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1st October 2021

Hull’s last surviving sidewinder deep-water trawler, the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship, will move to a local shipyard for restoration.

Dunston’s (Ship Repairs) Limited, specialists in restoring and repairing ships with a long and proud tradition spanning over 100 years, have been appointed to restore both the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship.

The Spurn Lightship will move from Hull Marina to Dunston’s shipyard on William Wright Dock around the evening tide on Tuesday 5 October, subject to weather and river traffic.

The Arctic Corsair will make her penultimate journey – subject to weather and river traffic, from her current berth on Alexandra Dock to William Wright Dock on the evening tide of Wednesday 6 October.

The preservation work to both vessels is part of the £30.3m Hull Maritime project, jointly funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Fund. It also includes a major revamp of the Hull Maritime Museum and the Dock Office Chambers as well as a new visitor centre at North End Shipyard.

Spurn Lightship
The Spurn Lightship will leave Hull Marina on Tuesday 5 October
Arctic Corsair
Hull's last remaining sidewinder trawler will be given a new lease of life before going to the North End Shipyard

Restoration will be carried out on the Spurn Lightship, the light vessel will then return to Hull Marina, close to the new footbridge, Murdoch Connection, across the A63 Castle Street and continue to act as a key landmark for the city centre and the marina.

With increased access, the Spurn Lightship will once again open as a key visitor attraction and visitors can discover its full story and how it guided vessels and pilots to navigate one of the world’s most treacherous waterways, the River Humber. With increased access, the Spurn Lightship is expected to open as a key visitor attraction spring 2023. Visitors will be able to discover its full story and how it guided vessels and pilots to navigate one of the world’s most treacherous waterways, the River Humber.

Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The Spurn Lightship is loved by so many, and it is only right it receives the specialist attention it deserves. Once restored, new life will be injected and once again act as a key landmark for the Hull Marina, berthed next to the new footbridge – an attraction in its own right.

“The exciting plans for the vessel will greatly increase and improve the visitor experience for us all.”

Once restored, the Arctic Corsair will then be towed to her new home and dry-dock at the North End Shipyard, a new maritime attraction and energy efficient visitor centre, showcasing her history and story as a deep-sea trawler.

North End Shipyard
A new visitor attraction to showcase Hull's maritime heritage

The Arctic Corsair moved for the first time in two decades and made an emotional journey from its original berth, on the River Hull, in August 2019. This was to make way for flood prevention works along the River Hull, carried out by the Environment Agency. It has been temporarily berthed at Alexandra Dock since, with support from Siemens Gamesa and Associated British Ports.

Councillor Hale, added: “The Arctic Corsair is part of the city’s maritime heritage and close to many people’s hearts. Thanks to National Lottery players, this restoration will secure her future for the next generation, maintaining her charm for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

“It’s vital she receives this TLC so we can continue to tell her story and one of the thousands of men and boys from the city who never made it home during Hull’s active fishing industry.”

Richard Bourne, Managing Director and co-owner of Dunston (Ship Repairs) Limited, said: “Moving the city’s historic ships is both exciting and significant.

“It’ll be wonderful to see the ships on the water again, making their penultimate journeys down the Humber to our shipyard.

“This is a very rare and unique project for any shipyard company, and we are really grateful and proud to have this opportunity.

“We are looking forward to working on both vessels on behalf of the city, as well as to the many other distinctive elements of this project, especially helping young people to learn new skills and employ techniques not used in any other industries.”

The 61-year-old trawler was the only distant-water sidewinder trawler consistently accessible as a floating attraction and open to the public in the country. The much-needed restoration is the first time the trawler will receive an essential overhaul by a specialist shipyard company, whilst maintaining the patina, character and sties ingrained into the fabric of the ship. Previously, maintenance repairs have been undertaken by several committed volunteers and specialist contractors.

Work to restore the trawler is expected to take 12 months to complete and will then be moved to a regenerated North End Shipyard, where she will become the centrepiece of a new maritime attraction for Hull. The trawler along with one of the most energy efficient visitor centres in the heritage sector is expected to open in autumn 2023.

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council, five key maritime treasures —Arctic Corsair, North End Shipyard, Spurn Lightship, Dock Office Chambers and the Hull Maritime Museum — will be transformed.