The Marine Group Marine Services team has commenced work on the Saundersfoot Coastal Schooner Maritime Heritage Centre project.

The Coastal Schooner is part of the Wales International Coastal Centre plan which is a £10 million development funded by the Welsh Government, the European Funding Body and the Coastal Communities Fund.

The Marine Group’s expertise in marine services, such as boat refits, paint application and traditional shipwright skills, paired with its property development experience, has proved integral for multiple elements of the project.

The schooner will be life size and house a number of historical and entertainment features including an outdoor cinema, high ropes course and events stage.

The work is set to last around a month and 'will give the project a real maritime boost.'

Working for WB Griffiths contractors, the company has been able to offer consultancy in several areas to ensure the project is as true to life as possible whilst ensuring it is a feasible building project.

Drew McDonald, the Marine Group director, said: “When WB Griffiths contacted us to discuss the project, we were delighted to get involved. With the development of coastal communities at our heart, this innovative project utilises our team’s diverse skill set across the group, from the marine services side to our waterfront property development expertise, so we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.”

The Marine Group utilised its state-of-the-art spray booth facilities in Cardiff to apply a full Awlgrip paint system to the steel masts, ensuring they have an authentic finish as well as being weatherproof.

With logistical expertise at the ready, the company arranged for the masts to then be transported to Saundersfoot and erected on-site.

The group’s experienced shipwrights are cladding the decking with larch and using a steam box to steam bend the wood for the bow and the stern of the boat, ensuring its authenticity.

The company’s rigging team have specified and fabricated all the stainless rigging for the masts and fitted ‘rattling ladders’ which will be used for a high ropes course.

Using traditional building methods and incorporating traditional elements wherever possible has been important to the company. They have even sourced a traditional ships wheel, refurbished it and built a steel fabricated mount for it.