postings from Jeff Lane received 15th. June 2001-
I don't pretend to be an authority on English working craft, but there is what to me seems to be a smack hull lying near Bergen, Norway, that you should be aware of.
She belongs to an acquaintance of mine, who took her over at least ten years ago, to save her from being broken up. I have been aboard only once, years ago, and remember the details somewhat foggily:
1. Empty hull with deck, said to have been built in Southern England about 1845. Length about 60' or so.
2. Reasonable-appearing condition...I didn't survey her, but at that time the general appearance wasn't bad. I doubt if the condition has changed much.
3. She is lying afloat, with a makeshift sheet-iron protective cover that keeps her fairly dry, while allowing great ventilation.
4. Her owner hasn't done much, if anything, to her except keep her pumped out, in all the time she has been there.
I feel that someone should take her over and do something positive about this situation. You seem to be the person to inform. If you, or someone in your circle of enthusiasts are interested in this vessel, please let me know, and I'll try and get some serious information.
Here I am answering my own posting, with additional information:
I just talked with the owner, who says he is in the process of building a slipway to take the boat up for restoration. He is in a critical phase of getting building permission at present, and should know whether he will be able to build the slipway within a couple of weeks. If he gets permission, I assume he will carry on with a restoration project. If not, he will be wanting to be quit of the hull. I should know fairly soon how it goes.
A few details:
1. The vessel is the "FIX", 67' on deck, 60' on the water, built in Yarmouth in 1873 as a sailing fisherman;
She was used as both a sailing drifter and sailing trawler.
2. She was originally lapstrake, oak on oak.
3. She came to Norway in 1892, and has been here ever since.
4. She was rebuilt with carvel planking in 1945. At that time very little frame rework was necessary, and it was all put in order then.
5. The present planking, from 1945, is Norwegian pine.
6. She has been about ten years afloat without a haulout.
7. The first engine was put in in 1925. Until then she was worked under sail alone. I would guess she has been a pretty fair sailboat.
8. Her present configuration includes a nice-looking counter and run aft to a shallow, rather wide transom. The stem is almost plumb, and almost straight. I would guess that they used the original hull shape, or very nearly so, at the 1945 rebuild.
28 - 2 - 2001 © Roger Walker - Colne Smack Preservation Society