Monday, 14 October 2013

Glimpses of Montgomery

Montgomery (or the Jam Butty) update
October 2013

Its been several weeks since I provided an update on Montgomery and truth be told we have been too busy to go to Stretton and have a look. What is more, the deal is that we wont take delivery till next summer, so the work can be fitted in round the other boatyard commitments and there is no expectation of an early completion.

The new gunnels go on

But that's not to say I am not interested. In fact, as time goes on I am more and more fascinated with how this little craft will look, swim and operate as a preserve selling base. In idle moments I find myself thinking about what we will do with it, how we will tow it, how much drag it will offer and what sort of progress we will make when under way. Then there is the interior - so many possibilities....

The general plan will be to get the hold painted and sheeted first, thus making her watertight and secure, worrying about the back cabin as phase two. Any suggestions about where to get the sheeting / cloths from?

Well, here are a few images showing that work is underway, the gunnels have been fitted straightening the sides and a cover has been erected over her to let them carry on in bad weather - all very exciting. But the sad fact is that I still havn't seen her - the photos were taken by my brother who called in on his way past and he spent tome time having a look at her.

But these past months havnt been idle. I have made some enquiries and found out a lot about the type of BCN day boat that the bows came from - the stern of one of a dozen or so boats built on the Ridgeacre Arm in 1911 /1912. Its odd that the stern looks seriously old but is a reproduction whereas the "bows" are the real McCoy. Can you see the rivet holes on the waterline in the top picture? They were supporting the steel steerers platform which has since been removed and the absence of gunnels is probably because the stern had a short cabin on it, which went right to the sides of the hull. But that is conjecture based on similar boats from that era.

Now here is the thing:

To qualify as a "historic" boat it seems that the craft has to basically include the bulk of the hold of the original craft. That means that using just the stern portion which was cut off and discarded when the butty was converted to a motor does not qualify! Relatively speaking, there are loads of front ends kicking around - all with their new engine rooms, back cabins and counters - but almost all of these historic stern ends have been scrapped. They are like hens teeth and, whilst I may be a bit biased here, surely their preservation deserves some recognition?

As Rolf would have said - can you see it yet?

Anyway, that is all just an aside. In a few days the wedding which has consumed so much of our time will be over, and we will be taking a much anticipated break on Wand'ring Bark and plan to stop off at Stretton Wharf on our way up the Shropshire Union. 

More updates in future weeks.

1 comment:

Davidss said...

re "Any suggestions about where to get the sheeting / cloths from?".
I suggest a conversation with Sarah Chertsey should prove rewarding.