The Humber keel Comrade is a rare surviving example of a type of craft evolved to work the difficult Humber Estuary, and its tributaries and canals. She was built in 1923, at Warrenâ€™s shipyard at New Holland, and was originally named Wanda. At 61ft 6in in length and 15ft 6in in beam, she had a hold capable of carrying over a hundred tons in cargo.
The Humber is very much part of Viking invader territory, and I do wonder how much this unusual square sail may owe to those invaders of more than a thousand years ago.
For more on Comrade and her sister ship Humber sloop Amy Howson, see http://www.keelsandsloops.org.uk/
Prepare to be awed! Lulworth is the largest gaff cutter afloat today, with a length of 46.30m (152ft) and a mast as high as a 17-floor apartment block. She is also widely considered to be breathtakingly beautiful – she was described by the great maritime photographer Franco Pace as ‘the last true gem’.
Perhaps she is above all else a magnificent piece of nautical history, as the sole survivor of the Big Class racing yachts from the 1920s, which included Lulworth, the Prince of Wales’ yacht Britannia, Westward, White Heather II and Shamrock.
The Big Class races were spectacular to watch: the boats had deep keels, long overhanging booms and powerful rigs. Around 45 races were organised in the regatta season from late May to early September, and the highlight came in early August when the fleet headed to the Solent for Cowes Week. Wherever they were held around the British Isles, however, Big Class events attracted huge crowds.
Seventy years after her last Big Class race, she was taken to Italy from a mud berth on the River Hamble and brought back to life during five years of restoration aimed at returning the yacht as far as possible to her original condition, based on a set of drawings dating from 1926.
For more on Lulworth and her restoration:
Large posters, framed photos and calendars of Lulworth and other classics from the early 20th century:
The painting of Lulworth battling it out with Britannia below is by marine artist Roger Davies. Roger sells prints of his splendid paintings from his site: