Essex Oyster Smacks

The east coast of England is home of the Essex Smacks, former fishing boats used to catch oysters. A characteristic of the cutter or ketch rigged boats is a flat hull with a keel, straight fore stem, overhanging stern, a low freeboard, low draft, long bowsprit and the steering with a tiller. Today's owners particularly appreciate the excellent sailing characteristics of the smacks and sail several exciting match races every year.

Thames Barges

From the mouth of the river Thames the Thames Barge comes, which was used as a work boat for loading and unloading larger ships and for transporting loads on rivers and along the coasts.

Typical are the large, mostly steel hull without a keel but with sideboards, a round bow and a relatively large sail area. So-called Swimmie, Stumpie or Sprittie differ mainly in the rigging, with or without bowsprit, with or without top bars. Thames Barges has been sailing Match Races since 1863. The annual Sailing Barge Championship is a series of regattas held at various locations on the east coast of England.

A special organisation, the Sailing Barge Association, was founded to serve as the umbrella association for Thames Barges.

Further reading...

Paul Brown
"Historic Sail",
Britain's surviving working craft,
The Historic Press, 2013, ISBN-13: 978 - 0 7524 8581 2