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58025Re: Weston Martyr - Not for $200 nor Millionaire - but how much?

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    Jul 6, 2008
      Hi Graeme

      Having had my say about the various rigs I turned up an old photo on ebay this morning (320268722719) showing a couple of barges at Putney both apparently fitted with dipping lugsails.Since getting upstream to Putney would involve shooting several bridges this may be what was known as bridge rig and was probably easier to drop than the spritsails normally used,although these were arranged so that the mast could be lowered if necessary.I think that the usual procedure later on for those was to drop the mast and then get a tow upriver,although if they were only going as far as the pool of london,just beyond Tower bridge,then that would be opened for them - I was stuck in traffic on the southern approach to the bridge a few months back waiting for a sailing barge to clear the bridge.

      Usual procedure with narrowboats seems to be to build them from the bottom up using 10mm flat plate cut about 1cm oversize so that all the welding is downwards - similar to Lions Paw.A friend who used to build them said that he could knock out a shell in about 3 weeks with a bit of labouring assistance,and WM is probably a simpler proposition once you've sorted out how to put the rocker in the base.The expense of fitting out a hull is going to be proportionate to the size though so a cheap hull,although a welcome saving,doesn't necessarily mean that the rest of the boat will be cheap.It sounds as if a lot of people who were building ferrocement boats a few years back hadn't quite grasped that.

      I think that if the dipping lug wasn't too suitable for river work I'd be inclined to rerig simply with a squaresail as in the Humber Keels.It all depends how the boat would be used.They can be fairly closewinded - see the sites dealing with the preserved example - and if you are not in a particular hurry to get anywhere then you can wait for a wind anyway.Thames barges mounted a small spritsail on the rudder to help with the steering after the barges started increasing in size and length a couple of hundred years ago
      andy airey
      PS I have a legal set of plans for the AS39 that I'm not sure that I'm going to use but might be interested in doing a swop for a set of 'Colonel Hasler' plans

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