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Thread: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

  1. #1
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    Default Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

    Hello,
    I am looking for sources of information on the types of small working boats that would have been common on the rivers and canals of Britain. I have numerous books on traditional working craft, but these invariably focus on the larger schooners, ketches and barges or inshore and offshore fishing boats.

    Plenty of these books contain photos, featuring insidental shots of smaller rowing boats, but there is rarely any info alongside.

    I have the book 'The boats of the Somerset Levels' which has good information and photos of the unusual dory-like, simply built boats of the area where I grew up. And McKee's 'Working boats of Britain' has some good insights as well as the lines of a few river boats: punts, a Wye salmon boat, a Thames waterman's skiff, as well as the flatners of the Somerset levels, but I am hungry for more!

    I imagine there must have been numerous small boats plying the rivers until relatively recently, ferrying passengers and general small cargos, fishing, farmers moving hay etc. And there must have been numerous local styles. Has all this knowledge been lost?

    Any pointers towards sources along these lines would be greatly appreciated, as well as any snippets of knowledge that you have.

    Many thanks
    Pete

  2. #2

    Default Re: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?


  3. #3

    Default Re: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

    edgar march, john leather, robert simper,rolt, wherries,hervey benham

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

    This has some, in amongst the coastal craft https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chatham-dir.../dp/1861760299

    and this also has a few: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-sear...or/mckee-eric/


    Borrow them from your library before shelling out for them, although both would grace any bookshelf.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

    Thanks folks.

    Nick, I have those two excellent books. I'd forgotten there are a few examples in 'Inshore Craft'. I found a couple of gun punts and salmon boats.

    Peter, I've found a good selection of books available froim those authors, most do look to be coastal, but it looks like there'd be plenty of interesting stuff in there.

    Cheers both

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peat View Post
    Thanks folks.

    Nick, I have those two excellent books. I'd forgotten there are a few examples in 'Inshore Craft'. I found a couple of gun punts and salmon boats.

    Peter, I've found a good selection of books available froim those authors, most do look to be coastal, but it looks like there'd be plenty of interesting stuff in there.

    Cheers both
    Sorry for missing that you had McKee.
    If you can extend your interest to Ireland, this is also excellent, and does include river craft. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Traditional.../dp/1905172397
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Small, traditional working river craft of Britain?

    Interresting that irish book.
    Specialy the "rush raft" visible on one of the small pics on the back cover.
    I'm curious to know more about that "cage boat"... but my curiosity is weaker than the price of the book.

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