I recently read a Victorian newspaper article about the loss in heavy weather off Lulworth Cove, of five Coastguard men bringing supplies from Weymouth to their base at Worborrow.1
The boat they had was reported as a ‘galley’. I was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction of finding out a little more of these boats. This is purely to satisfy my curiosity.
1. Dorset County Chronicle, March 9th 1865, p645 re incident on Saturday 4 March 1865 Sheilah Openshaw
[this ‘melancholy accident’ was widely reported, eg, Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Dublin, Thursday March 9, 1865]
I am intrigued by the reference to a ‘galley’.
In this same year 1865 the Admiralty Board took over control of HM Coastguard from the Board of Customs.
I would imagine that any official reference to a Coastguard galley would be in the period from 1809 to 1865 and in particular from 1822 when the Coast Guard was established under the authority of the Board of Customs. The primary function was the prevention of smuggling and various types of boat would be in use.
National Archives at Kew may provide an answer. John M MacAulay
Commander W.E. May, The Boats of
Men-of-War (2nd edition, National Maritime Museum 1999) pages 77-77, covers the galley as a type of boat carried in Royal Navy warships of that period. Effectively it seems to have been a light alternative to the barge that was well suited to pulling (rowing to non-naval folk). Frank Scott
Commander May’s interesting and useful book is currently in print in a revised and expanded 3rd edition (2003)
The wooden craft used by the Deal ‘hovellers’, propelled by oars and carrying a dipping lug, were referred to as ‘galley punts’. These craft were used to carry pilots, supplies and ground tackle to ships in The Downs anchorage. James W Martin