In the beginning…..

Terror is a 20 foot gaff-rigged daysailer designed by Paul Gartside, a well known boat designer originally from Cornwall who has been based in Nova Scotia for a number of years. It’s a Victorian-style fantail sloop.

The name Terror comes from HMS Terror, a bomb vessel designed by Sir Henry Peake, constructed for the Royal Navy by Robert Davy, Topsham, Devon and launched in 1813.

In 1845 Terror, together with another ship called Erebus, became part of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin expedition which intended to gather magnetic data in the Canadian Arctic and complete a crossing of the Northwest Passage, which had already been charted from both the east and west but never entirely navigated. The expedition sailed from Greenhithe (near Dartford) on 19 May 1845 and the ships were last seen entering Baffin Bay in August 1845.

Both ships had become icebound and were abandoned by their crews, all of whom subsequently died of exposure and starvation while trying to trek overland to Fort Resolution, a Hudson’s Bay Company outpost 600 miles to the southwest.

The wreckage of Erebus was recently discovered, but the final resting place of Terror is yet to be found.

More of the background, and the plans for Terror, can be found in an article written by Paul Gartside in the January/ February 2015 edition of Water Craft magazine (no. 109).

Anyway, enough of the history. And there’s no chance of this Terror suffering the same fate as the last time I enquired it was not possible to become icebound in Lyme Bay.

We are a team of 11 students on the 38 week boat building course at the Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy, and Terror is one of five boats we will build over the next 21 weeks, and launch on the 9 June 2016.

My name is Jon and I spent over 30 years in the financial services industry before realising that I had to do something else before I was just too decrepit. Here I am outside the Academy a couple of weeks before starting the course and somewhat clueless as to what is actually involved in building a boat!




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