ROCKHOPPER OF PERCUEL - HISTORY
The Rockhopper of Percuel (LH138) has a long and interesting history, fishing at two ends of the UK in the past 43 years.
1975 - The Beginning
The Rockhopper of Percuel is a 'Cygnus 32' and was the second complete GM32 hull to be built by Cygnus Marine and designed by Gary Mitchell. St Mawes Skipper Robbie Curtis was the first owner and the Rockhopper was ready for the end of 1975, being launched around the 20th November.
The Rockhopper was built at the Cygnus Marine yard at Tregoniggle Industrial Estate in Falmouth, Cornwall and was originally purpose built for mackerel and pots.
In 1975 the Rockhopper (FH328) was powered by a Ford Sabre 108hp diesel and was equipped by a Koden/Marconi Graphette fish finder.
She had three Spencer-Carter single-reel hydraulic mackerel girlies and a hydraulic sea winch combination line / pot hauler with a swing davit mounted on the wheelhouse roof.
The Skipper / Owner was Robbie Curtis, who fished for the Co-Op at Flushing in Cornwall.
The Rockhopper of Percuel was the second complete GM32, the first was the Emma-Goody (FH323), which is still fishing in Scotland, renamed the Goosander (OB421)
From November 1975 until around 1980 the Rockhopper fished for mackerel from Padstow and was a top earner. She was that good at catching mackerel she had a four man team on the boat with single lines. Each man once ended up catching 10 tonnes of mackerel and Spencer-Carter were so impressed that they used the Rockhopper in one of the adverts for their single winches that she had aboard.
After the early 1980s, Robbie and Annie Curtis went to the 'clams', adding the extra skin of fibreglass to the Rockhopper's hull mid quarters and also adding the kort-nozzle which is what is needed for towing clam gear for a small boat. The Rockhopper could get into all the small areas close to shore, making her a deadly 'wee monster' to the poor clams.
During the Rockhopper's time at Padstow she entered the 'St Mawes' Trawler Race every year. She didn't do all that well as she would be limited with her kort-nozzle, but the point system to win the race was also a bit confusing.
The Rockhopper was then sold to the Martin family in Cornwall who used her for trawling and pots before selling her on to the McMillan brothers in South Uist, who had her for three or four years fishing off Scotland's West Coast. In 2000 the Rockhopper was put up for sale again and she was bought by the Bruntons of Dunbar, who brought her to East Lothian in early 2001, where she has been based ever since.
Barry Brunton talks about the first 25 years in the life of the Rockhopper of Percuel for Part Three of the video series.
Length Overall: 9.90m / 32'6"
Length Waterline: 9.20m / 30'2"
Beam: 3.66m / 12'
Draught: 1.22m / 4'
Displacement: 10,000kg / 10 tons
Fuel Capacity: 1000 litres / 220 gallons
Propeller Diameter Max: 76cm / 30"
Fish Capacity: 6,250 kg / 6.25 tons
Speed: 9 knots