|Manufacturer:||Worfolk Bros, Kings Lyn|
|Model:East Coast Smack Yacht|
|Mooring Country:||United Kingdom|
There is a legitimate discussion to be had as to whether "VICTORIOUS" should be described as an East Coast Shrimper or a Tops'l Smack; but what is clear is that there cannot be any debate as to her powerful performance and remarkable history and rebuild.
Originally built by Worfolk Bros. of Kingslyn, that were building fishing craft of this type from the 1890's, it is believed that VICTORIOUS was laid down in 1902 - although the Shipping Trade Register and consequent 'Fishing Returns' didn't catch up with her then operators until 1924!
With an especially shallow draught to be able to dry out on the East Coast sandbanks, she was immensely stongly built of Larch on Oak to be able to withstand repeated groundings on and risings from the unforgiving, iron-like sands. The shallow draught enabled her to 'wriggle' back to her home port early for the prime market prices for her catch as soon the rising tide filled the 'guts' and channels and enabled shorter cuts over shallow sands to be exploited to beat the competition to those markets.
Apparently, her first 'iron mains'l would have been a Kelvin 'Poppet' semi-diesel and by 1925 records show that she was being manned by just 1 man and a 'boy'. After the second World War and with the abundance of redundant lorry engines that was available, a 6 cylinder Gardner diesel was fitted and her sailing rig removed and disposed of. She continued to be working well into the 1970's before being sold to a retired police officer who used her effectively as a giant fender to hold his GRP motorsailer off the wall at Bowle Quay, Kingslyn
After dredging operations within to remove the majority of the mud, the hull was floated and carefully lifted onto road transport to be delivered to Emsworth, Hampshire where she was gingerly off loaded into a garden and the real work commenced. It took Russell seven years to painstakingly re-build the centenarian lady to his exacting standards.
The current rig used includes a mast from a 44' Smack and, since her re-launching, Russell has dispensed with the second deckhouse ahead of the tiller and replaced it with a shallow well cockpit to lend deck space for sailing the vessel, while still affording light and access to two single bunks through an aluminium framed hatch by Lewmar. The main deckhouse has been replaced again by a wider structure to provide a greater area of saloon and galley offering standing headroom.
- - - A well respected smack-yacht with proven speed and sea keeping qualities, this vessel should appeal to the traditionalist with a competitive streak and, with a positive approach to re-finishing the internal arrangements, could appeal for cruising. The lines of this vessel will turn heads in whatever port she arrives. Call us now to hear more and to make arrangements to view her.
Accommodation currently comprises of a foc'sle for sail storage with single bunk to starboard and for'hatch to port with a self-contained heads compartment to port, all forward and beneath the for'deck . The deckhouse is situated over the main saloon/galley, with the latter running down the port side and a single berth/seating to starboard. Currently, a temporary plywood base board has been fitted over the original single bunk to provide a double berth as seen in some of our images. A small chart table/navigation base is provided immediately outboard and forward of the main companionway, with access possible from within the cabin space to two single berths beneath the steering cockpit, but requiring the removal of the companionway steps to achieve this - hence access to these berths is more frequently accomplished through the aluminium-framed Lewmar hatch set on the shallow cockpit's sole.
The engine is a four-cylinder Perkins 4.236 rated at approx. 55 hp driving a hydraulic bent axis piston pump to which two independent propeller shafts are fitted complete with folding propellers enabling this traditional, long-keeled hull to be turned and manoeuvred on the proverbial sixpence! Jaw-dropping convenience for use in tight berthing situations.