according to Nuttalls Standard Dictionary of the English
|The above is a map of the ports used by the Thames Sailing barges. Click on map to see large edition
To aid in the sailing (particularly to windward) of these shallow draft barges, leeboards were added to each side of the hull. These were like large wooden paddles which were pivoted at deck level and hauled up or lowered by pendants operated by hand winches on deck.
Many skippers had no paper qualifications, but were excellent practical seamen having learnt their trade as boys. Their skill in handling the barges in all conditions was often remarked upon by other members of the sailing or seafaring community. Most of them had the uncanny knack of recognising the ownership of a barge at sea and deciding what port she hailed from and who had built her.
Different builders from different areas gave their barges recognisable traits - to name just a few
& Orvis from Ispwich made their barges as pretty as a picture
with a fine bow and a very elegant stern.making them deep and sea-kindly
with sheering coaster bows.
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