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One of my distant uncles owned a boat (Ann & Helen or sometimes Ann & Ellen in shipping columns) which he used to trade round Scotland and Northern Ireland around 1850s-1860s.
It was described in one place as a 'large fishing smack' and another as a 'sloop'.
I'm trying to track down a picture of what such a smack/sloop would have looked like at that period. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome.
 

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Thanks Laurie, looks good. From what I'd read I thought a sloop had one mast but this one has two. Great to see such an old vessel restored and still sailing though!
Alan
 

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One of my distant uncles owned a boat (Ann & Helen or sometimes Ann & Ellen in shipping columns) which he used to trade round Scotland and Northern Ireland around 1850s-1860s.
It was described in one place as a 'large fishing smack' and another as a 'sloop'.
I'm trying to track down a picture of what such a smack/sloop would have looked like at that period. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome.
Hello and welcome,
I do not know what further information you have on this vessel.
Do you have any idea when it was built or where it was registered?
Are you at liberty to give us your distant uncles name and place of residence?

regards
Roger
 

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Hi Roger,
His name was Donald Gillies, and he resided at Applecross on the west coast of Scotland. There's no port there (it's a small crofting community). He used a lawyer and bank branch in Portree (Skye) just across the sound from Applecross, so I'm not sure if it may have been registered there. Alternatively I know modern day fishing boats in Applecross are registered at Broadford. I haven't found any reference to the boat except in the shipping columns of various newspapers. I don't know when or where it was built or registered. Donald appears in a register of seamen at Aberdeen in 1847 where he went to sea originally as a fisherman. He then, through his "industry and frugality", bought the Ann & Helen and traded between Applecross, Macduff (NE Scotland), the western isles and Northern Ireland. Sometimes he sailed through the Caledonian Canal and sometimes went round the north of Scotland via Longhope in Orkney.
 

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One of my distant uncles owned a boat (Ann & Helen or sometimes Ann & Ellen in shipping columns) which he used to trade round Scotland and Northern Ireland around 1850s-1860s.
It was described in one place as a 'large fishing smack' and another as a 'sloop'.
I'm trying to track down a picture of what such a smack/sloop would have looked like at that period. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome.
The "Fifie" then became the predominant fishing boat on the Scottish east coast. They were used from the 1850’s. These boats were two masted with a main dipping lugsail and a mizzen sail. The masts were set quite far forward and aft to release a good working space. Fifies built from 1860 onwards were all decked, and from the 1870s onwards the bigger boats were built with carvel planking, i.e. the planks were laid edge-to-edge instead of the overlapping clinker style of previous boats. Some boats were now being built up to about 70 feet (21 m) in length and were very fast and built until well into the 20th century.
The much earlier "Skaffie" (circa. Moray Firth abt.1800) had two masts - a poor seaboat by all accounts. After the "Fifie" in 1850 came the Zulu about 1880, two masted also.

below; the "Fifie"- "Reaper" - built mainly for fishing and some, for general trading
 

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Thanks Bill and Harry. I think he bought the boat in 1850 or 1851. I assumed it would be an old one, second hand, rather than new built but I'm not sure. If it was one of these two masted ones, how likely is it that it would be described as a sloop?
 

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Thanks Laurie, looks good. From what I'd read I thought a sloop had one mast but this one has two. Great to see such an old vessel restored and still sailing though!
Alan

" Sloop " and " smack " are general terms relating to small sailing vessels, which can have up three masts and be square rigged.

In the RN a sloop referred to a vessel carrying 18 guns or less.

ATB


Laurie.
 

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The Mercantile Navy list has an entry for the "Ann & Ellen", Official Number 22790, sloop rigged, 30 tons, built at Pwllheli in 1831 and registered at Inverness. In the 1870s her registered owner was "Donald McRae, Applecross, Skye". Sloop or smack was a term used in shipping registers to describe a single masted vessel with fixed or running bowsprit carrying fore and aft sails. Example here:
https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/10187
 

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how likely is it that it would be described as a sloop?
could be a misnomer, such as this description -
"One of the “big ketches”, a design developed from the original Brixham cutters of the early 19th century. The cutter-rigged boats were known in Devon as “Mumble Bees”, ketches of up to 40 tons were “mules” and those over that size were “ketches” or even, perversely, “sloops”. "

the Brixham cutter
 

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The Mercantile Navy list has an entry for the "Ann & Ellen", Official Number 22790, sloop rigged, 30 tons, built at Pwllheli in 1831 and registered at Inverness. In the 1870s her registered owner was "Donald McRae, Applecross, Skye". Sloop or smack was a term used in shipping registers to describe a single masted vessel with fixed or running bowsprit carrying fore and aft sails. Example here:
https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/10187
That photograph looks very much like Moel - y- Don on Anglesey- opposite Y Felinheli ( Port Dinorwic ) which was the ferry crossing point .

There is remains of a wooden cargo (? ) vessel there. I wonder if that is the above mentioned vessel.

ATB

Laurie.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Mercantile Navy list has an entry for the "Ann & Ellen", Official Number 22790, sloop rigged, 30 tons, built at Pwllheli in 1831 and registered at Inverness. In the 1870s her registered owner was "Donald McRae, Applecross, Skye". Sloop or smack was a term used in shipping registers to describe a single masted vessel with fixed or running bowsprit carrying fore and aft sails. Example here:
https://www.peoplescollection.wales/items/10187
Thanks Eddy, that's some really useful information. Looks like she was built in 1831 for a Lewis Evans and sold to Dublin in 1843 - http://www.rhiw.com/y_mor/adeiladu_llongau/pwllheli.htm - I'll keep hunting for more info.
 
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