All sailing barges have their own barge boat (or FOOT BOAT as they are known as in barging circles), and Juno is to be no exception! Usually stowed in davits when at sea on larger barges, but also towed, these sturdy 14ft boats had a multitude of uses in the days of sail alone, ranging from acting as a tender to transport crew and provisions to and from barges at anchor, taking winching lines ashore when barges were manoeuvring in restricted areas such as docks, and assisting with steerage when barges were making passage down river with the tide in very light airs ( by attaching a rope from the barge boat to the end of the barge’s bowsprit and the boat being rowed to gently ease the barge one way or another).
These very versatile little boats were always rowed or sculled ( no outboard engines!) and we will be following the same tradition!
After many months of searching for an original wooden barge boat which could be restored, Charlie was unable to find a suitable boat with had a reasonable length of life ahead of her. Those available were all too dilapidated. Then he heard that a boatbuilder near Maldon had taken a mould off an original barge boat which barge skippers generally agreed was one of the finest boats of this type both in terms of lines and also hull form.
Hull moulding no. 3 was subsequently purchased and Maldon boatbuilder JAMIE CLAY was commissioned to outfit her to Charlie’s exacting specification.
Here she is in Jamie’s yard nearing completion, with launching planned for mid-June.
Charlie will be using his barge boat on almost every charter, towing her behind Juno and using her to row charterers ashore to land them on remote beaches for walking and exploring while Juno is anchored a short way offshore in shallow waters. The boat will be capable of transporting at least 8 adults.
More to follow soon about the launching and trials of this exciting new boat!