What is the story of this 1937 Liverpool-built towing boat please?

 

Fowey boat builder Marcus Lewis has this new motor launch restoration project to work on this winter, and would very much like to know more about it, if anyone can help.

He knows that the launch and was built as a towing boat in Liverpool in 1937, and has a builders plate of  Burton and Fawcett, Liverpool.
It is carvel built with battens inside every seam. Unusually, the steamed ribs are in contact the battens, not the carvel planks.

The boat was Henry, but is is now named Clarence and has spent some time around Norfolk.

If you know anything about this boat and its type and can help Marcus, contact him directly or write to me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message on.

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Alasdair Grant builds a 21ft carvel built motor launch

Lewenie is a 21ft carvel-built launch with larch on oak frames  currently being built by Alasdair Grant of Isle Ewe Boats, based at Isle Ewe on the North Western coast of Scotland.

Alasdair completed the long course at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis in 2009, after building a Beer Beach Boat, and went on to work at Cockwells , repairing yachts and completing new builds. He then moved back to Scotland to work in the Mallaig Boatyard repairing fishing boats, and has now moved home to Isle Ewe where he’s started out in boat building on his own.

Here’s what Alasdair has to say about the project:

Lewenie’s hull is finished and I’m beginning the fit out ahead of her launch in July. ‘She’s to have a forward cuddy/wheelhouse with traditioinal laid decks fore and aft, and is to be powered by a 30hp Beta diesel. She will be based in Chichester.

‘I designed the boat when I was working in Cornwall. At the end of the summer last year I left my job in Mallaig Boat Yard to come to Ewe Isle and build the boat .

‘I had planned to fit it out with a couple of berths as a kind of gentleman’s launch when it was finished. But while I was building the hull friend suggested I advertise it so could have the finished boat tailor-made for them.

‘So that’s what I did. A few peope got in touch , one of which was Stephen Comley, a project manager working in Canada.

‘Steve sent his brother and a surveyor to look at the hull and bought it. He plans to retire this year to the English South Coast, where he plans to enjoy fishing in Lewenie.’

See the Isle Ewe Facebook page, and contact Alasdair at
alasdairgrant@hotmail.co.uk .

Nick Smith Clovelly picarooner hull for sale

West Country boatbuilder Nick Smith tells me that this carvel-built Clovelly picarooner hull constructed last year is for sale. Here’s the story from Nick:

‘I planked and framed this carvel hull a year ago, for a customer who changed his mind. It’s 3/4 inch Douglas fir on New Forest oak, and all copper fastened of course.

I took the sections and dimensions off an existing Clovelly picarooner, name and builder unknown. But she was a sweet shape and fair too. I had thought I would have to loft the hull fully, but on looking at the body sections I took off the old hull and the fairness of the original I realised it wasn’t necessary – she was built fair and hadn’t gone out of shape either.

That was born out when I turned the hull down side up, and found I did not need to ‘scuff off’ the planking.

I used a traditional belt sander sparingly then went all over with an orbital sander and 80 grit – there was no need to longboard it to fair it, which was very pleasing.

The original picarooners were, as I understand it, lost ship’s boats that arrived here with the Spanish square-rigged ships of the Armada. That fleet was chased around the unhospitable British coastline, anticlockwise, and most foundering on unknown rocks with an onshore blow.

Some got as far as the North Devon coast only to be wrecked and their tenders washed up near Clovelly, the locals of course picked them up, used and found them to be quick under lugs’l and used them to catch the silver darlings (herring), and quick to sail back to port loaded to the risers in fish, ready to be unloaded and quickly sailed back out.

Picarooner, as far as I can ascertain, is a corruption of a Spanish word meaning ‘sea chaser’ or ‘sea robber’.

The inside of the hull had three coats of marine grey primer, and the outside ditto under the waterline, while the topsides are up to two coats of the undercoat stage.

I would give the topsides two coats of enamel for launch, use her for a season then sand and recoat. Needs to settle in.

The hull is perfect for a 10 to 15hp diesel inboard, tiller steering, three athwartship seats and basic fit out. It could even carry a loose-footed tan lugs’l too !

The hull is heavily built, stable and suitable for fishing, picknicking and general messing about.

If you are interested in buying the hull please ring me and ask, and even come and have a look and a yarn, the boat is under a tarp at my workshop, which is near Ringwood Dorset.

If you’re interested in the boat, Nick’s can be reached on  07827644223, or via the email address on his website.