Saturday, December 17, 2011

Converted Clinker Ship’s Lifeboat

The 'James B'

Somehow I feel much more comfortable looking at an old converted ship’s lifeboat than at a Hallburg-Rassy 342. I have memories of such vessels from the 1960’s, sailing in places like Exmouth and at Burnham-on-Sea, where I learned the rudiments of boat handling aboard a friend’s homebuilt sharpie.


In 1951 Michael Verney wrote the book, ‘Practical Conversions and Boat Repairs’, which contained a do-it-yourself guide for converting ship’s lifeboats into seagoing cruisers. Many of these were double-ended, 26’ clinker vessels that could be rowed, not dissimilar to Montague whalers, but they were bulkier open boats for accommodating survivors from sinking ships. In the same year John Lewis’s book, ‘Small Boat Conversion’, was published; it too had information for converting ship’s lifeboats into yachts. A few of these ‘yachts’ remain in commission today as motor-sailers or as motorboats.

Text for the Day

2 Thessalonians 3:10 ‘………… we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.’


Montague Whalers

Fambridge Riverside – ‘Moby Dick’, converted lifeboat photos

Michael Verney ‘Practical Conversions and Boat Repairs’

John Lewis, ‘Small Boat Conversion’

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