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Alert, Smuggling Boat Replica, Lying Devon

[Alert home ] Sails and Deck Gear ] Saloon ] Galley ] Nav Station ] Forecabin ] Heads ] Specifications ] [ Construction ] Comments ]

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Alert is a carefully researched, replica Smuggling Boat as used in the 1830s. She has been designed with complete reference to contemporary plans held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Science Museum.  Alert is built to Lloyds Standards.


The Alert is of deep displacement with good form stability. The V-shaped sections and fine run give an extremely seaworthy vessel which will be powerful to windward. To conform with today's safety standards she has a lead ballast keel. This vessel is traditionally build using methods of construction that have stood the test of time.


The keel is Opepe 6" x 9" (a West African hardwood). The stem, sternpost, deadwood and stem knee are Opepe 5" x 9". These large sections give enormous strength to the boat's centreline. The backbone is fastened with 3/4" riveted copper rod.


Double sawn Oak frames fastened with 3/8" copper rod at each station. Dimensions at keel 2 x 2 1/4" x 4". Dimensions at deck 2 " x 2 ".
Steamed Oak frames in between each station 1 3/4" x 1 '/4".


Lower hull clinker planking of Scottish Larch at 1", garboard at 1 ". Top three planks of Oak and thicker to give the vessel extra longitudinal strength and durability. Planking is fastened with riveted copper nails and bronze screws. The frame assembly and clinker planking (with effectively a stringer every plank) give the hull enormous strength.


15" of beaded bulwarks on Oak and Opepe stanchions surround the deck. They are surmounted by an Oak capping rail. Inside the bulwarks strong cavil rails with belaying pins give ample room for fastening halyards and mooring ropes. 

The vessel's name, Alert. and port of registry, the famous smuggling port of Fowey. are carved in the transom.

Deck beams

Deck beams are 3" x 3" Opepe with bead and carving in the coach roofs. These are braced by substantial Opepe knees and fastened with 3/8" riveted copper. All rest upon a large beam shelf that is fastened to the frames with 3/8" riveted copper.

Deck planking

The deck planking is clear and straight grained Douglas Fir 3 " x 1 '/4", caulked and payed with Jeffrey's No. 2 and left bare. The deck is fastened with 3" galvanised boat spikes.

Cabin sides

The cabin sides are 2" hardwood, varnished. A flat sliding hatch, offset to port, is the access below decks. The cabin roof is covered with a canvas that is secured in place by wedges and battens in the traditional manner. Four 5" fully opening bronze port holes are set in the cabin sides and fastened with bronze bolts.

Cargo hatch

The cargo hatch sides are 2 1/4" thick dovetailed and through bolted through the deck beams and carlings with 10mm stainless steel (as the cabin sides). The hatch is covered with a canvas cover on top of wooden boards that are removable so that in pleasant weather the canvas can be rolled back and some boards removed. In the middle of the cargo hatch is an opening skylight with 8mm laminated glass.

Deck furniture

The Alert is fitted with a genuine Victorian capstan and a small swivel canon (non-firing). A 60 lb fisherman's anchor is supplied with approximately 50 metres of 3/8" galvanised chain. The vessel is steered with a carved Oak tiller from an Oak thwart that extends full beam. The engine controls are mounted on the mizzen and the compass binnacle is mounted forward of the thwart. Two bronze mushroom vents and four glass deck prisms are fitted.


A lead ballast keel giving 60% of the vessel's ballast is through bolted every 18" with 3/4" bronze bolts.

  The remaining 40% of trimming ballast is in the form of lead ingots fastened across the keel in the bilges.


The two masts are hewn from locally cut Douglas Fir trees. The bowsprit, outrigger and yards are laminated Douglas Fir to give them more rigidity in their smaller sections. The iron work for the rig is all custom made by the Morwellham blacksmith and galvanised. All structural joints are arc welded for extra strength. 


[ Alert home ] Sails and Deck Gear ] Saloon ] Galley ] Nav Station ] Forecabin ] Heads ] Specifications ] [ Construction ] Comments ]
For further details or to arrange to view, please contact Adrian  Espin at: - Astonbury Marine Services 
19 Colne Road, Brightlingsea, Essex, CO7 0DL  Tel: 01206 305 996  or +44 1206 305 996   

or email to:

In this case we are acting as Brokers only. The Vendor is not selling in the course of a business. Whilst every care has been taken in their preparation, the correctness of these particulars is not guaranteed. The particulars are intended only as a guide and they do not constitute a term of any contract. A prospective buyer is strongly advised to check the particulars and, where appropriate, to have the vessel fully surveyed and inspected, sea trialled and opened up.  All Content is copyright - all rights reserved.