hull of a typical smack is fairly full bodied and
has a moderate rise of floor to give a good carrying
capacity of fish. The deep forefoot and straight keel
made these craft steady on the helm for fishing, particularly
when trawling and dredging and the forward sheer enabled
them to stand hard driving to windward, though the
comparatively low freeboard aft make them wet in bad
weather which they and their crews withstood magnificently.
The 15 to 18 ton size were much used in the second
half of the nineteenth century as a useful general
purpose workboat capable of fishing in rough conditions
and of making passages around Britain and Continental
waters. The rig was gaff cutter with topsail and they
were (and still are) fast sailers.
Typical lines of a 38 ft. to 55 ft. long Colchester Smack circa. 1870
a craft that was as common as the Essex smack there are remarkably few
lines plans available today. I was told that when the Aldous yard closed
in Brightlingsea they made a huge bonfire of many of the drawings and
half models were taken away for firewood.
Please let me know if you have lines of other smacks that I can put on this site for the benifit of others in the future. Let me know if you have problems loading into CAD software. My email is on the front page
İRoger Walker 14/April/2001 . [revised 28th. July 2003]