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A traditional Cornish pilot gig is a 6 man rowing boat, 32 feet in length and a 4 ft 9 in beam. They are Clinker built with Elm on Oak. Their specification is based on the “Trefry”, a gig built in 1838 and still in regular use by Newquay rowing club. Their original use was to take pilots out to incoming ships in the Atlantic Approaches. The fastest gig would have the best chance of securing the pilotage fees. Originally a commercial venture, now the sport of gig racing has become established in the West Country and is spreading to the rest of the world
Arry Paye is a fibreglass gig and was built in St.Austell early in 2010, she was named after the infamous pirate of Poole. She was built in preparation for the charity row from Penzance to Poole with a mixed crew from the Pirates of Poole and Swanage Sea Rowing Club. Fibreglass gigs are used by most clubs for training sessions as they can be left in the water, whereas wooden gigs are usually removed from the water after each row.
Arry Paye was jointly paid for by the Pirates of Poole and Swanage Sea Rowing Club. Early In 2012 March Technical Services decided to purchase the SSRC 50% share. In May 2012 Arry Paye was rowed the 8 miles from Swanage to Poole Quay in perfect conditions of flat calm and little wind in the evening. In June 2012 Arry Paye (crewed by the Pirates of Poole & SSRC) took part in the Royal Jubilee Pagent on the Thames along with three gigs from Swanage to celebrate the queens golden jubilee. In October 2014 Poole Gig Rowing Club purchased the 50% share of Arry Paye from March Technical Services. Arry Paye is now 100% owned by Poole Gig Rowing Club and is used on a regular basis every week for social and training rowing sessions in Poole Harbour.
Since then the club has bought another GRP Gig called ‘Robbie Paye’ and a wooden gig called ‘Isabelle’. Robbie Paye was the brother of Arry Paye and Isabelle was Arry’s wife & mistress.