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Peggy the coble

There’s something wonderful and graceful about the coble Peggy. There are some boats I could look at for hours, and she’s one of them…

From the NE Maritime Trust website, I learn Peggy was built at Amble in 1924, and was sold first to Beadnell, then Seahouses. Later she moved to Amble and Hartlepool, from where she was bought by an NEMT member.

Now she has been extensively restored with a lot of the work being done at South Shields by Fred Crowell. Fabulous stuff…

Philip Burton’s Julie skiff

Oxfordshire-based Philip Burton is building a Julie skiff – and once it’s done we’re naturally very much looking forward to being able to call by to see it in action on the river. Here’s what he says:

‘I have spent the last few months building my first boat which I choose to be a Julie skiff.

‘I live in Oxford uk and I’m sure you will be aware that the river Thames runs right through our beautiful university city, so I’m really looking forward to getting the boat in the water very soon.

‘I am very impressed how easy it was to follow your plans and the basic hull came together relatively quickly, and I learned a lot about stitch and glue and fibreglass techniques.

‘I used 6mm marine ply and I was quite surprised by how much it weighed, and also how much it blunted my planes and chisels. But I guess that’s the price to pay for using ply that will last a long time in wet and soggy conditions.’

How the Franklin expedition ships were found

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist Paul Watson has taken a close interest in the search for the 1840s Franklin expedition’s two lost ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and has sailed with the marine archaeologists who have found the ships in recent years. Here he talks on the USA’s National Public Radio service about the experience and what has been learned so far.

Of one of the wrecks he says ‘It’s chilling really to look at it. ‘The ship is almost completely intact. The only thing that’s missing is her three masts, which presumably had been sheared off by moving ice over the years.’

The expedition led by John Franklin was lost while seeking the North West Passage – a route that is now routinely used by shipping, but which in the days long before global warming was more of an idea than a reality.

Subsequent expeditions from Britain and America searched for the missing ships and interviewed Inuit hunters who told an odd tale of a a ghost ship that floated on ice southward, separated from where the two ships had been abandoned, imprisoned in ice.

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