"Albert" Boston Smack, hull and gear Lying Suffolk
One of the few photos of Albert. At the tiller is Frank Barton, in the trilby, George Barton and in the cap Frank Damms.
Albert's hull is a beautiful fast shape and it is basically all new.
Currently the hull stops at the top plank and the deck beams. The next job is a covering board and then we were going to make steel stanchions of approx 2 ft high L shaped and bolted down through a 2 " covering board into the top of the old stanchions which have been cut off at deck level. The Bulwarks would be attached to these steel uprights with a false oak piece on the front of each stanchion. This worked well with my previous smack, Northseaman. The coachroof should not then be much higher than the bulwarks i.e. 2 - 2.5 ft high this would give loads of headroom.
When the deck is finished, if the interior is kept simple in the fishing smack tradition, then the amount of work and expense to produce a fantastic cruising gaffer should not be high
I have access for lead for ballast (approx 7 tons will be required) and I know someone that makes up ingots to fit and his charges are reasonable. We can also obtain green oak locally, very reasonably.
There is a large stock of planking and timber that will go with the boat to help towards the restoration
Planking for the deck
Everything for this boat should be done like a working boat. The fisherman that had these boats built were not wealthy but were very sensible,
No one really owns a boat like Albert, she exists in her own right and is a part of our history. Those who have owned her are really only custodians. It is great to see the loving care, labour and, no doubt, expense, that has been put into her towards getting her back sailing again.
The cost of producing a new hull, today, to the same stage as Albert's, would probably be in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The bulk of the hull restoration was carried out by the previous owner, Martin Yardley, over a ten year period whilst he was shipwright at Robertson's boatyard at Woodbridge. The current owner bought her in 1998 and has continued the work, fitting new beam shelves, bilge stringers, and deck beams as time and funds have allowed. He now has additional commitments and a young family and wants someone with more time and effort to take over the restoration.
The current owner previously owned another smack built by Gostelows and has a wealth of information and knowledge that he is happy to share with whoever takes over the project.
She has enormous potential and, with the worst of the work already completed could be made into a super ship for relatively little expense. I believe that she is exceptional value for money.