Tag Archives: blackwater

Sailing barge equipment on board Pudge, summer 2014

I was lucky enough this weekend to be able to go sailing aboard Pudge, one of two sailing barges (and one lighter) owned, maintained and chartered by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust. (Also see the TSBT’s Facebook page.)

I must say we had a fabulous day – I thoroughly recommend a trip on one of these boats. I’m also mightily impressed by the gear, which is effective and often ingenious in its working and in its simplicity, and by the barge sailors of the past, who managed these boats with a crew of just two.

Those folks were clearly very tough, and more than a bit clever with it.

The event was the Blackwater Match – an annual race for barges and smacks, so I’ll post a further collection of boats and the Blackwater itself tomorrow.

Gadfly II restoration makes progress

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Simon Papendick and family make progress on their project to restore Gadfly II

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I’m grateful to Simon Papendick for getting in contact to report on his progress in bringing Gadfly II back to life.

Gadfly II looks very much like a Blackwater sloop but is reported to have been built in Kent rather than Essex, and there are some intriguing clues to her history, including a 1908 coin under her mast. For more on this read some previous posts on this topic.

Here’s what Simon has to say:

‘Hi Gavin,

‘Since I contacted you last I have got on well with the restoration on Gadfly II. We’re getting close to finishing the outside with the deck all but finished. The hull is all caulked up with putty in the seams, the hull has been glossed and the first coat of antifouling is on the bottom.

‘One of the last jobs to do before the boat goes back in the water will be the replacing the keel bolts, which is going to be done in a couple of weeks time at a local boatyard close to our home. Once the keelbolts are done and the boat is watertight then I will fit out the inside with an interior very close to what it would have had when it was first built.

‘After the boat is re-launched I will have the mast stepped and take it for its first sail in many years. From what I was told by its last owner its last sail could well have been 20 years ago or more.

‘It will be a wonderful experience for both the boat and myself to get the boat back to where she should be gracing the East Coast again after all these years. As you can see from the photos it is a family affair.

‘Regards

‘Simon Papendick’

Many thanks Simon. I’m pleased to hear that you’re planning to be true to the original when you start work on the interior, and I think it’s particularly good that you have your family’s help and support – so many people seem to work in isolation.

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Our first half-million hits

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Thames Barges

Thames barges on the Blackwater – one of the first photos
to appear at intheboatshed.net

It feels a little funny when I think of it, but some time in the next two or three days in the boatshed.net will rack up its first half million hits.

Those with long memories will recall that this weblog began in a very small way at the end of 2006, and benefited early on from the support of various weblogs and online magazines, most notably Chuck Leinweber’s Duckworks Magazine and Tim Shaw’s Chineblog.

Ben Crawshaw’s wonderful The Invisible Workshop followed as did Chris Partridge’s Rowing for Pleasure, and so did a host more I won’t mention just now because if I do this post will become too huge for words.

We’re now all part of a community of interconnecting weblogs and online magazines, and I’m grateful to all of them both for their assistance in helping readers find their way here, and for the entertainment and interest they have given us in our household. If you come to this site and happen to land on this post, therefore, I’d like to suggest you take a little time to explore the sites and weblogs, as well as the rest of the intheboatshed.net blogroll.

But I have another request: please send me pictures and stories that you’d like to share! We’re particularly interested in old boats, traditionally built boats whether old or new, in boats that bear the influences of the past, in the history and culture of boating, in influential individuals and in alternative ways of enjoying boating rooted in the past. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a proud owner or not, or a boat builder or other boat related craftsman, or even if you simply have something interesting to sell. And the occasional story about a boat-related shed doesn’t go amiss either!

Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to my family and wife Julie, who has shown immense understanding and enthusiasm over a long period. I know that I’ve been very lucky to have their support and I hope they feel the result justifies the effort and time that goes into the inthboatshed.net project.

Reach me either at gmatkin@gmail.com or by using the intheboatshed.net contact page, which you can get to using the page tab above the title line.

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