Tag Archives: Crane

Reviving Old Skills

During the weekend of 10/11 September 2016 Maud made history.

Do you know anyone who has witnessed a wherry being loaded in the traditional way using her mast as a crane*?
Well, now there are some Heritage Open Day visitors to Thurne who have seen that skill demonstrated.

Bystanders watching cargo being loaded : Sept 2016
Bystanders watching cargo being loaded.

The crew removed some of Maud’s hatches and stacked them either end of the hold, then they lowered the gaff and sail down onto them. That left an area of the hold open for loading and unloading. The mast was then lowered to a suitable angle for lifting from the centre of the hold.

Lifting cargo out of Maud's hold : Sept-2016
Lifting cargo out of Maud’s hold.

One of the crew operated the winch and heavy sacks and a large bag of reed were (almost) effortlessly transferred from wherry to bank and back again throughout the day.

Loading cargo at Thurne on 11 Sept 2016
Loading cargo at Thurne on 11 Sept 2016.

It was skipper Kim Dowe who taught the crew how it was done in preparation for the event. He learnt his skills from his father Vic who was a wherryman and who sailed Albion in the 1950s.

Skyscape with Maud's mast lifting gaff : Sept 2016
Skyscape with Maud’s mast lifting gaff.

*Note that the block at the mast head is suspended from the crane iron.