Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thames Sailing Barge


By Nicholas Biebuyck

The Thames sailing barge is a type of commercial boat used in the 19th century to transport goods in and around the Thames estuary. Their flat bottom and simple rigging made them easy ships to pilot (only requiring a crew of two) in the shallow waters and creeks surrounding the area. They were traditionally wooden hulled and between 80 and 90 feet in length with a beam of 20 feet, running spritsail rigging on two masts. The smaller rear sail is mainly used for steering when tacking. The sails gain their rust red colour from the red ochre used in the dressing to waterproof them.


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