Ship models, Cargo vessels

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Waterwitch (1871); Cargo vessel; Barquentine

Ship models

Object connections:

Collection Ship models, Cargo vessels
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsWaterwitch (1871)

Object details:

Object ID SLR0051
Description Scale: 1:48. A waterline exhibition model of the barquentine ‘Waterwitch’ (1871). The model depicts the vessel at anchor with a full suit of sails bent on and stowed, and is complete with all its standing and running rigging. On deck, the main cargo hatches are partly open with some boards removed for ventilation, whilst the other two remain closed and battened down ready for sea. Although it is anchored by the starboard side, the port side anchors is rigged ready to be used if required with the chain ‘flaked out’ on the foredeck to run out over the windlass. The ‘Waterwitch’ became almost a legend during its eventful career, having suffered collisions, considerable weather damage, and an attempted torpedo attack during the First World War. Measuring 112 feet in length by 25 feet in the beam and a tonnage of 206 gross, it spent the first 38 of its 46 years afloat carrying coal from the North East coast to Portsmouth. As a result, it established a great reputation for the consistency of its voyages, averaging 12 days on a round trip, an outstanding performance for a vessel of its type. In 1916 the ‘Waterwitch’ went aground in the entrance to Newlyn, Cornwall, and eventually sank in the harbour. It was later raised in 1918, repaired and re-rigged and re-employed by Edward Stephens of Fowey. Its crew was often partly made up from seamen holding a foreign Master’s Certificate. These men were applying to enter the Trinity House Pilotage Service, which required their applicants to have a minimum sea time in square-rigged vessels. As the only vessel sailing from a homeport to hold that distinction, it never lacked a crew. The ‘Waterwitch’ remained under British ownership until 1939 when it was sold to Estonian owners for service in the Baltic timber trade. Its last recorded year of service was 1948.
Date made circa 1976

Artist/Maker Roe, John
Place made Mary Tavy
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials wood; cotton; fabric; metal; perspex; paint; varnish; gilt
Measurements Overall model: 594 x 993 x 300 mm
  • Waterwitch (1871); Cargo vessel; Barquentine (SLR0051)
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