Category Archives: sb Decima

Hugh’s photo of Tollesbury at Standard Quay

I’m very sorry there have been no posts on The Barge Blog since August.   September, October and most of November are my busiest months in “real life” and I just don’t have the time to deal with it, although I do manage the occasional post to the Society’s Facebook page.

Members of the Society should now have received the autumn edition of our excellent magazine Mainsheet  –  and if you aren’t a member and don’t have Mainsheet then you’re really missing something.   Mainsheet contained the news that Hugh Perks has stood down from the Committee of SSBR.   Tollesbury October 2015We are all very sad that he has come to this decision, although we understand his reasons.   Hugh is a founder member of the Society, has held office and has brought his vast knowledge of maritime subjects to our deliberations and indeed to our publications.  

Thankfully, Hugh has said that he intends to continue to bombard us with letters, notes, corrections, etc, to keep the Committee on its toes.   And as good as his word, he has sent us this splendid photograph of sb Tollesbury.   He says:- “Tollesbury is now based at Standard Quay, Faversham, as her former berth at Barking is no longer available. She is looking very smart and well painted up.   Her mast and topmast need attention, but the sprit is newly painted.   The foliage in pots on the decks and hatches surely qualifies her for the “Valdora Trophy”.   Old timers may remember Valdora the ‘flowerpot’ barge at Great Yarmouth in the early 1950s.

“Also at Standard Quay is sb Decima, sporting somewhat virulent green paint in places, and sb Repertor is berthed opposite. “

 

A new chapter for Decima?

News today that sb Decima is up for sale.   The Apollo Duck website has an advertisement from MJLewis Boatsales of Maldon offering the 1899-built Thames sailing barge for sale at £160,000.

Decima off Southend Pier, Southend Match 2013.

Decima off Southend Pier, Southend Match 2013.

Decima was built by FG Fay & Co of Southampton, being one of twenty identical steel barges built by the company for EJ Goldsmith’s of Grays, who traded her until the late 1940s.   The 67 ton, 85 foot barge’s history includes ownership by Rayfields of Gravesend, and then Greenhithe Lighterage as a motor barge.

She was sold out of trade to Dennis Wildish in 1977 and he re-rigged her as a charter barge. In 1999 she was sold to Jeremy Taunton as a houseboat.

Master shipwright and well-known sailing barge restorer Tim Goldsack, her present owner, bought Decima in 2003 and started a major restoration.   She was gutted and a substantial number of the hull and deck plates were replaced. She was given a new set of rigging and good second-hand sails.   A new Gardner 6LXB engine was fitted.   Decima has three cabins, with six berths, and central heating was installed when her owner lived aboard her for two years.

In July 2004 Decima set her sails for the first time in over 15 years, and has since been seen regularly around the East coast.   She has recently been based at Heybridge Basin, and in 2010 Wilkin and Son Ltd of Tiptree, Essex, (the famous makers of jams, marmalades, and conserves), became her sponsors.   Consequently the Tiptree logo has been displayed in her topsail.

According to the advertisement Decima is now at Faversham.   Here’s the link to the advertisement on the Apollo Duck website.

Thanks to the Decima website for the following interesting titbits from her history:-

“Things have not always run smoothly for Decima.   She has had many mishaps in her long history.   Most notably in 1938, during a severe gale, her crew abandoned her off Great Yarmouth, and she sailed herself across the North Sea to Holland!   She was relatively unscathed, and was returned to England where she was repaired and returned to work.   On November 17th 1940 she was swamped and sank whilst at anchor off Southend pier with a deck cargo of timber.   She was re-floated, refitted, and once again was put back to work!”  

Swale Match – closely fought and exciting

The general opinion seems to be that this year’s Swale Match,

Swale Barge Match fleet 2012

held last Saturday, was the best race of the season.   And it had a “newcomer” in that Niagara took part, less than a week after she returned to the active barge fleet.

Hugh Perks sent us this very welcome Match report:-

“The Match started in light airs east, soon getting up SE and just up to Force 6 for the run home.

Cabby made the fastest start, 20 seconds after the gun.  There were some thrilling finishes. 

Mirosa and Marjorie taking it right down to the wire

In the bowsprit class Mirosa beat Marjorie by the tip of her bowsprit, (half a second between them).  3rd was Lady of the Lea, (the only other bowsprit barge), which incurred a 5 hour penalty for starting 15 minutes early with the staysail barges, and was banned from entering public houses for the next two years. 

In the Staysail Class Niagara and Repertor were neck and neck at the finish, with Repertor one second ahead.  After a protest on the matter of something earlier in the match, Repertor was given a 5 minute time penalty, giving Niagara the victory.   Decima was 3rd, getting the Percy Wildish Cup which was fittingly presented by “Beefy” Wildish’s son.

Repertor and Niagara fighting for the line

Restricted Staysails went to Cabby, (in spite of also incurring a time penalty).  There was a close finish for 2nd place between Phoenician and Orinoco, (27 seconds), but it was given to Orinoco as Phoenician had failed to go round one of the marks.   3rd was Greta and 4th Pudge.

The fastest smack was Alberta, but on handicap went to Emeline.

Around 70 vessels took part in the match.”

(Photos by Dave Brooks)