The Lerrets of Chesil Bank

By Eric McKee, published February 1977


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.

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Filed under: English Channel | Early Modern
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

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