Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Character Boats

'Finda', a miniature Hastings Beach Boat

'Finda's' stern

I think I’ve rambled on about character boats before, but you may tolerate a second airing of the subject. Here I am not referring to the range of vessels produced by Character Boats* that you will be able to see at the Southampton Boat Show, from 10th to 19th September, but to a variety of vessels that ooze ‘character’, and one in particular that I frequently see at Hullbridge; she’s a miniature Hastings beach boat rigged with sails.

Boats that have character stand out from the crowd. Their features usually come about as a result of pragmatism and adaptation for meeting conditions or circumstances. Sailing work boats such as the Falmouth Pilot, the Plymouth Hooker, the St. Ives Lugger and the Itchen Ferry were all designed to sail the waters where they were worked and to do the jobs required of them.

‘Finda’ is a miniature Hastings beach boat with a duck’s ass of a stern for providing buoyancy and lift when she is being launched or retrieved off a beach. Her rudder and propeller are protected by her long skeg, and her firm bilges keep her upright. Her almost vertical sides give space within her hull for the stowage of fishing gear and her catch.


*Character Boats


Hastings Beach Boats


Itchen Ferry


Falmouth and Scilly Pilots


Cornish Luggers


Hastings Beach Boat Print


Photo of a Plymouth Hooker


Plymouth Hooker


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