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Spitfire

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Has anyone else seen the state of Spitfire, on the bank at Stone?

 

It has been hacked around beyond all recognition.

 

The rounded chines have all been cut out and it has been refooted, rebottomed and reswimmed (is that the word?) and now looks like any other modern boat below the waterline. It is quite aweful and will wreck the way the boat goes and handles.

 

It has also been chopped in half and extended. I would have taken some pics but didn't have a camera.

 

Why buy a boat like this to go about wrecking it?

 

Edit - if anyone wants some nice rounded chines to build a boat on top of - best go and collect before they go to the scrap man!

Edited by Satellite

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Has anyone else seen the state of Spitfire, on the bank at Stone?

 

It has been hacked around beyond all recognition.

 

The rounded chines have all been cut out and it has been refooted, rebottomed and reswimmed (is that the word?) and now looks like any other modern boat below the waterline. It is quite aweful and will wreck the way the boat goes and handles.

 

It has also been chopped in half and extended. I would have taken some pics but didn't have a camera.

 

Why buy a boat like this to go about wrecking it?

 

Edit - if anyone wants some nice rounded chines to build a boat on top of - best go and collect before they go to the scrap man!

 

This is tragic. Spitfire was a tug/ icebreaker built by Harris at Bumblehole.It had rounded bottoms to ride over the ice and crush it. As a Heritage Boat it should have been conserved.

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It has not even been done well. The side appear to flair out towards the bottom and do not in any way follow the lines of the small amount of the original boat left.

 

What is worse is that the metal that has been cut out looks in quite good condition!

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So now it is about as much a historical boat as that other well known 'replica' President.

Edited by Maffi

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Apprently her new owners wife didnt like boats that rocked...

 

- The possable saving grace from where we are now is that i believe the material removed (most of the hull) is relativly safe and may yet live on as a boat.

 

However as was mentioned a few times over the weekend regaurding boats like this, really what we need is better systems inplace to inform and support owners of such craft to avoid unessary such happensing, if not totaly prevent them by force.

 

Daniel

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Yeah, some sort of "Graded/Listed" Status such as buildings maybe? Ok there will obviously be debate about policeing such a policy, but surely this could be done through some sort of BW heritage status?

 

I've been surprised a few times now having seen some boats I know apparently "shrink".

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Kiss of death?

 

:lol: Yeah, take your point. But surely some sort of graded status is feasible. I wonder if we should start a thread here. Something Like,,,

 

"Boats of National Interest" which members could add too?

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So now it is about as much a historical boat as that other well known 'replica' President.

At least Spitfire started out as the actual boat.

 

:lol: Yeah, take your point. But surely some sort of graded status is feasible. I wonder if we should start a thread here. Something Like,,,

 

"Boats of National Interest" which members could add too?

There is, already, it's called the National Register of Historical Vessels, unfortunately, as I can testify, registration is no protection.

 

You get a nice certificate and a chance to apply for grants, unlike the Dutch equivalent which has far more clout.

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I love to see old boats. I do not know 'Spitfire', but if the owner wishes to modify, convert or even mutilate her, after all she's his property to do with as he will. It's a shame but not a crime.

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I love to see old boats. I do not know 'Spitfire', but if the owner wishes to modify, convert or even mutilate her, after all she's his property to do with as he will. It's a shame but not a crime.

I agree, under the present system, but if you want to alter a listed building then you have get permission and follow strict guidelines.

 

If this system was introduced for historic boats then it would make prospective owners think carefully, before taking on that responsibility.

 

It would also stop historic boats being destroyed.

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It would also stop historic boats being destroyed.

 

I don't think it would stop it altogether, just like with historic buildings a developer wants rid of, they just get on with it (or forget to tell you they are coming as arranged :lol: ) or come at the dead of night and destroy it before any action can be taken to stop them, then take the medicine afterwards....

Edited by Hairy-Neil

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I don't think it would stop it altogether, just like with historic buildings a developer wants rid of, they just get on with it (or forget to tell you they are coming as arranged :lol: ) or come at the dead of night and destroy it before any action can be taken to stop them, then take the medicine afterwards....

Well there is that, wetherspoons springs immediately to mind, but it would reduce it somewhat.

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Well there is that, wetherspoons springs immediately to mind, but it would reduce it somewhat.

BR and Rail Track are good at that one as well. They destroyed a listed Brunel Railway Station near where I live by moving bulldozers in after midnight on a Sunday before a Bank Holiday, knowing that the Enforcememnt Officer would not be contactable until long after the rubble had settled.

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BR and Rail Track are good at that one as well. They destroyed a listed Brunel Railway Station near where I live by moving bulldozers in after midnight on a Sunday before a Bank Holiday, knowing that the Enforcememnt Officer would not be contactable until long after the rubble had settled.

 

Although not connected to any BR action (as far as I know) that is precisely what happened to the Firestone building on the Great Western Avenue near Brentford.

 

With moveable chattels such as boats, it is quite literally up to the owners what they do with them. Education is the only defence against bastardisation or eradication. Any program for retention in as near original form as possible is fraught with problems, not least would be a narrowing of the market for such a vessel - its value would decrease substantially if a prospective owner had to fill out forms to make changes. Having said that, I'd be somewhat reticent about selling my tub to a hatched artist. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and if his wallet is big enough . . . ? Well, what would you do?

 

Trusts? We have the situation of too many wanting a cheap 'jolly', leaving a few to clean up, get flak for not performing to historic practices, or presenting a vessel as it would wish to be seen in the eyes of another. Not taking sides here - I'd opt for quiet efficiency every time. Others like to 'show off', or watch and pick holes in anything.

 

I know nothing of Spitfire, never seen it. But if I had, and was up for buying it, I'd have done some research into its history and had a go at keeping it in tact. Sadly not everyone is of the same opinion, and some have very deep pockets - their comment after jacuzzi, bowthrusters, gold anodised windows and 6.5kva genny are fitted might be "Yes, It used to be a Black Country Tug - built by Harris you know" - and very proud of their handywork too I'm sure.

 

Very sad. Bit like making a 'Chopper' out of a Gold Star.

 

Derek

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BR and Rail Track are good at that one as well. They destroyed a listed Brunel Railway Station near where I live by moving bulldozers in after midnight on a Sunday before a Bank Holiday, knowing that the Enforcememnt Officer would not be contactable until long after the rubble had settled.

 

I do not dispute that things happened as you describe but I would caution against the intent you imply. Having worked as a BR engineer I know that the timing of this work was quite normal. If it was a listed building as stated, presumably BR have been prosecuted for the transgression?

 

George ex nb Alton retired

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... It's a shame but not a crime.

I agree, but the are many (potentally including myself) who fell it should be a crime.

 

Regulating everything has its drawbacks, suck as english heratage not wanting the foxton inclinde plane restored. Although there happy for them to construct a conreate floor above the existing stucture and build a replica ontop of that! :lol:

 

However, to take a boat with the much historical interest and significance, in that good a condition, and to then hack it about to that extreme should never have been allowed to happen.

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I agree, but the are many (potentally including myself) who fell it should be a crime.

 

Regulating everything has its drawbacks, suck as english heratage not wanting the foxton inclinde plane restored. Although there happy for them to construct a conreate floor above the existing stucture and build a replica ontop of that! :lol:

 

However, to take a boat with the much historical interest and significance, in that good a condition, and to then hack it about to that extreme should never have been allowed to happen.

 

As I said, I do appreciate old boats and take an interest in any that I see. But once you bring in regulations, where do you stop? For example, many former working boats have full or partial cabin extensions these days, making them more comfortable and suitable for their modern role as leisure cruising craft, and on the Oxford canal recently I saw a former working boat which had been shortened and made into a tug (with Gardner 5L2 engine - cor!) Would you make such alterations a crime? There has to be a balance between preservation for posterity and the freedom of an owner to adapt his boat in any way which suits him.

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I do not dispute that things happened as you describe but I would caution against the intent you imply. Having worked as a BR engineer I know that the timing of this work was quite normal. If it was a listed building as stated, presumably BR have been prosecuted for the transgression?

They should be prosecuted, for what they've done to Rugby....but they'll probably get a design award.

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I HAD to read this thread. I have so many happy memories of Spitfire going back to 1970 (she was built in 1946 I think). She handled like a dream despite having a Ford 4D complete with road gearbox and a 16 inch prop. 3rd gear was used on canals and fourth gear on rivers. There was no reverse until I suggested to my pal that he should cut a slot in the floorboard so reverse gear could be engaged (16:1 reduction!). Halcyon days ................

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A wrought iron tug built by Harris Bros of Netherton.

Ah thanks.

 

My first boat, ex Stewarts & LLoyds, but probably of Bantock origin, had been cut down for motorisation by Harris Brothers in the 1960s, using riveted methods, (also re-bottomed in steel to replace composite construction).

 

Clearly looking at those pictures some of their work produced a rather nicer hull shape than other of their work. (My boat went along, but not exactly with any great style!).

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