and display of artifacts. The program lasts about one hour and can be designed to fit the needs of the students and teachers. This pilot program is offered free of charge. We hope to expand to more schools this Spring.

Phyllis A. Marine Association
c/o 39 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
info@phyllis-a.org

3 comments

  • The last picture’s composition really sums it all up. They have a long way to go on a limited budget. They’ll be looking for volunteers in a few weeks, if anyone wants to help out.

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  • Thanks so much for this very interesting post and great photos! So glad to learn about the preservation efforts.

    Like

  • Nice Boat. I am currently restoring a 1922 Motor Yacht built by NY Yacht, Launch and Engine Company called Bacchante. I will be keeping up with your progress and getting ideas along the way. Good Luck. Nice to see people keeping these gems alive and floating. Can’t wait to see her done.

    Like

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