Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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Boats, old and current, which are used mainly for inland or estary fishing.
A craft belonging to the same family as the peter-boat and Medway doble. It was cutter-rigged, having a trysail or mainsail without a boom. Rarely seen above Gravesend these popular fishing boats of the Thames lower reaches, could be rowed but were essentially sailing vessels or smacks. They were used for shrimping or catching whitebait.
The general-purpose and fishing boat of the Medway a few of which were still in use in the 1960s. They were about 12 feet long, 4 feet 3 inches in the beam and 17 inches deep. Although fitted with auxiliary motors since the 1930s, like the peter-boat, it could be used with oars or sails and was similar at both ends. Some had deep centre boards and were used mainly for sailing. The boats used for fishing had a wet well amidships, this being a tank in which to keep the catch alive until landing. A narrow space on either side of the well was used for stowing nets and other gear. Early types used drift nets while later craft used the beam trawl.
This Thames rowing or sailing boat was clinker-built, double-ended and was decked fore and aft. It was of sturdy construction and different versions were used for catching fish above and below London Bridge; they were known as the 'above-bridge' and 'below-bridge' types. The above-bridge boats were slightly smaller than the more popular craft of the lower river and estuary. They were named after Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. They were up to 25 feet long and 6 feet beam, of variable draught. The above-bridge types were smaller, some only about 14 feet long. Peter-boats had a well or hold amidships in which to store the catch.
This flat bottomed boat, usually propelled by a pole or quant, derived from the pontoon and dugout of ancient times. The original, rough punt, was used for fishing inland waters, moving slowly through still waters without too much disturbance. In the mid nineteenth century punts became popular for pleasure purposes and eventually for racing. A lighter, more elegant type emerged at this period, with greater overhang of the swim-ends.
This flat bottomed boat, derived from the pontoon and dugout of ancient times, was used for fishing inland waters, able to move slowly through still waters without much wash or disturbance, .It had plenty of space for fishing equipment and was normally propelled by a pole or quant. The term quant is used mainly in East Anglia.
Unlike the larger sailing trows used on the Severn and other rivers the Tyne trow was a form of double boat used for salmon-fishing and netting, with nets were lowered between two similar craft. The Tyne trow was a clinker-built boat, the hull 'doubled' with extra planking on the outside fitting below the overlap of the original planks, making it appear like a carvel-built type. After the mid nineteenth century there were very few trows, mainly owing to increased coal traffic and industrial pollution of the Tyne.