Sir Thomas Fry
Sir Thomas Graham Fry
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2005 The New Zealander Sir Thomas Graham Fry founded ship Kits.
At a very early stage of his life, he regulary visited the local ship builder, ‘Plywood King’, Mr John Spencer whom was known world wide for his performance designed and built boats.
A young Thomans Fry, with a pair of dividers in hand, used a set of line drawings to learn the fundamentals of ship drawing and proceeded from there onwards to draw his own plans, guided by an impressed John Spencer.
Sir Thomas entered an apprenticeship for house building, many of the designs, those of his own, of which he sold to his employer. 9 months into the apprenticeship, things took a turn for the better with John Spencer signing Sir Thomas as an apprentice shipwrite.
Throughout his young life Sir Thomas engaged in sailing, borrowing a friends ‘P’ class at first to learn, then progressed onto Moths and Cherub class sailors, successfully competing in regattas across the country.
Concentrating on trans ocean blue water cruising homes, meant the competitive scene would take back seat. Sir Thomas maintained a full time position as shipwright and designed in his spare time, treating design work as an enjoyed hobby.
Over the years his designs have crisscrossed the globe, in particular the “Rose” range of craft introduced in 1983. Gypsy Rose, a 36ft centre cockpit ketch built of cold molded diagonal lapped timber. Variations in deck configuration created the sloop ‘Arctic Rose.’
1984 witnessed the birth of the ‘Fry 50’, a custom design, built in Balmain Sydney at the Brown & sons boat yard.
1986 saw a 65.5ft custom bilge keeler design of steel constructed design for a South African yard.