Tag Archives: blackwater

IMG_3115 equipment

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

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

DSCF0055

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

DSCF0007 DSCF0009 DSCF0023

DSCF0026 DSCF0046 DSCF0049

DSCF0079

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.

Make sure you don’t miss anything good. Support intheboatshed.net by subscribing to our free weekly email news letter now!


Our first half-million hits

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

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.

Don’t miss something good – subscribe to intheboatshed’s weekly email newsletter now!

F B Cooke on Single Handed Cruising

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

The mystery of Gadfly II’s origins and her link with the Blackwater sloops reminded me of yachting author F B Cooke, who I seem to remember owned a Blackwater sloop in the 1920s.

He had strong views on the size and type of yachts that should be used for cruising, for as he says:

‘To be dependent upon the assistance of friends, who may leave one in the lurch at the eleventh hour, is a miserable business that can only be avoided by having a yacht which one is capable of handling alone… The ideal arrangement is to have a vessel of sufficient size to accommodate one or two guests and yet not too large to be sailed single-handed at a pinch.’

I’d go further, and say that even with friends and family aboard, it’s safer and better if all the basic sailing tasks can be carried out by a single pair of hands.

I thought readers might be interested to see what he had to say about what size and type of  small yacht seemed most desirable in those far-off days.

cooke-1 cooke-3 cooke-5

cooke-7 cooke-9 cooke-11

cooke-13 cooke-15 cooke-17

cooke-19 cooke-21

Gadfly II – coin evidence could make her older than originally thought

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

48-470Gadfly II under restoration – she may be considerably
older than originally thought

Simon Papendick, who is working on Gadfly II (see earlier posts here and here), has written to say that he has found a 1908 Edward VII penny under a grown frame below the mast, which strongly suggests the boat is rather older than previously thought.

She was previously understood to have been built in Kent along the lines of the Blackwater sloops, which I believe were built in Maldon by boatbuilder Dan Webb from the 1920s. (See an example for sale here.)

Simon says: ‘It was the custom to put a coin under the mast step on the top of the keel in a sailing boat or under the base of the stem on a motor boat, so that if the the boat should ever be rebuild of destroyed it will be possible to find out the year it was built.

‘I have always kept this up in all the wooden boats I have been involved in building since the custom was explained to me by my first boss, who was himself told that this was a long standing custom when he was an apprentice. He always did this to continue the custom handed down to him.’

So it seems Gadfly II may well be considerably older than was first thought and, if so, she predates the Blackwater sloops build by Dan Webb at Maldon in Essex. Could it be that Webb saw this boat, liked her and copied and then modified her lines to create his famous Blackwater sloop?

Certainly this story is becoming more and more interesting – can anyone out there shed any further light on Gadfly II’s mysterious background and her obvious connection with Webb’s series of Essex-built boats?

Simon Papendick, who runs J-Star Tuition & Boat Services, can be reached at 07799401650 and info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

Don’t miss out on something good – subscribe to intheboatshed.net for a weekly newsletter!

More information about the Kent-built ‘Blackwater sloop’ Gadfly II

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

gadfly-1

gadfly-3 gadfly-2

Gadfly II – she’s fairly clean, but there’s still plenty of work to do!

We’ve had a short message and a few more photos of Gadfly II from boatbuilder and restorer Simon Papendick.

‘Since I contacted you last on the website, I have found out more about the boat’s history and type of boat she is – or at least the design she was built to.

‘It appears that Gadfly II was built in Kent, as was I was lead to believe was the case. However, she was built to look like a Blackwater gaff sloop called Iolanthe and has the same hull design and dimensions.

‘The only different between the two boats is that my boat has an extra 3in depth in the iron keel. I have attached a few photos of the work in progress to restore this fine old lady to her former glory.’

Iolanthe appeared in Classic Boat magazine September 2004. I should get my copy out and have a look!

For an earlier intheboatshed.net post about this boat, click here.

Simon Papendick, who runs J-Star Tuition & Boat Services, can be reached at 07799401650 and info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

Do you know the story of the ‘Blackwater sloop’ Gadfly II?

[ad#intheboatshed-post]

48-470

53 51 49

Gadfly II awaiting restoration by Simon Papendick

Clacton-based wooden boat builder and restorer Simon Papendick is looking for information about a 1939 gaff sloop that he’s currently restoring. Can anyone shed any light on  this boat please? If you can, please comment below, or write either to me at gmatkin@gmail.com or to Simon at info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

The boat in question is named Gadfly II, and apparently the previous owner said she was a Blackwater gaff sloop and seems to have many of the same features – however, having contacted a number of sources Simon now believes she was built in Kent rather than the Blackwater, which is across the Thames Estuary, in Essex.

‘I have now got the job of restoring her to her former glory and hope to have her sailing this year. From what I have been able to find out about it, building on her began in 1939, stopped for the duration of World War II, and she was finally finished in 1945-46 and launched in 1946 for a local man in Kent.

‘The name Gadfly II appears on the list of vessels owned by members belonging to the Old Gaffer Association until the 1970s, but then drops off.’

Follow this link for gaff-rigged boats at intheboatshed.net.

Simon Papendick, who runs J-Star Tuition & Boat Services, can be reached at 07799401650 and info@jstartuition-boatservices.co.uk.

Don’t miss out on something good – subscribe to intheboatshed.net for a weekly newsletter