Lines of a Colchester Essex east coast oyster fishing smack and Harwich bawley similar to a Leigh or Liegh bawley with plans elevations sections diagonals futtock and water lines.
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Smack in Church

The 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.
*NEW* Ted Penny's lines he took off the 40' Harwich bawley, Doris LO284. These are the first bawley lines to be published on the net and my thanks to Ted for allowing them to be shown. If you make use of them, and that is what they are here for after all, then please give a credit to Ted. Photos of Doris are here.
Plans are under way to convert the .gif to .dxf vector format.

lines of a smack
Typical lines of a 38 ft. to 55 ft. long Colchester Smack circa. 1870

For 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.

I have managed to find a copy of a lines drawing of a fishing smack, 'Peace', designed and built 1909 by Douglas Stone of Brightlingsea. Three Stone smacks are still around including Peace CK171 , while Daisybell CK451 1895 and Priscilla MN76 1893 are older and shorter/longer respectively.
With thanks to Edgar J March's book "Inshore Craft of Britain In the Days of Sail and Oar. Volume 1" from which publication, I eventually found out, the drawings had been taken.

As vector files are needed for CAD work the bitmap scans needed converting. I joined the scans and cleaned them up in Paintshop Pro 4.0 then saved in TIF format. I used Corel Trace software that came with Corel Draw v2.0 to convert to vector graphics and used Corel Draw to export as an HPGL .PLT plotter file which was loaded into Dancad3D. The lines were then rotated and magnified to full size and matched to be close to the dimensions on the drawing. Let me say now that they are not mm perfect but a good compromise. Text was added back with dimensions in mm then exported as 2D DXF and HPGL .PLT plotter files. Later, Roland Tank kindly offered to make a better job of cleaning up the DXF files - thanks Roland.

These are available as a zipped download here. The original scans are available in bitmat format and faintly show dimensions. Construction details and
sail and spar drawing JPGs for 'Peace' are on the download page as they are big files. 'Peace's sail and spar plan is a bitmap JPG and has lost some detail due to a page fold but I have vectorised the sail plan of a 45 ft. Colchester smack which has turned out a bit scruffy but should be of use for general dimensions, rope lengths, etc. I will clean it up one day but no time now.

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]