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 Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Tue 21 Jan 2014, 18:58

Further to my questions last year about gg-granddad's ship, the Bob and Harry (reg no.62341), for which the consensus here seemed to be that she was indeed very like an early Clyde puffer, with a forward derrick, a single hold amidships, and a simple, probably open, bridge aft, built over the boiler and engine .... I have an update and a new question.

From searching through shipping reports in British newspapers I have now been able to fairly comprehensively chart the Bob and Harry's movements from mid 1877 to end 1881 as she trundled up and down the North-East coast from the River Tees, through her home port on the Tyne, to the ports on the Firth of Forth and up as far as Dundee. Some of her typical cargoes were: coal from Newcastle to everywhere else; salt, nitrate and lead from Hartlepool; herrings from Sunderland and Eyemouth; spun and woven jute from Dundee, potatoes from Montrose  …  manure to Tayport and Montrose; barley to Leith; wheat to Berwick; potatoes to Jarrow; cement and pit props back to Newcastle … and so forth.

From these newspaper reports I've also discovered that in 1882 he took over another vessel for the same Newcastle shipping company. This ship the Blue Billy (reg no.67239) was very slightly larger but essentially much the same and she carried on the same coastal work from Jan 1882 until gg-granddad retired in 1890.

But before these two ships,  between 1871 and 1873, he was master of a small wooden sailing vessel registered at 34 tons which carried coal and 'purple ore' down to Stockton on Tees, returning to the Tyne with pig iron. She was called the Harriet (reg no. 62316), and she's classed in the Merchantile Shipping Register as 'a dandy'.

And that is my question for all you nautical coves....  what is a dandy ?
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Tue 21 Jan 2014, 20:14

Two masts, fore & aft rig, after mast shorter than fore mast. Technically should have the mizzen stepped on the rudder post, but not always done - could be used to describe a ketch or a yawl.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Tue 21 Jan 2014, 21:17

Thanks for that Gil, I thought you'd probably know  Smile
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 12:21

A most interesting research, mm, of your family's rich past. I'll not get into the ketch/yawl trap - often used to unsettle blustery nautical folk who actually don't know their mast from their mizzen - but note that a dandy was - in Kent - a fishing boat with a crew of 6. Seems large number of crew to me. East coast spritesails - often called London barges - only ever needed a crew of 2.

There were small craft plying east coastral routes that in the south were called hoys- after a Dutch name for a broad beamed chubby craft (how very Dutch) suitable for coastal and shallower draught waters.

I have an assortment of water type people on both sides my background from Admirals of the White  and such to a g g grandparent whose husband was first mate on her ship. They both died in a seafire - well presumably and possibly near Wales but I have often wondered if they were really on a canal boat.

Once, when helming a large craft, I was asked if I had inherited a fear of fire at sea in my genes - we don't have a hand on head smiley for my response.  However, my mother, close by remarked that as I was sitting over the boat's oil tank and smoking/and stubbing in  somewhat cavalier fashion, 'She's not inherited my common sense, that's for certain.' They all  then went f'rward pd fast.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 13:09

Fishing boats needed a large crew to handle the nets etc. Also led to the use of some rigs (like dipping lugs and smack rig) that weren't much in favour in carrying trades.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 14:11

I could do with a few admirals in my ancestry P, that at least would make it easier to chart their careers. Most of my lot were just humble mariners or keelmen: gggranddad went to sea aged 14 in 1842, but it's only when he gained his master's certificate in 1870 that he emerges from obscurity and one can find glimpses of his working life.

But one of my more distant ancestors did however once have occasion to write to George Washington.



In March 1776 he was captain of a small merchant ship that had been engaged in carrying supplies to British forces beseiged in Boston. His ship, coincidentally also called the Harriet, was intercepted by a Yankee sloop and he was forced to surrender. The ship, goods and his personal effects were confiscated by the Militia of Martha's Vinyard and the crew were imprisoned at Edgartown. Hence his letter.

"To, His Excellency Geo. Washington Esq. General of the Continental Army at Cambridge - Having this opportunity by Colonel Norton: I must beg leave to trouble you with this letter" .... [and he describes his situation and how Colonel Norton, of the local militia agreed to carry the letter as he was travelling to Watertown just a few miles from Washington's headquarters at Cambridge. He then explains his predicament] ...

"..... I was attacked by an armed vessel from the Vinyard - and I being Not willing to part with my property without making some defence - But being unfortunately Wounded, was obliged to submit to superior force. At present I have the greatest reason imaginable to expect (without your Excellency interferes on my behalf) that my private property which consists of a few [illegible] & some other trinkets which was intended for sale in Jamaica and likewise my wearing apparel which they are fully determined to Plunder from me. At Present I have nothing at my Command. Should your Excellency be so very obliging to permit me to Depart for Jamaica, I should not so much regret they loss. But if it is my lot to be Detained here I would wish to appear a little Decent, but that I cannot do without your Excellency will take compassion upon me & send me orders for them to restore what they so ardently wish to keep."

Unfortunately there is no evidence that Washington ever received the letter ... it was either returned to, or remained in, Edgartown with the seal intact. It is now in Martha's Vinyard Museum. Edgartown, Massachusetts.

To finish the tale....

The ship and all goods were sold and there then followed a lot of quibbling over who was to get what share of the prize money ... the militia, the local council, or the state of Massachusetts (who sneakily back-dated legislation to try and give themselves the lion's share). Eventually it was settled that the militia got a two-thirds share and Massachusetts got one third. The imprisoned crew were released, penniless, and following a petition to the Massachusetts Council, the ship's master, my ancestor, in September 1776 finally got "£100 out of the Colony's part of the ship and cargo, of which the petitioner was Late master, if so much there be belonging to the State; if not, whatever is the Colony's proportion of said expense." And with that it seems he left North America never to return, becoming a captain of several ships for the East India Company until he died in 1805 at St Helena en route home from India to England.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 23 Jan 2014, 14:53; edited 2 times in total
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal sailing ships - what's a 'Dandy' ?   Thu 23 Jan 2014, 14:40

This link is to a page of various coastal craft, one of which is described as a "Manx Dandy"

http://www.thecheappages.com/smyth/mast_n_sail_07.html

the site background was to dark to post the image itself.
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