Seahouses, Northumberland, UK 2004
For a Cornishman used to Atlantic swells and surf-swept beaches, inshore craft have always been a facination. As a teenager, I read Edgar March’s ‘Inshore Craft of Britain: in the Days of Sail and Oar’ and was hooked. The facination comes from the way boat design developed over the centuries to suit specific coastlines. Local conditions and local materials requred local solutions.
(WIth no apology for repeating myself) . . . as the world gets flatter, and commercial and political expediency blur the old boundaries, we have gradually (rapidly in many cases) lost the individuality in skills, knowledge and experience that go with it. You can still find it (as with this coble) – but you have to look hard.
The coble may work as a boat in Cornwall but it was shaped to deal with the tides of the North Sea and the beaches of the North East of England, no less than the boats of Southern Europe were shaped to deal with the relatively tideless Mediterranian.
Enjoy the difference and keep looking.
For the origin of this series – here