Sailing Barges

Sailing barge Goldfinch (oil on canvas)

Goldfinch

Faversham Built, Faversham Registered, Sailing Barge, Official Number 89869

Oil on canvas, 45x35 cm, £165 including frame

 

Goldfinch was built in Faversham in 1894 by John Matthew Goldfinch who became the town's most famous individual shipbuilder. He built at least 30 sailing barges. One of the largest, schooner-rigged vessel launched and one of only two barges to carry proper topsails, Goldfinch was a 'tour de force' of design and construction. She made a special name for herself when, in 1930, she was sold for service in British Guiana. Though designed only for estuarial and coastal trade in Britain, she successfully negotiated the rougher waters of the Atlantic, reaching her destination in 45 days. There, she served as a tender in the liner trade and later as a general river and coastal cargo vessel. It was not until 1949 that she was condemned, after 55 years service on both sides of the ‘Pond'.

Nellie

Faversham Registered, Faversham Built, Sailing Barge, Official Number 114452

Oil on canvas, 40x30 cm, £145 including frame

 

Nellie is the only remaining Faversham registered, Faversham built sailing barge still afloat.

 

As the London suburbs spread, there was accelerating demand for bricks, most of which came from Kent. Faversham barges had an important role in this trade, bringing the distinctive yellow-coloured bricks to the city and returning laden with waste, mostly coal-fire ash for use in the brick-making process. The 43 ton Nellie was built in 1901 at Hollowshore, Faversham, by Charles Cremer as a spritsail wooden barge. In the early 1900s, Cremer’s brickfields at Ham and Lady Dane were manufacturing up to 10 million bricks a year. They owned a fleet of 12 sailing barges. After a chequered history, Nellie has been restored and rigged as a 'stumpy' barge for sailing single-handedly. She is now based at Maldon in Essex.

Sailing barge Nellie (oil on canvas)
Sailing barge Eye of the Wind (ink & watercolour)

Eye of the Wind

Faversham Registered, Sailing Barge, Official Number 363398, IMO 5299864

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame [Sold]

(Based on a photograph, courtesy of Eye of the Wind)

 

Eye of the Wind is a brigantine-rigged, tall sailing ship built in 1911 in Germany, originally as a topsail schooner named Friedrich. She was used for the American hide trade, later for transporting cargoes in the Baltic and North seas, and for fishing for herring off Iceland. In 1970, she was severely damaged by a fire that almost ended her days at sea. She was bought in 1973 by “Tiger” Timbs who began restoring her at Faversham and gave her the name of Eye of the Wind - the result was a jewel of a luxury sailing ship, unique throughout the world. She was registered at Faversham in recognition of the extraordinary endeavours of the local people with her restoration. Today, with new owners, you can sail on her as she regularly voyages to major ports of the world – www.eyeofthewind.net

James & Ann

Faversham Registered, Sailing Barge, Official Number 114455

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame [Sold]

(Based on a photograph, courtesy of the Keen Collection)

 

Peter and Doris Stevens are my neighbours in Faversham. Doris's father - Captain Albert Keen - was master of the James & Ann which, by all accounts, was an unlucky barge. She was sunk in collision three times. Each time she was raised, repaired and put back to work. After all these mishaps, Albert retired - which was a good job as two years later in 1952, the barge was run down by a Dutch ship and the skipper and his wife were drowned, but their son survived. When Albert retired from the water, he was employed for six years as bridge-master of Faversham swing bridge. The James & Ann was built at Conyer yard by Alfred White and launched in 1903.

Sailing barge James & Ann (ink & watercolour)
Sailing barge Eye of the Wind (ink)
Sailing barge Goldfinch (ink)
Sailing barge Nellie (ink)

Eye of the Wind

Faversham Registered, Sailing Barge, Official number 363398

Acrylic Ink, 25x17.5 cm, £45 including frame [Sold]

 

This historic and unique tall sailing ship was completely restored in Faversham. Now over 100 years old, she is still embarking on sailing adventures.

Goldfinch

Faversham Registered, Sailing Barge, Official Number 89869

Acrylic Ink, 25x17.5 cm, £45 including frame [Sold]

 

This was one of the largest sailing barges built at Faversham and named after John Goldfinch who became the town's most famous individual ship builder.

Sailing barge Pretoria (ink)

Nellie

Faversham Registered, Fishing Boat, Official Number 114452

Acrylic Ink, 25x17.5 cm, £45 including frame [Sold]

 

The only remaining Faversham registered and Faversham built sailing barge. She can still be enjoyed today seen sailing out along the east coast.

Pretoria

Faversham Registered, Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 114454

Acrylic Ink, 25x17.5 cm, £45 including frame [Sold]

 

Converted in 1964 into a floating restaurant on the Thames in London. She has since been broken up.

The function, size, shape and rigging of sailing barges evolved over time. The well-known 'Thames' barge is a type of commercial sailing boat once common on the East Coast. They were built for strength. They had flat bottoms to allow them to be easily beached or lie on the river mud, and were rigged to allow them to be operated by two men and possibly a lad. They were built in barge yards adjacent to a river or creek on barge blocks. Hundreds of wooden barges of different designs were built along the north Kent coast, including many at Faversham. The larger barges were seaworthy vessels having two or more main masts and characterised by the configurations of their rigging and sails - schooners, brigantines, brigs, barquentines and barques.

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