Cog Boat

Towing cog at BoultersCog Boat

All Humber Keels traditionally towed a cog boat, which was used as a general tender, for carrying out lines or anchors and as a lifeboat should the keel have the misfortune to founder. Cog boats were always sculled with a large sweep over the stern, rather than being rowed with oars. This made them much easier to manouvre in the confined spaces of a dock. The cog boat is clinker built of larch planks with oak frames. A full size cog boat is 12 foot 6 inches long with a beam of 5 feet. They are very bluff in the bow with very flat floors and then a fine run aft to a wine glass stern. This makes them very stable vessels able to carry several people or a large anchor. It is possible to step off the stern of the keel onto the bow of the cog boat without it capsizing. Cog boats were raced at the annual watersports regattas held at locations in south Yorkshire such as Thorne.

cogboat 030

Daybreak had a new cog boat built by Ken Ward-Foxton of Whitby in 2010. Ken carried out extensive research to make sure the cog boat was as authentic as possible. Cog boats were traditionally painted in the same colours as the keel and after delivery Daybreak’s cog boat was painted in her colours before being relaunched.

Cog and Daybreak at Cliveden

There are some old photographs of cog boats rigged with a sail. In 2013 Daybreak’s cog boat was rigged with a standing lugsail.

2 thoughts on “Cog Boat

  1. Hi folks i cant tell you how happy it makes me feel seeing my dads old barge brought back to life as she was years ago my oldman was mate on her when he come off national service and then when old Bill Foster retired he became skipper of her i think he was twenty maybe the dates arnt spot on but i use to sit for hours listening to his tales of the humber he use to say she had a 21 hp lister diesel in her where as her sister hanleys pride carried 100 hp id love to see her if your ever up this way or im down your way as my love for old boats still grows
    Regards James Houlsby

    • Hi James,
      great to hear from you. I knew of Bill Foster, but I had not heard much about your dad. It is great to have some additional information about her early working life. Daybreak did have a 21hp Lister, but this was replaced by 5 cyl Gardner when Dick Holt bought her from Ranks, after they had taken over Hanleys. It would be great to welcome you aboard. Unfortunately after almost a year up north we have just today completed the journey back down the east coast to our mooring on the Thames. We will be returning to Yorkshire at some stage, but if you are ever down London way get in touch again.

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