Category Archives: Medway, Swale and the Kent coast

Medway, Swale and the Kent coast

Famous Thames sailing barge Cambria comes to Faversham for restoration

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Famous Thames sailing barge Cambria comes to Faversham for restoration

Famous

The Thames sailing barge Cambria arriving at Faversham for restoration. Photos by Bob Telford

Thames sailing barge Cambria has been brought to Standard Quay in Faversham for restoration and rebuilding, and from these photos there’s clearly going to be a lot of work to do.

The Cambria is arguably the most famous of all the Thames barges, partly because she was the last British registered vessel to carry a commercial cargo under sail. In fact, she worked under sail without any kind of engine right up until 1970, and so forms a unique part of our industrial and maritime heritage. But that’s only part of her story, for the Cambria’s skipper was also a national treasure for his collection of songs and his way of singing them. See this very nice article about him by members of his family: http://www.eatmt.org.uk/bob_roberts.htm

Cambria is a wooden Thames sailing barge built at Greenhithe, Kent in 1906. Her National Lottery-funded restoration will cost Continue reading Famous Thames sailing barge Cambria comes to Faversham for restoration

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Some photos from a short sailing cruise on the Swale

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Some photos from a short light wind cruise up the Swale - Dolphin at Queenborough

Some photos from a short light wind cruise up the Swale - Bonita Some photos from a short light wind cruise up the Swale - a sweet vee-bottomed sailing dayboat Some photos from a short light wind cruise up the Swale - mystery boat

Some photos from a short light wind cruise up the Swale - sweet vee-botttom sailing dayboat Some photos from a short light wind cruise up the Swale - Whippet motorsails by

Various views from a short sailing cruise up the Swale

I thought that intheboatshed.net readers might be entertained by a collection of photos we took on a recent trip short trip up the Swale to Queenborough. I had hoped to travel further from Faversham but the winds on the way out were too light to enable us to sail far (we generally need a F3 to plug the tide here), and I regard the outboard as an unpleasant if sometimes necessary evil.

The Swale is an interesting and varied cruising ground for a small boat. The western end of the Swale is a curious place, seething with wildlife apparently living cheek-by-jowl with the Medway’s industrial landscape, while down towards the sea Continue reading Some photos from a short sailing cruise on the Swale

Steve Taylor’s 1923 Hillyard Dorma back under sail again

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Click on the images for larger photos

Dorma

Dorma Dorma Dorma

Steve Taylor’s 24ft Hillyard-built yacht, Dorma, and Steve himself

Some days ago, Steve Taylor, Bob Telford and friend Paul Tambini took Steve’s newly restored 24ft 1923 Hillyard yacht Dorma out for her first successful sail after a well executed but respectful restoration. Well, I suppose one could say it was successful in a sailing sense; the engine proved to be a disaster area. (I don’t know Paul, but gather he’s currently fixing up a Blackwater sloop by the side of Faversham Creek and runs a tool store – see the link below.)

Bob takes up the story:

‘The wind was perfect, the sun shone, the tide was right and everything was set for Dorma’s first proper outing.

‘We had taken her out once before, briefly, and had to return early when the bobstay parted; that’s what a shakedown is about, after all. Repairs and improvements completed, we awaited everything to be in place for a proper first sail.

‘When the day came, the engine took us down to the Swale, by which time we had raised the main; the jib and stays’l took over from the engine – and the suddenly quiet was shattering. Now I know why people hated those diesels thirty years ago.

‘We left a reef in until we had the feel of her; it was four gusting five and we wanted to stretch her gently, especially after our first experience.

‘She sailed well, seemed well balanced under reefed main, and Click here for the rest of the story: Continue reading Steve Taylor’s 1923 Hillyard Dorma back under sail again