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Hello, As I have mentioned before, I like the workboats from the age of sailing. The sailing barges caught my interest some time ago on one of my stays in the UK and I recently purchased a number of books on them. Interesting history, more to it than I realized. Finally decided to build a Ketch Barge that is categorized as a Boomie as well. Several reasons; I wanted to model one of the larger ones, this one is 85', and I like gaff rigged boats with booms. Topsails a must as well and I like ketches. This one fits the bill and who could resist the chance to set 7 to 8 sails! Frank Carr's book tells the story of the barge Pearl and included plan, elevation, lines and sail plans. Nice bit of information, I can build with that. See attached photos. This will probably be a lengthy build, my Falmouth Gaff-rigged Cutter took me two years. I built that one while on assignment in Grand Cayman using only my small kit OD hand tools. More to come, hope to start this week. Cheers, Joe
I have an aged bedraggled copy of Edgar March's book, I acquired it about sixty years ago and whilst I think the text is one of the best on the subject and what illustrations there are, are very good, I am of the opinion that the illustrations in the Cooper/Chancellor book are more extensive. The barge plans in March are very good and I imagine can be blown up but I am referring to the depth of useful illustrations of construction and gear in Cooper/Chancellor that I consider so useful.
Hello Joe We seem to be of a similar mindset, my interest is mainly in sail although I have several tugs etc. I found a really useful reference book is 'Spritsail Barges Of Thames and Medway' which was published around 1948 and written and researched by Edgar J March. As well as being interesting and a good read has many illustrations and drawings of old gaffer rigs. May not be easy to find but well worth the effort. Another avenue for information is the Society for Sailing Boat Research I have contact details if required, it is possible to join and contribute to this organisation for £15 p.a. Best regards Chris G
Chris, Thank for the information, I will look into that book. I started in RC Boating but building and racing several classes of sailboats, including several US1Meter class. Being a much better builder than skipper, I was drawn to schooners that many club members had. Got interested in working sailcraft due to the history and the slower, power of these craft. The Gaff Rigged Handbook by Jihn Leather is one of my favorite build guides. Yes, I really like Gaff Rigging. This book was great for lots of rigging details and sails... See photo example. Joe
Hello Joe Like you my interest turned a few years to sailing barges and East Coast sailing vessels in general, I was then given a first edition of 'Sailing Barges' signed by the author Frank G.G. Carr and was then even more 'hooked'. For beautiful drawings and a marvellous book try to get hold of a copy of 'Vanishing Craft' by the same author but illustrated by Frank Mason who in my opinion captures the essence of all things maritime in the 18 and 19 hundreds. They sometimes come up on Amazon but aren't cheap. As Nerys states there is lots of stuff out there, best of luck researching this most interesting subject. Regards Chris G
There are many excellent books on Thames Sailing Barges, but for the modeller, I think 'Handbook of Sailing Barges' by F.S.Cooper and John Chancellor is one of the best. Fred Cooper was a well known Barge Skipper, John Chancellor, a former Merchant Navy Officer, lived with his family on the sailing barge Viper for many years. An accomplished artist, he illustrated this book with excellent line drawings of every aspect of the rig, deck fittings and construction details. There are usually copies for sale on Amazon and Abe Books. Nerys
I have always like the English sailing workboats and have built some fishing boats. Now my interest turned to Sailing Barges, found this nice book - Sailing Barges by Frank Carr. It's full of etchings, photos and some line drawings. Think this will be helpful in scratch building a barge. Over 450 pages and found a lightly used copy for $18.00 USD, on eBay. Regards, Joe
Hello Joe, Try AMBO (google) They are the association of model barge owners and I believe they are based around Maldon, Essex. A great site that is currently under rebuild (like many 12'' to the foot barges!) Good luck with your research. Cheers Lemmerhengst