River Colne oyster smack repaired by Star Yachts



While we’re on the subject of the River Colne, Win Cnoops and his colleagues at Star Yachts have recently been working on a boat built in the area.

Win says Wanderer II was built as an oyster smack right beside the Colne at Rowhedge  1901. Originally called Maude (CK489), in 1950 she was sold to the Pearson family and has been in their possesion ever since, and has been kept at Milford Haven.

She doesn’t appear in the Smackdock website’s list of known fishing smacks, but I guess she might be added at some point.

Win reports:

Wanderer II was in a bit of a state when she arrived: we had to cut down what was left of the keel and then added to it using the durable West African timber ekki, and replaced the stem that was in 13 bigger and smaller pieces. To hide a little hogging we put in a fair wale, and painted the bulwarks in the same colour – which, contrary to the theory, makes her look much sleeker as well.

‘We also took the steel floors out and replaced them with grown oak, and replaced 11 stanchions and a range of other hobs. The sternpost was not fastened to anything and could be moved by hand once the rudder heel fitting was off!

‘The cabin top is not the prettiest, the frames need doing and the under-deck is starting to go but for financial reasons they will have to wait for another time – but at least she is back on a solid foundation.’

Queen’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant ‘avenue of sail’

The Queen’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant event on the River Thames in London on the 3rd June will be quite a do!

In addition to the procession itself, I’ve just learned that there will be an ‘avenue of sail‘ – that is, long lines of tall-masted sailing vessels moored along the river banks. The vessels included in the avenue are about as starry as they could be, and among them:

  • legendary pilot cutter Jolie Brise
  • Sir Francis Chichester’s globe-circling Gypsy Moth IV
  • Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s solo non-stop circumnavigating Suhaili
  • smack Endeavour
  • 1808-built smack Boadicea
  • Baltic trader The Queen Galadriel
  • well known sailing barges such as Pudge, Hydrogen, Cambria and Edith May

This list is just a sample – and it’s in addition to the thousand or so craft taking part in the procession of smaller craft, which has been much better publicised – see the organiser’s leaflet listing the boats they think spectators should look for leaflet here.

Sadly it doesn’t include the wonderful Humber sloop Spider T but with so much good stuff going on, I guess they can’t list everything…

I’m sure we’re all hoping the weather is very kind that day, for the everyone’s sake. It would be great if it was so light that the tall-masted craft could fly their sails at their moorings. But if there’s just a little more breeze it won’t half suit those of us who are quietly planning a sailing trip over the long Jubilee weekend…