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tim lewin
20-09-2007, 15:55
The standard seaboat for the RN for years and years was the whaler, or Montagu whaler after Adm. Montagu who introduced it to the Service in 1890-ish. Can anyone add to this, who was Adm. Montagu, was he related to the Earls of Sandwich? where did he get the inspiration for the whaler? where did they all go to when lost from the RN?
someone must know the answers to these questions...
tim

John Brown
24-09-2007, 15:43
Tim
The life and career of Admiral Montagu are well documented on the web so I will not go into them here. However, I was interested in your question as to where all the ex navy whalers disappeared to. When I was a boy in the late 1950s early 60s I used to watch a TV programme called 'Out of Town' and presented by a man called Jack Hargreaves. Sometimes Jack used to go sea fishing in his own boat which was an ex navy lifeboat. He once explained that after the war, many of these boats were sold off by the Navy and one could be bought for 2 10s (2.50). At that price I guess many were snapped up not only by individual members of the public but also by Companies dealing in 'War Surplus' materials.

Hope this is of interest.

eskimosailor
14-07-2011, 19:17
Interestingly I earned a "ticket" to sail dinghies (RNSA14s) while I was at Lee on Solent. When I actually received the paper it allowed me to command "Cutters, Whalers and Dinghies". I would have been petrified in the first two, as I had never even been in either.
The nearest I got was to the whaler hung on davits over the end of Raleigh's parade ground. I joined in November 1962 and during that hard winter, when there was sea ice around Plymouth, we really froze in those old wooden huts. One day the parade ground was cleared as a class had lowered the whaler, but could not raise it due to the cold, and ice underfoot. It took 3 classes, about 90 men, to raise it, a task normally achieved by 30 with ease.
Jeepers it was cold!
Steve

Dave Hutson
14-07-2011, 19:24
The standard seaboat for the RN for years and years was the whaler, or Montagu whaler after Adm. Montagu who introduced it to the Service in 1890-ish. Can anyone add to this, who was Adm. Montagu, was he related to the Earls of Sandwich? where did he get the inspiration for the whaler? where did they all go to when lost from the RN?
someone must know the answers to these questions...
tim

Hello Tim,

My Uncle [according to mother] had a boatyard in Newhaven and built Montagu's and Dinghies for the RN. Evidently his father who was the founder suffered a stroke in later life but could, although paralysed down one side, still build a dinghy singlehanded. I can remember visiting the yard when I was a lad of 14 which was another notch in my desire to join the Navy. The Uncle was, I understand [but never confirmed] a diver with Buster Crabbe.

Dave H

Destroyerman
19-08-2011, 19:01
From a stoker (wot luvs boats), I remember the Montagu whaler with a great deal of fondness.

27' long with five thwarts. Single banked (as opposed to the 36' cutter, which was double banked). Montagu referred to the rig when sailed, and if I remember correctly, they were a bit tricky to sail with the tiller and yoke steering. The yoke fitted over the footing for the mizzen mast which would have got in the way of traditional tiller steering.

The Montagu whaler was superceded by the motorised 3-in-1 whaler with its Bermudan rig; much easier for sailing, but the horizontally opposed twin cylinder made it a cumbersome boat to sail. (Don't forget to close the engine air inlets when rigged for sail; a token gesture with gunwhales awash!).

Very few crew members could rig the 3-in-1 for sailing and oftimes the task would fall to me, a stoker.:rolleyes:

But happy days, I spent many wonderful hours sailing ships boats throughout the world.

Sandy.

Vegaskip
19-08-2011, 20:50
I took one out in Mombassa Harbour in light airs, none of 'my' crew (Flight Deck Party) had been in a sailing boat before, had to use an oar when I tacked, just off the Quarterdeck, Needless to say I had a Gold Braided audience.
Like you Sandy I had many happy times sailing Pussers boats, even got volunteered for the 1961 Tall Ships race Oslo to Ostend.
I now have a 'Vintage' Voyager14, 'dinghy with a lid', which I am 'doing up' although I dont know if or when I'll sail her
Jim

Destroyerman
19-08-2011, 21:04
I forgot to mention the hull difference Jim.

Montagu was clinker built.

3-in-1 was Carvel if I remember correctly.

I have a series of images of when I took the Bermudan 3-in-1 up the Norwegian Fjords on a weekend exped. I shall copy and post. (Hope you don't mind Tim).

We pulled into a natural anchorage on a small, deserted island not far from Oslo. Near the anchorage was a signpost (not unnaturally printed in Norwegian) but with evidence of bullet holes all over it. We stayed there Friday and Saturday night, using the mainsail over the loom of an oar for a tent, then returned to our ship Sunday evening. Got a roasting from the First Lieutenant for returning ships boat after sunset.

As you say Jim, happy days.:)

Sandy.

Pusser509
20-08-2011, 04:28
When HMCS Sackville was being restored in Halifax, the shipwright apprentices in Esquimalt were given the project of building a traditional wooden whaler for her. It was a fine job and the whaler is now displayed on board Sackville. So the skills and techniques still survive.

The whaler as a seaboat survived (in fibreglas form) in the RCN until the last of the steam destroyers paid off in the mid 1990's. As an officer cadet I spent many hours in whalers, pulling and sailing. We became very adept at rigging them for sailing. They also had a well for an outboard motor which came in handy at times.

Skygypsy
11-04-2017, 10:42
Gentlemen,
Well here's a first post on your forum from me. Some time since I was at sea but I have just bought one of these Montagu Whalers and my plan is to restore her and while it may not be to pristine condition I'd like just to re float her and take her back to sea. She has quite a heritage and was previously owned by Lord Harlech. So far with the cleaning i've done, to see the extent of the works required, it appears she was built in 1940 and also sports the number E109? I haven't found a War Department or Admiralty stamp yet but then again I've just started. The mizen and main masts are present, a couple of oars and the rudder along with tiller attachment and rear deck cover. I may be able to post pictures here at some stage if I work out how to add them and should anyone have suggestions or can offer help in both tracing her history or advice on the refurb I'd be very appreciative. She does have the Davitt attachment point in the bottom so I have little doubt she's authentically a ships boat. Many thanks in advance

jbryce1437
11-04-2017, 14:41
Helly Skygypsy and a very warm welcome to the Forums. I have no knowledge of Montagu Whalers but, no doubt, there are others here that have. Hopefully, you will get some good advice and I wish you all the best with your restoration work. We will be pleased to see photos of the work in progress.

Jim

tim lewin
16-04-2017, 06:22
you should contact the boat house restoration team at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, they will help you!
tim