The Lerrets of Chesil Bank
The double-ended clinker-built Lerret is used to catch mackerel with a seine net, off the Chesil Bank, Dorset. The steep beach, surf and cross current required pinched immersed sections and full topsides. Copse oars on single thole-pins are used. Four oared boats were 16-18ft, six-oared about 20ft, both sometimes rigged with lug main and sprit mizzen. The mackerel season found companies of seven or eight men allocated sections of beach; an 18c contract appears surprisingly humanitarian. The origins of the Lerret, probably a native British craft, are much earlier.