Humber keel Daybreak made flagship of the year

S

Humber keel Daybreak has been made national flagship for the year by National Historic Ships UK.

The award goes to the owners of the vessel with the most impressive seasonal programme of public events in the forthcoming year and is designed to increase the public’s appreciation of historic vessels in the UK’s heritage.

The winning vessel receives a broad pennant to fly from its masthead wherever it goes, and a grant of £1000 towards the cost of keeping the vessel in operational condition and opening her for public viewing.

Daybreak is a 61-ft keel built by Richard Dunston of Thorne and launched­­ in 1934, which makes her one of the last keels built. She was owned by Hanleys, a firm of Doncaster flour millers.

Motorised in the 1940s, she was restored to sail in 1986, and has been based on the River Thames for the last 38 years.

Daybreak’s has an extensive public programme for this year including festivals, barge matches, open days along the East Coast and a reconstructed trading voyage under sail from Hull to Doncaster.

Daybreak is on the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV) held by National Historic Ships UK.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum Boat Club’s extensive programme for the herring drifter Reaper from Anstruther to the Yorkshire coast caught the judges’ eye, and the organisation has been awarded runner-up, with a grant of £250.

Advertisements

Scaffie Obair-Na-Ghoal to feature in Royal Thames pageant

The scaffie Obair-Na-Ghoal built by Alex Slater and Sinclair Young is one of the many traditional craft to have been accepted for inclusion in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in London on 3 June 2012 organised to celebrate 60 years of Elizabeth the II’s reign.

Whether or not you’re a fan of state events, the pageant has shaped up to be the most conspicuous public showcase presenting traditional craft to the public I can recall – it will be amazing to have so many boats from around the country in South East of England, if only briefly.

Obair-Na-Ghoal – Labour of Love in English – is a good example. She’s a replica of an 18th century herring drifter, and a well-known veteran of many Scottish Traditional Boat Festivals, which are held at Portsoy on the North-East Scottish coast.

Slater learned boatbuilding at the Jones of Buckie shipyard, a few miles along the coast from Portsoy.

The story goes that he was asked to demonstrate sailmaking at the first Portsoy festival, and someone asked him what he was going to do with it.

‘I thought to myself, ‘Well, I suppose I had better build a boat,’ he says. And so he did, using drawings for the scaffie herring drifter Gratitude BCK 252, which can be found in the book Sailing Drifter by Edgar J March.

Gratitude was built in 1896 by George Innes of Portknockie and worked the inshore fisheries of the Moray Firth. Launched exactly 100 years later, Obair-Na-Ghoal is an exact replica of the older boat, 25ft in length, 9ft in beam, and a draft of 3ft, and has the original’s hallmark hollow floors and sharp turn to the bilges.

Unlike earlier boats, Gratitude was decked following rules brought in to reduce the heavy losses of fishing boats from Scotland’s East Coast.

Although parading in front of the Queen was not in his mind when he build his scaffie, Slater’s reported to be proud to be taking part in the pageant. ‘Obair-Na-Ghaol may not have all the mod-cons of some of the boats in the pageant, but she is a fine looking boat,’ he’s reported to have said. ‘Who knows, she might even overshadow the Royal barge.’

Indeed she might! I hope he has a great, grand trip to the South East.