History of Happy return

Happy Return was built in 1904 at Kitto's yard in Porthleven, Mount's Bay, at the cost of £180 for an owner from Folkestone.  She was registered FE5 and worked from Folkestone as commercial fishing vessel until 1969.  

Subsequently she was sailed from a number of ports and was modified to meet different owners' needs before being decommissioned in 1998 and handed to the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby as a boat of heritage and historical importance.  

MBLA had been formed in 1993 with the aim of acquiring and restoring a Mount's Bay lugger for the area. We were contacted by the Heritage Centre and were very pleased to take on responsibility for Happy Return.

She was sailed to Penzance in 1998 and spent four years being extensively rebuilt to her original design by a very dedicated team of MBLA founder members before being re-launched in 2003 to be sailed regularly and extensively in Mount's Bay and further afield every year.

For people interested to find out more there is a fascinating archive about the history of Happy Return and other local boats and fishing in West Cornwall and a great many old photos in the website mbla.co.uk