IFOS 2003

Sailing Barge Cabby

92 x 21.5 ft
Displacement 96.8 tons
76 Reg. Tons

Built of wood (pitchpine on oak) by Gill at Rochester in 1928, and believed to be the last wooden sailing barge built. She was actually started in 1925, but not completed until 3 years later.

The Gill brothers were well known barge builders, and constructed several similar craft, but were left with the Cabby when their client became bankrupt. They put her into trade and their success led to the formation of the Rochester Barge Company, later to become the London and Rochester Trading Company.

She carried grain, animal feeds, timber and other bulk cagoes betweeen the London docks, Colchester, Whitstable and various ports on the south end east coasts.

In the Second World War, she was sent on War Service to the Clyde, via Ireland, and then to the Hebrides, where she was given a new wheelhouse. She spent additional time during the war in Greenock.

After the war she went back to work until trade in the London Docks became no longer viable, carrying her last freight in the late 1960's. She has been converted to passenger use, and is currently based on the River Blackwater in Essex, and avaialable for charter work through Marine Event Management.

This model was built by Ray Parrott using a fibre glass hull from Tony Williams, and is a well known competitor in the Model Sailing Barge Races held each year.

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