Tag Archives: restoration

A Thames-side yard to make a grown man sigh

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I hardly need to say anything about the work of Peter Freebody’s yard – the picture below says it all, including the reflections in the brightwork on the deck. But I will add that that the Freebody team really are the Vermeers of sparkling varnish – no matter how closely you care to look the work is flawless and the finish has that deep quality that doesn’t seem to belong in the 21st century at all. Fabulous…

For more on Peter Freebody’s new builds and amazing restorations:
http://www.boatbuilder.co.uk/

If you can add to this story, please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com .

Peter Freebody slipper launch

1890 Arbroath fishing yawl Isabella Fortuna

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Built by James Weir of Arbroath, the Isabella was launched on the 15th September 1890. With an overall length of 45ft, 13ft 9in beam and a draught of 6ft, the vessel was built for line and drift-net fishing, and powered by two big lug sails, a jib and five oars.

In 1919 a 15hp Kelvin engine was fitted but by 1928 greater power was needed for seine-netting and a Kelvin K2 44hp engine was installed. This was upgraded again in 1932 when a Kelvin K3 66hp engine was fitted, and this engine continues to power the boat today. At that same time the name was changed to Fortuna.

In 1997 the Wick Society bought the boat, which by this time had been renamed Isabella Fortuna. A pictorial record of the vessel and the restoration is available from The Wick Society link below.

The Isabella Fortuna is normally berthed in Wick Harbour but during the winter she is housed in the old Lifeboat Shed on the South shore of Wick Bay. With a voluntary crew the vessel visits ports for festivals and other sea-based events. By the way, there really are coracles (tiny skin boats) in the photo below…
Wick Heritage Museum site:

http://www.wickheritage.org/boat.asp

Isabella Fortuna at the Caithness Community website:

http://www.caithness.org/history/wickheritagecentre

If you can add to this story – perhaps links to more photos, details of the restoration or the boat’s history – please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com .

Isabella Fortuna

Steam umpire launch Consuta

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Consuta was commissioned in 1897 for use as an umpiring launch at the Henley Royal Regatta, and built using a then new method that gave a very light but extremely strong hull. She was also the first of the tunnel stern umpiring launches and was capable of 26 mph – an astonishing speed on that stretch of the sleepy old river Thames.

For more on the restoration of Consuta:
www.consuta.org.uk

If you can add to this story, please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com .

Consuta on umpiring duty