Plymouth Man Spends Three Years Building His Own Pirate Ship


Ian Lottie/Facebook/Trinity Mirror

If you could quit your day job right this second, what would you do? Start your own business? (Try to) become a Hollywood A-lister? Or pursue your dreams of becoming a pirate?

One man who has made a living out of doing exactly that is Ian Lottie, who after three years of building his own pirate ship is just about ready to set sail on the high seas.


Ian, a self-professed smuggler and pirate reenactor, has been working on – to give it its official name – Pirate Ship Dark Angel ever since he made the split-second decision to make himself a ship from scratch in 2017.

man builds own pirate shipTrinity Mirror

He’s hoping the project, which has been coming together on a site in Plymouth, will help raise money for a children’s charity.

He told Plymouth Live:


Once it’s on the water, which I’m really hoping will be in the next couple of months, I’m going to sail her right down the South Coast to [get] some money raised for a charity that supports children with cancer.

Although Ian hopes Dark Angel will be on the water in the next couple of months, he has suffered several setbacks that have delayed his progress by several months. ‘Recently, there’s been lots of changes with my progress,’ he explained.

While the ship should have been in the water this week at the latest, the weather has put him back by approximately three or four months, something he describes as ‘a shame’.

man builds pirate shipTrinity Mirror

In spite of this, Ian is proud of the project, stating: ‘Saying that though, I have done this all on my own with no help from anyone.’ That’s a pretty impressive feat, especially considering the amount of work that went into making the ship.

Most of it has been built using recycled materials, with the square rig and glass fibre hull undergoing huge amounts of work, while timbers have added across the hull.

Not only that, but due to the delayed completion of Dark Angel, Ian set himself one more challenge that saw him building a smaller boat, named Smugglers Sloop Trinity. While this was a ‘quicker’ project because of its size, the boat will be used for festivals this summer as Ian wanted to ‘make the most of the original delay’.

He explained:


I’ve mastered it today actually, and I plan to use her at events later in the year.

man builds pirate shipTrinity Mirror

So where did Ian’s inspiration come from? Well, he ‘always’ goes to pirate festivals and as such as ‘a lot of’ friends who are pirate reenactors. ‘One day I just thought, “you know what, I’m going to go one step further and make myself a pirate ship”,’ he said.

And that he did, with more than 2,000 people now following his boat-building journey on social media. Ian added: ‘People have been telling me it’s inspirational with how much hard work and time I have spent on it, which is great.’


He now hopes it will all start to ‘come together’ and be completed very soon. What an incredible achievement.

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Topics: Life, plymouth


Plymouth Live
  1. Plymouth Live

    Plymouth man spends three years building his own pirate ship

Lucy Connolly
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