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alan_fincher

What A "Middle Northwich" Boat Looks Like Out Of Water

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This may be of interest to some who like older boats.

"Sickle" is relatively unusual amongst boats of an otherwise similar type for its very rounded hull shape. Only 8 pairs of these "Middle Northwich" boats were built.

This blog post shows some shots of "Sickle" out of water, although I have to say they probably don't capture the highly streamlined and rounded shape quite as dramatically as some previously posted of "Tycho", "Sickle's" close relative.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Very interesting. I assume that the horizontal bars bolted on to the bow are where the snowplough (or whatever its correct name is) used to be attached?

 

What would have been the purpose of those very rounded chines? To improve stability, or maybe just the boatbuilder trying something new to see how it worked?

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not something new.. they ( the rounded chines) were present on the Royalties years before (1932?)

 

..worth noting too that the middles also had V bottoms ... so cant be docked with out the right supports in place first! (I imagon its a right paint to sit 'em right when docking too... its not easy with Spey, and all we have to deal with is where she is length ways!

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Thanks for posting Alan, it's interesting to compare Sickle with Theophilus, which we currently have in the shed, as we're replacing V bottom.

 

 

not something new.. they ( the rounded chines) were present on the Royalties years before (1932?)

 

..worth noting too that the middles also had V bottoms ... so cant be docked with out the right supports in place first! (I imagon its a right paint to sit 'em right when docking too... its not easy with Spey, and all we have to deal with is where she is length ways!

 

Jason, we had Tycho on the dry dock recently and pulled Theophilus up the slip, neither required supports as the V bottoms are incredibly shallow.

Edited by sarahavfc

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Thanks for posting Alan, it's interesting to compare Sickle with Theophilus, which we currently have in the shed, as we're replacing V bottom.

 

 

 

Jason, we had Tycho on the dry dock recently and pulled Theophilus up the slip, neither required supports as the V bottoms are incredibly shallow.

 

wonder what the point of the "V" bottom was then, if its nothing really noticeable, was it worth it? .. or does that little indent actually give great strength?

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Yes,

 

I agree,

 

The V bottom seems to have little impact on docking, although to be fair, all dockings we have done so far have been in a dry dock, not by pulling out on a trolley.

 

Some have suggested that some of the angle of the original V may have been lost during subsequent works, but the knees are actually continuos across the bottom, so this would also mean that some of the angle in them is lost.

These pictures are from before our ownership, when the work done included complete new steel bottoms.

 

As an aside they show the construction of the round chines perhaps somewhat more clearly than the external shots.

 

0024-1.jpg

 

0036-1.jpg

Edited by alan_fincher

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not something new.. they ( the rounded chines) were present on the Royalties years before (1932?)

 

..worth noting too that the middles also had V bottoms ... so cant be docked with out the right supports in place first! (I imagon its a right paint to sit 'em right when docking too... its not easy with Spey, and all we have to deal with is where she is length ways!

What twaddle.

 

The 'Vee' bottom presents no trouble or issue with either a trolley/slipway or a dock/bostock arrangement on a middle boat out of the water.

The bottom tends to flex flat rather than hold shape.

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What twaddle.

 

This hardly necessary is it?

 

You can surely express a view without the need to be rude to somebody else?

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Looks very nice.

 

Of the eight pairs, how many are still extant?

 

 

Daniel

 

Not sure which ones are extant but from an article in Canal & Riverboat August 1991 The Middle Northwitch boats Are (or were) :-

 

MOTORS Sextans, Sickle, Taygeta, Tucana, Radiant, Theophilius, Zociac and Tyco.

 

The BUTTY BOATS - Scales, Triagulum, Sarpedon, Thea, Thoth, Regulus, Leonids and Taurus.

 

This hardly necessary is it?

 

You can surely express a view without the need to be rude to somebody else?

 

Unfortunately this seems "par for the course" from some on the forum at the moment.

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Looks very nice.

 

Of the eight pairs, how many are still extant?

 

 

Daniel

 

Of the 16 boats, only the butty Thoth has been scrapped.

 

Four of the motors remain full length.

 

Radiant, Taygeta, Tucana, Zodiac. (It is possible that some of these boats have had identity swaps, and now carry the name of a different boat - the one currently called Taygeta will probably carry the alternate name Severn Dolphin that it had after original identities may have been lost).

 

Four motors were cut in 1942 to 40 feet to make ice boats:

 

Sextans, (now re-lengthened to 50' using part of butty Thea), Sickle, Theophilus & Tycho (which still carries a massive ice ram making it 45 feet overall).

 

The surviving buttys are

 

Regulus, Scales, Sarpedon (Sickle's original pair, now a houseboat), Triagulum, Thea (converted to a motor of about 57 feet) Triagulum & Leonids.

 

EDIT: I think all buttys are probably full length except Thea - Leonids did have a motorised elum, but I'm unsure of current status.

 

Most of the steel, iron, or composite GUCCCo boats from the 1930s building program have survived in some form or another.

Radiant

Regulus

Tycho

Sickle

Theophilus

Triagulum

Tucana

Zodiac.

 

I think.

 

And the other seven!

Edited by alan_fincher

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Very interesting. I assume that the horizontal bars bolted on to the bow are where the snowplough (or whatever its correct name is) used to be attached?

 

What would have been the purpose of those very rounded chines? To improve stability, or maybe just the boatbuilder trying something new to see how it worked?

The "Royalty" motors were fitted with round chines for estuarial work where they would sometimes dry out on the mud. Water can get underneath a lot easier on the rising tide and there was less effort involved for the boatman jiggling a rope under the hull to free it if required. The middle boats refined the design by having the slight vee. However in practice the feature was little used with trade not forthcoming to the places that dried out. Hence the boats were transferred to maintenance and other WW2 duties.

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Yes, I agree, The V bottom seems to have little impact on docking, although to be fair, all dockings we have done so far have been in a dry dock, not by pulling out on a trolley. Some have suggested that some of the angle of the original V may have been lost during subsequent works, but the knees are actually continuos across the bottom, so this would also mean that some of the angle in them is lost.These pictures are from before our ownership, when the work done included complete new steel bottoms. As an aside they show the construction of the round chines perhaps somewhat more clearly than the external shots. 0024-1.jpg 0036-1.jpg

 

Thanks for posting Alan. For a novice historic boat fan Interesting to see how they were constructed. Is the new baseplate riveted to the Chines?

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These may also be of interest:

 

This is (possibly!) "Taygeta", also known as "Svern Dolphin", at Brinklow Boat Services last October.

 

This boat had been the subject of some very dodgy repairs in its BW days, (including overplates on top of overplates, I think!), but is now the subject of a slow restoration.

 

Anybody who remembers the patchwork that was the back of the counter will see that that is one area that has already been decently rebuilt:

 

I always particularly admire the dent in the front end on this one - Sickle has some good ones, but can't compete at this level!

 

IMG_0643_zpskwjliqeo.jpg

Severn Dolphin is to the right of Flamingo here, and opportunities for photos a bit limited. They don't lave a lot of space for you to squeeze through here, really!

 

IMG_0759_zpsxdgm6v4m.jpg


Thanks for posting Alan. For a novice historic boat fan Interesting to see how they were constructed. Is the new baseplate riveted to the Chines?

 

No that is one of the compromises when the boat was restored. The baseplate is welded in - no rivets, I think.

 

The new sections of sides, the new counter and the new cabin are all hot riveted, but not the baseplate.

The other non prototypical feature is the new baseplate is 10mm thick - considerably thicker than the original.

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Of the 16 boats, only the butty Thoth has been scrapped.

 

Four of the motors remain full length.

Radiant, Taygeta, Tucana, Zodiac. (It is possible that some of these boats have had identity swaps, and now carry the name of a different boat - the one currently called Taygeta will probably carry the alternate name Severn Dolphin that it had after original identities may have been lost).

 

Four motors were cut in 1942 to 40 feet to make ice boats:

Sextans, (now re-lengthened to 50' using part of butty Thea), Sickle, Theophilus & Tycho (which still carries a massive ice ram making it 45 feet overall).

 

The surviving buttys are

Regulus, Scales, Sarpedon (Sickle's original pair, now a houseboat), Triagulum, Thea (converted to a motor of about 57 feet) Triagulum & Leonids.

 

EDIT: I think all buttys are probably full length except Thea - Leonids did have a motorised elum, but I'm unsure of current status.

 

Most of the steel, iron, or composite GUCCCo boats from the 1930s building program have survived in some form or another

That's a good survival rate, to be fair. If still far from common.

 

Daniel

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These may also be of interest: This is (possibly!) "Taygeta", also known as "Svern Dolphin", at Brinklow Boat Services last October. This boat had been the subject of some very dodgy repairs in its BW days, (including overplates on top of overplates, I think!), but is now the subject of a slow restoration. Anybody who remembers the patchwork that was the back of the counter will see that that is one area that has already been decently rebuilt: I always particularly admire the dent in the front end on this one - Sickle has some good ones, but can't compete at this level! IMG_0643_zpskwjliqeo.jpgSevern Dolphin is to the right of Flamingo here, and opportunities for photos a bit limited. They don't lave a lot of space for you to squeeze through here, really! IMG_0759_zpsxdgm6v4m.jpg No that is one of the compromises when the boat was restored. The baseplate is welded in - no rivets, I think. The new sections of sides, the new counter and the new cabin are all hot riveted, but not the baseplate.The other non prototypical feature is the new baseplate is 10mm thick - considerably thicker than the original.

So what are the holes for? If not rivets? Genuine question.

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So what are the holes for? If not rivets? Genuine question.

 

Do you mean in the knees of SIckle as the new baseplate is being fitted?

 

If so it is where rivets used to be, but no longer are. They are left there - no need to fill them.

 

If you mean some other holes, please describe which ones, and I'll see if I can answer.

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Do you mean in the knees of SIckle as the new baseplate is being fitted?

 

If so it is where rivets used to be, but no longer are. They are left there - no need to fill them.

If you mean some other holes, please describe which ones, and I'll see if I can answer.

Got it, thanks.

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I am not quite sure how well you can see the hull profile in the (rather poor quality) photo of Sickle when she was a display feature at Sawley Marina :-

 

Sickle%2002a_zps1ttegrvc.jpg

Edited by David Schweizer

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