Brixham Trawlers Part I
There are two classes of Brixham Trawler, “smacks” (over 40 tons) and “mules” (under 40 tons). All are ketch rigged and the largest about 78 ft in length with an 18 ft beam. Crewed by 4 men, they can move fast in a good breeze. Fishing grounds are mainly in the English Channel, the wrecks in the Bristol Channel, once a favourite ground, now making it dangerous for fishing gear. Numbers have declined from 300 pre- WW1 to about 80. This is because of the high cost of a new ship, the risk of losing trawl gear and the lack of young boys willing to go to sea in sailing trawlers. It will be a sad day when their brown sails are no longer seen up and down the Channel.