Shetland fifie Swan beats Spider T to win National Historic Ships flagship award

Fifie Swan - The Swan Trust

Shetland fifie Swan, winner of the national flagship award

Spider T, winter 2010

Humber sloop Spider T came second in a close contest

The Swan Trust deserve our congratulations on the fifie Swan’s victory in being made 2011 flagship by the National Historic Ships.

Humber sloop Spider T came second in a close contest.

The award presented to Swan goes to the owners of the vessel on the National Historic Fleet with the most impressive seasonal programme of public events in the forthcoming year. The winners receive a special pennant to mark her flagship status, and a grant of £1000 to be spent on the vessel’s upkeep.

A fifie herring drifter, Swan (LK243) was launched in May 1900 at Hay and Company’s yard in Lerwick in the Shetland Isles. Having survived two world wars and then falling into disrepair, this vessel has now been restored to her former glory by a team of dedicated volunteers. The judges were particularly impressed with the breadth of Swan’s summer programme which, starting in her home port, will take her to the Orkneys; along the Caledonian Canal; to Waterford to compete in the Tall Ships Race to Glasgow, and then to Norway, engaging throughout with the large number of young people who will form her crews, and inviting visitors on board wherever she goes.

Swan is one of some 200 vessels of pre-eminent national significance which together form the UK’s National Historic Fleet.

Swan Trust chairman Allister Rendell, said: ‘I am delighted that Swan has won… It is particularly appropriate that Swan has been selected, since the Tall Ships will be visiting Shetland this year.’

Runner-up Spider T receives a £250 grant which will also go towards supporting the vessel and promoting the Flagship of the Year scheme.

National Historic Ships director Martyn Heighton commented: ‘With the flagship award now in its third year, the quality of entries has gone from strength to strength. Swan is a worthy winner in a year of fierce competition.’

Humber sloop Spider T’s owner Mal Nicholson is a regular contributor to intheboatshed.net, usually on the subject  of Spider T herself. For more posts about the Humber sloop, click here.

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Tait’s Seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II

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Tait's Seamanship 1913 Cover

This is an intersting example of the traditional question and answer format used in training seamen. As usual, click on the images for a readable scan. The first instalment of Tait’s Seamanship is here

Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II

Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II

Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II

Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II Tait’s seamanship, or how to sail a ship, part II

Tait’s Seamanship, 1913, part I, or how to sail a ship

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Tait's Seamanship 1913 Cover

Tait's Seamanship 1913 Cover adverts 1 Tait's Seamanship 1913 adverts 2 Tait's Seamanship 1913 Compass and frontispiece

Tait's Seamanship 1913 preface Tait's Seamanship 1913 Introductory note and contents Tait's Seamanship 1913  contents

I’ve often wondered what ‘seamanship’ really is and who, if anyone, has the definitive article in their posession.

It’s not that I don’t understand or approve of the aims of seamanship – it’s about keep lives safe and protecting boats from harm while successfully travelling on the water. But, like the proverbial skinners of cats,  boat users all have their own methods, and there seems to be at least as many forms of correct seamanship as there are sailors.

Whatever sea-related activity you care to name, someone somewhere does it differently and will tell you all about it in a very firm and authoritative way – in the club bar, online or, sometimes, even on our own boats.

So I thought it might be fun and informative (and hopefully uncontroversial) to consider what seamanship was thought to be a century or so ago. So here are the cover and first few pages of Tait’s Seamanship, a splendid little document produced by a Glasgow maritime educational establishment whose principals had the good sense to provide courses for masters discreetly in a separate room.

I hope you enjoy the scans – as usual, click on the images for much larger, easily readable images.