MBLA is a registered charity established to manage, maintain and sail the lugger 'Happy Return' and to preserve the skills required for this traditional fishing craft.
We want members to have fun while developing sailing and other skills.
Preserving a piece of history
Our main objective is to preserve a piece of our historical heritage by keeping Happy Return in tip-top condition. In fact you could say that she in as good a condition as when she was built in 1905.
This takes a tremendous amount of effort, and money, and our work is supported by a dedicated band of volunteers and fundraisers.
Keeping the skills alive
It’s requires special skill to sail a lugger - they are much heavier than a modern boat and it takes team-work to put to sea, hoist the sails, tack, jibe, handle in heavy seas and sail into the wind. Typically we need a crew of 7 and the Association has an active training program to support a busy sailing calendar.
Happy Return requires constant maintenance and a periodic refit. Many members are retired engineers and craftsmen and the Association is keeping their valuable skills alive, ready to hand on to the next generation.
We work closely with Penzance Sea Cadets and other local groups to give young boys and girls experience of sailing on a traditional lugger and an understanding of the importance of preserving our heritage. They participate in our annual maintenance program and get to know many of the skills needed to keep a heritage boat in top condition.
The Association allows many retired people who like to sail but are now prevented by finance or physical factors to keep sailing and have social contact with like minded people.