For all those of you who have wandered down to the pontoons from time to time you may have seen an old timber clinker boat with a long serving club member working hard on it. In which case you would have met Dave Chandler and his beloved boat Huntress.
Huntress is believed to have been built in Ireland in 1947 as a 25 ft Motor Fishing Vessel but had been used as Ship’s Life Boat and still had the lifting rings in place when Dave bought her for £180 in 1976.
Dave bought her from her previous owner while he a group of locals were involved in rescuing The Good Hope beached high on the peddles of Sand Bay. Subsequently she was registered as a fishing boat and given the number BR1.
Huntress had dried out so much he had to re plank sections of the bottom and re new the ribs using Pitch Pine timber rescued when the old Highbridge Wharf and associated buildings were being demolished; Millstream Books, “Maritime Activities of the Somerset and Dorset Railways” has considerable detail of the wharf and its history.
The restoration of Huntress took Dave over 10 years. Originally she had the 4 cylinder Scammel Marine Petrol Engine, which Dave still has in storage, and he replaced with the existing a 4 cylinder BMC 2.2 diesel.
We have included some pictures of the Scammel Scarab three wheeled trucks (some of us will remember seeing) that originally used this very simple and reliable engine. Dave tells us this engine was requisitioned during the Second World for a general purpose Marine Engine and never returned to road use.
Sadly Dave is now looking for a good home for huntress and we will post this item on BCYA Facebook page to spread the word.