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Thread: House boats of character...

  1. #1
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    Default House boats of character...

    I can just remember this one, at Slaughden Quay, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England:




    she achieved literary fame...



    She was deliberately burned in 1974 as she had become unsafe.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-23-2018 at 11:32 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Not a house boat, but while wandering around the outer part of the lagoon at Aveiro on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, circa 1984, I found a beached wooden coaster that had been converted to a 'Hotel'. Stayed a night and dined in the surprisingly good restaurant. Since they had not beached her dead level and the lower deck had a bit of a crown, unless you were in the bit just off center, your table had quite a liste ;o)
    They had cut an entrance door in the hull and fitted out a dozen rooms.
    First question was always, do you have hot water? Yes, it will be ready in about half an hour. While nosing round the deck and supertructure I heard a roaring noise, opening the door in the false funnel, I saw a large stainless water cylinder with a big gas ring under it. No insulation and the burner was connected to a butane bottle a couple of feet away. There were about 2,000 burnt matches lying around. This was obviously the hot water.....
    I made very sure that the cabin windows were big enough to get out of in a hurry.
    Next morning, after sleeping well, I look out and waved at one of the classic seaweed gathering boats. Not unlike a viking ship, with a square sail and low freeboard. The seaweed was used as fertilizer on the local farms.Long gone now, as is, I expect, the coaster/hotel.

    Nice childrens book to go with the photo, A C-B

    A2

    I might just have a photo of the weed gathering boat in a drawer, I will look.
    Last edited by Andrew2; 11-23-2018 at 12:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Can well appreciate the work that goes into a boat like that but would have to say, did Noah design it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    It is just a low heap of rubble on the shoreline now, but there was a scallop dragger n Yarmouth that had been condemned, so a lady had it hauled up on the shore across the bay from town and converted it into a live-aboard ashore. She and her family lived there for twenty years or so before abandoning it.

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    This was an early 1900ís Jersey shore houseboat that was put up on pilings in the town of Sea Bright (probably the 30ís or so). At one time there were a number of similay house boats turned summer cottage along the riverís edge. This was the last one and sadly the to say the town didnít much care for it and it was torn down in 1987. (I took the picture in 1986.)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    The first clubhouse of Mount Sinai Yacht Club was a wooden barge. First in the water, then put ashore, it was condemned some years ago and replaced.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    ... sadly the to say the town didn’t much care for it and it was torn down in 1987.
    The folks on the hill don't like it when them scruffy houseboats disturb their multi-million dollar views. Even when it's a legal anchorage ...


  8. #8
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    Default Re: House boats of character...


  9. #9
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    I doubt that stowing a throne for the Emperor in that glass house would be a good idea! What would the neighbors say?
    Bird

  11. #11
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Maybe this?
    image.jpg

  12. #12
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Gotta love the spoiler for downforce.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    I'd been looking for this for a while:

    MARIQUITA, Fife, 19 metre...



    I remember her at Pin Mill. I even remember her with a board up at the shore end of the gangway saying that she was going to be restored, and I remember saying, "Like that's going to happen!"

    https://www.fairlieyachts.com/blog/2...e-of-mariquita

    I was wrong. I now see her on the hammerhead at the Berthon Boatyard in Lymington when I visit Kukri.

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-27-2018 at 11:54 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    And for this one:

    Merrymaid, Camper and Nicholson, 1904 Big Class, seen here in the saltings at Tollesbury in 1950



    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...8050-Merrymaid

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-25-2018 at 09:34 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    And this one, which I also knew as a boy, starting to sail at West Mersea:



    This is the 15 metre HISPANIA, another Fife...







    Odd to think that I knew all of these big yachts as houseboats, and now all three are back doing what they were designed and built to do..
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-25-2018 at 09:36 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Another one that I remember, also at West Mersea.. another Nicholson, like Merrymaid... this is the 1894 AVEL...



    A video clip for a change:

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    That is so nice to see! History resurrected!

  18. #18

    Default Re: House boats of character...

    I remember them in the 70,s, a mate of the guy I worked for in Sudbury lived on mariquita, I often walked on the marshes to see merrymaid, and at mersea
    Boat Designer. Boatbuilder

  19. #19
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    I think L’Esperance may still be in Mersea; she was the home of the concert pianist Alberto Semprini, and I believe HOTSPUR is still there too. The iron steam yacht SEAHORSE which I remember well was scrapped a few years ago.

    Here's an aerial photo of West Mersea saltings in 1962, courtesy of West Mersea Museum:



    The Museum has a key to the picture:

    1: HISPANIA 2: COLUMBINE 3: SEA SPRAY ('Tinker' Wood's housboat) 4: MULROY 5: DIADEM 6: KISMET 7: ARTEMIS 8: HOTSPUR 9: ARK ROYAL 10: smack GRACIE when Vic Herbert owned her 11: WW2 landing craft 12: MARY ROSE 13: VERA 14: OTHONA 15: 'L'ESPERANCE' (showing 'Snowball' Hewes' oyster pit) 16: MEG MERRILIES 17: HEREWARD - Dutch barge owned by Mr Heathcote 18: SEAHORSE 19: PEGGOTTY 20: AVEL 21: DOLPHIN.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-25-2018 at 02:45 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    A couple more pictures of MARIQUITA, both from West Mersea Museum:



    This is August 1939 and she is being sailed round to West Mersea from the Solent.. this was her last passage under sail before she was restored...

    Here she is on West Mersea Hard, a few days later, having her forty ton lead keel removed..



    Soon after WW2 or perhaps indeed during it MARIQUITA was in the Ferry Dock in Woodbridge owned by a Colonel, and was then moved to Pin Mill.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-25-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Here are, left to right, Hispania, (post 15, above and no.1 in the aerial photo in post 19, then Artemis, No.7 in the aerial picture in Post 19 and below... (buff colour hull) and L'Esperance, No/15 (white hull to the right / seaward)



    I think L'Esperance is still there today:




    Artemis, built by Summers and Payne in 1900, was dug out in 1994 and taken to Germany for a rebuild and emerged in 2010 looking like this:




    but that was not the end of the story as the rebuild was not done well, a lot of rot was found, there was a falling out amongst the syndicate that owned her and she is now like this:



    Sandeman (whose photos I have used) have now sold her and she is being sorted out again.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-26-2018 at 07:24 AM.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    All the houseboats I have illustrated are examples of what our ancestors would have called "hulks" - old wooden hulls laid aside in a sheltered spot, usually a mud berth, and used for the last few years of their lives as houseboats. This was what happened to very many wooden commercial and naval craft, of course. Indeed the few remaining timbers of HMS Beagle, which ended her life as Coastguard Watch Vessel 7, are in the River Roach, quite near by.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Crimes! It would take Men of Character to live in a hulk on those mudflats through an English Winter. 363 days a year of cold, damp leaky misery. And great beauty made ugly as well.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    We have to keep in mind that living on a hulk in the mudflats was cheap, you were not beholden to a landlord, and you could keep warm with a solid fuel stove. Britain was a much poorer place; most terrace houses had the WC at the end of the garden or yard and certainly no central heating. When Sir Vivian Fuchs the Antarctic explorer was asked by the BBC "What is the coldest place you have ever been?" he replied "The English Bedroom" and everyone in the country knew what he meant. This was a nation that polished its shoes every day and had a bath once a week.

    Oh, and aboard a houseboat hulk you got a View.

    These boats survived because they were looked after. Often by people living aboard them who knew a bit about boat maintenance, having grown up amongst boats, They knew the absolute importance of keeping fresh water out, and not over stressing the hull. I had a very good look at Merrymaid when she was in Heybridge Basin. The laid decks had been covered with threelayers of 1/4” thick WBF ply with the joints well staggered and the stanchions and other penetraions carefully caulked and the whole thing thickly slathered with red paint. Water was not going to get in.

    The thought occurs to me that these boats were laid ashore in 1939, that after WW2 nobody could afford such toys, but now there are plenty of people who can afford them again.

    Our society has become more unequal.
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-26-2018 at 07:22 AM.
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  25. #25
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    Nice of the very poor to preserve them for the very rich


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  26. #26
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Nice of the very poor to preserve them for the very rich


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    Not the very poor; the very poor could not have afforded to buy one. I had a schoolfriend whose parents lived aboard an ex WW2 MTB. Less photogenic but more room aboard.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    I am most enjoying your pictures and history Andrew. Interesting how this has preserved so many.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Thank you! But I seem to be monopolising this thread. There must be many more elegant and characterful houseboats in the world - mine just come from a forty mile stretch of England's east coast...
    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-26-2018 at 06:56 PM.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Irene of Bridgewater was used as a houseboat and then transformed into a fine sailing vessel (twice), all by the same owner
    http://www.ireness.com/history/

  30. #30
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Some early 1900's Jersey shore house boats




    And this house boat behind the pole (cir. 1910) was put up on pilings and turned into a boarding house




    And here is the same houseboat in the 1920's, enlarged and also a restaurant.




    ........... And now, more than 100 years later is that same houseboat in the core of the same Restaurant. .... A very popular and famous Jersey shore restaurant.




  31. #31
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Thanks for two very special houseboats!
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Surely it would have to include English canal boats?

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    I have always been a bit fascinated with your canal boats.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Yes, I think so...
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  35. #35
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    Default Re: House boats of character...

    Thanks for sharing those pics A C-B. Out here on the left coast of the US we don't have that nice long history of yachting and it seems that most of the old workboats, lumber schooners and the like, were beached, filled with rocks and used as breakwaters and piers. I appreciate seeing the transition of a lovely racing yacht that's fallen into disrepair, been saved as a houseboat and then restored to her racing glory. Happens too seldom.

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