Some thoughts on barge and smack boats

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Mike Feather’s smack boat Lettuce on the bar at Brancaster

Mike Feather sailing smack boat Lettuce over the bar at Brancaster, Norfolk. Mike comments that with a reef in she was under good control and rode the waves without shipping any water.

Alf Last’s boat Smack boats racing at Walton on the Naze 2002 Smack boat on its side

Above left. Maldon boat builder Alf Last built his best and last barge boat and a mould was taken off it. Here is a cast ready for fitting out. Many barges now carry these – they are stable and sail well. They do not dry out if left in the davits. Above centre.smacks’ boats racing at Walton on the Naze 2002. Above right. A smack boat on its side shows the shallow draft and centre board slot. Click here for more: Continue reading “Some thoughts on barge and smack boats”

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Bob Telford’s first race sailing a dinghy with a standing lug

standing-lug-sail1

Standing lug sail from W P Stephens classic Canoe and
Boatbuilding for Amateurs

Bob Telford called by the yard currently restoring his impressive Maurice Griffiths-designed Idle Duck (type the word Idle Duck into the search box top left for more on this boat), only to find himself roped in to what sounded like an interesting round-the-buoys outing. Instead, though, it turned out to be a learning experience…

‘I knew something was afoot when I trundled into the inner sanctum known to some as Alan’s Community Center, for Retired Shipwrights, Dockyard Mateys and Associated Layabouts, and saw him and Peter look up, saying ’just the man…d’you fancy sailing in the Swale Match in me dinghy?

‘”Yes,” says I, without thinking.

‘The boat is a 10-ft lug rigged clinker job, so there I was, on my own, in a dinghy I had never rigged, let alone sailed, heading for the line for a race against four 16-ft fully crewed gaff-rigged dayboats.

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Read the rest of Bob’s story: Continue reading “Bob Telford’s first race sailing a dinghy with a standing lug”

Our first boatshed is a prince among sheds

Hollowshore Services reduced pic

This is Hollowshore Services, at the junction between Faversham and Oare creeks. Probably better known as Tester’s yard, Hollowshore Services specialises in smacks, and so this remote corner of Kent is a great place for sightseeing old boats and a few newer ones built in the old way. Many of them are moored along the creek’s eastern bank or nearby in the main channel. The shed itself is one of the last two in the country purpose-constructed for building sailing barges; the sailing club is housed in a small shed alongside that was once used for making barge boats.

Tucked away at the back of the yard is the Shipwright’s Arms, a sweet old pub complete with a splendid collection of beers. They say there is also the ghost of a shipwrecked barge skipper who after fighting for his life as his ship went down struggled to the inn and finally died of cold on the doorstep after failing to rouse anyone from their beds. No doubt they were all sleeping off the effects of a rollicking night in the cosy little front room…

For more on Hollowshore Services:
http://www.faversham.org/

For more on the Shipwright’s Arms:
http://www.pubsandbeer.co.uk/

For a map:
www.multimap.com

If you can add to this story or would like to tell us about your favourite shed, please email us at gmatkin@gmail.com .