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Saving Anne Marie

Fixing up old boats is hard, expensive and dirty work. If you doubt it, even for a moment, consider this weblog, which demonstrates a truth that applies even to boats with GRP hulls. Mind, she’ll be wonderful when she’s done…

Fine old hornpipe Jacky Tar

A variant of the even older and better known Cuckoo’s Nest, the fabulous hornpipe Jacky Tar (sometimes Tarr) is actually the tune of an old song Jacky Tar Come Ashore with your Trousers On – a sweet little piece that is as charming as its title. Why trousers on? I believe it’s because for trousers were ‘formal’ shore-going attire. We still have that, don’t we? I may learn it one day…

When Jack had pulled the oar, and the boat was gone,
And the lassie on the shore with her head hanging down,
The tears stood in her eyes, and bosom heaving sighs,
Farewell, my dear, she cries, with your trousers on.

Farewell, said he, I go to sea, and you must stay behind,
But do not grieve, for while I live I ever will be kind,
And when I come to land you will meet me on the strand,
And welcome Jackie Tar with his trousers on.

Now peace is proclaimed, and the wars are all o’er,
The fleets they are moored, and the sailors come ashore,
Now you may see her stand with a glass into her hand,
To welcome Jack to land with his trousers on.

While up on high, she catched his, with all her lovely charms,
Her face he knew, and straight he flew and caught her in
his arms;
Her hand he kindly pressed, as he held her round the waist
And he kissed the bonnie lassie with his trousers on.

O Jack where have you been since you went from me,
And want have you seen upon the raging sea?
I mourned for your sake, while my heart was like to break,
For I thought l’d never see my Jack with his trousers on.

And while you staid, I sighed and prayed to Neptune and
to Mars,
That they would prove kind, and send you home save from
the wars,
And now to my request they have been pleased to list,
And send you to my breast with your trousers on.

I have sailed the seas for you to the torrid zone,
From the confines of Peru to Van Dieman’s Land,
From the Bay of Baltimore to the coast of Labrador,
But now I’m safe on shore with my trousers on.

I have beat the storms, in many forms, upon the raging main.
I have fought the foes, with deadly blows, and many a hero
I have heard the cannons roar, I have rolled in blood and gore
But now I’m safe on shore, with my trousers on.

I have been aloft when the winds have blown,
And I have been alost when the bombs were thrown,
But like a sailor bold, I am now come from the hold,
With my pockets full of gold, and my trousers on.

And now no more, from shore to shore, I’ll plough the rag-
ing seas,
But free from strife, as a man and wife, we’ll live in peace
and ease.
To the church this couple hied, and the priest the knot has
And the sailor kissed his bride with his trousers on.

This Bridlington-built rowing boat is beautiful – but the owner needs help

This lovely rowing boat built by P Siddall of Bridlington – but its Dutch owner, Ton Jansse, is in need of knowledge and advice on how best to proceed. He has already asked how to replace the missing bits of strake, how the interior should be laid out, what kind of paint to use and what colours would have been used originally.

He’s clearly the kind of chap who wants to do it the right way.

If anyone can fill in some of the gaps in terms of paint and colours, interior and so on – and if anyone has photos of similar boats, please let me know at gmatkin@gmail.com, as usual.

But perhaps the biggest question, I think, is the one about how to obtain the necessary boatbuilding skills. Short of going on a course (desirable, probably, but not always practical), what do readers think an amateur’s best sources are these days?

Old boats, traditional boats, boat building, restoration, the sea and the North Kent Coast – Gavin Atkin's weblog