"Nefyn Shipbuilding"

Robert Thomas, Derwen built schooners and they cost around eighteen hundred to two thousand pounds to build. His foreman was Robert Parry, Bol Llaith, Penrallt, Nefyn and he was later succeeded by Evan Jones, Rhos Bach, Nefyn. They had a slip to launch the ships and they also had what was known as a patent slip to get the ships up for repairs and refurbishment. The patent slip was worked by horses that would walk around in circles to turn a big wheel which had chains on, much like a bicycle chain, to drag the ships up on to cradles. Robert Thomas was the main builder in the area and very often two ships would be built at the same time in his yard. Owen Griffith owned the yard adjoining Robert Thomasís.

There were two smithies on Nefyn beach and three blacksmiths working them namely Evan Williams, Harry Williams and Thomas the blacksmith. Ships were also built just below Aberafon.

The wood to build these ships would come from various places apart from the woodlands of Caernarfonshire, places such as Meirionethshire and Newhaven. The baulkes to build the masts would be imported from America and the ships that carried these had what was known as Boke Ports on their bows. These Boke Ports were trap doors where the timber could slide in and out for loading and discharging as it would be impossible to do so in any other way as they were long and bulky timbers. Men would come with horses and wood wagons from Pwllheli to unload, these wagons would also be used to bring wood from woodlands in the county.

The men employed in Nefyn and Porthdinllaen not only came from the immediate vicinity but also from outlaying villages as well as from Pwllheli. Quite a few of the carpenters came from the village of Llaniestyn and they would have an early start to walk to Porthdinllaen by the time they started work at six am. It would be a long day and they would finish at eight pm. During the winter months when the days drew in, many of the workers would take pieces of wood home and spent their evenings shaping the wood into wedges for use the following day, whilst others would be down on the beach before daybreak working round the fires preparing the oakum for caulking the ships. For this they would earn about 12/- to 14/- a week.

"Building the Venus at Nefyn in 1880"

Joiners would be responsible for making the cabins and furnishing the ships. Men such as Thomas Jones, Caerpwll and Thomas Jones, Pen y Graig.

One who carved figureheads was Evan Hughes, Pen yr Orsedd, but the majority of the work force, were carpenters.

List of carpenters

Griffith Parry, Tyn Llwyd, Morfa Nefyn.

Robert Parry, Bol Llaith, Penrallt, Nefyn.

Henry Parry, Caepwll, Morfa.

William Jones, Caerpwll, Morfa.

Thomas Jones, Ben a Jun, Llwyn Gwalch, Morfa.

Evan Ellis, Rhos Morfa.

Watkin Jones, Pwll Blew, Morfa.

John Roberts, Glanrafon, Morfa.

James Owen, Olffilt, Morfa.

Hugh Hughes, Penrhos, Morfa.

John Hughes, Penrorsedd Morfa.

Owen Williams, Werddon, Morfa.

John Williams, Werddon.

William Rowlands, Fron Deg.

William Williams , Caergwrle.

Richard Jones, Barics.

William Jones, Mount.

John Parry Penrallt.

Robert Parry Penrallt.

William Roberts Cae Coch, Morfa.

Hugh Jones, Glandwr.

John Williams, Llain Fadryn.

Griffith Owen, Dyffryn.

John Owen, Dyffryn.

Robert Humphreys, Cae Bach.

Hugh Roberts, Glanrafon

Richard Williams, Penrallt.

Evan Hughes, Penrorsedd.

Ellis Humphreys, Cil.

 

Nefyn.

Robert Thomas, Taiír Lon.

William Roberts, Vron.

Robert Williams, Llwyn Mary Mynydd Nefyn.

Evan Jones Rhos bach.

William Roberts Siop Glanrafon.

List of ships built at Nefyn

 

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