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The coast of East Anglia is well known for its crab boats, lifeboats, beach punts, beach yawls and Southwold luggers – but I can’t say that I’ve read much about the little boats with their sweeping sheers show in these shots.
These photos come from Orford, but similar craft can be seen along the Deben and on the Alde.
From looking at my copy of the marvellous but almost unobtainable Chatham Directory of Inshore Craft, I’d say that many of the small wooden working boats in these photos are relatives of what it calls the Felixstowe Ferry lobster boat, a lug-rigged 15ft open boat made at Woodbridge that died out in the 1950s.
There must be a story to be told about the history of these little craft. I’m struck that quite a few of the local modern plastic tenders have something of the same form.
Looking at these shots I can’t help but think they have more than a touch of the Norse about them, but it’s not just a matter of history: the advantages of that pronounced sheer line are obvious when you see the confused water of the bar they must cross to reach the sea (see below).
I was also tickled by the Laser converted for rowing by the addition of a sliding seat (which must be seriously wasted in a hull this short – see Rowing for Pleasure comment), and by this splendid shed.