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The Excelsior Trust's Historic Vessels
The Excelsior Trust was originally set up to save the Lowestoft smack EXCELSIOR LT472. Other vessels have been added to assist this original objective.
CONCRETIAN is a wartime mass-produced Ferro Concrete Barge that now serves as a mooring barge for EXCELSIOR at her operating base in Lowestoft's Inner Harbour.
Ashore, in a large boatshed, is the Hull smack CITY OF EDINBORO H1394 and the East Channel lugger ESTRALITA RX8. These vessels are to be 'vehicles' to keep the skills alive that are needed to maintain EXCELSIOR.
The Trust also has two Class 'C' lifeboats, from Lowestoft-built fishing vessels, for seamanship training.
The Excelsior Trust's Historic Vessels
CITY OF EDINBORO H1394
CITY OF EDINBORO was built as a Hull smack in 1884. Today she is the last representative of the great fleets of deep-sea sailing trawlers that worked out of Hull - a remarkable survivor.
Owned by the Excelsior Trust, she has been prepared for rebuilding as part of a skills retention project at their base in Oulton Broad. She is not yet open to the public, but she can be seen on Yard Open Days.
Keel laid 26th January, and launched 28th April from William McCann's shipyard on Garrison Side, Hull, for Simpson and Bowman, owners of the "City" fleet of Hull smacks. Registered H1394 and named "City of Edinboro". (The spelling of her name is reputedly one of the ways Edinburgh was spelt at the time.) For next 13 years fished the North Sea grounds by trawl.
Sold to Reykjavik, Iceland, and re-registered as RE 13 and re-named "Frida". Line fishing in the North Atlantic.
Sold to Sjavarborg, a fishing corporation based in Hafharfjordur south of Reykjavik.
Sold to Faeroese fishing master Neils Juel Mortensen. Still named "Frida" but re-registered TG546. Line fishing in the Atlantic from Torshaven.
A small auxiliary engine fitted but she remained fully ketch-rigged. She was re-named "Solvaborg"
Sold to Ola Olsen and re-named "Solvasker" and re-registered VN 304. Wooden wheelhouse fitted. Based in the small fishing town of Vestmannshaven.
Powerful Burmeister & Wain Alpha diesel engine fitted with variable pitch propeller but still fully rigged. Re-named "SJoborgin" and re-registered FD48 and sailed from Funding on the main island of Stromo.
De-digged and steel wheelhouse fitted.
Ownership passed to Hans Petur Hojgaard
Bought by Dr Henry Irving and returned to Hull and refitting for up to twenty people. Ketch rig reinstated and the steel wheelhouse removed . B&W engine retained.
Re-named "William McCann" and sailed the western seaboard of Europe as a charter ship based in Hull, Bristol, Penzance, Ramsgate, and finally Douarnenez (France).
Ownership passed to William McCann Trust -based in Hartlepool.
Re-registered as "City of Edinboro".
Sold to Excelsior Trust for £1 and taken to Lowestoft to await restoration.
Taken out of the elements into specially made building at the Excelsior Shipyard pending the start of a skills training programme.
Exhibition: Historical Fishing Vessels
Exhibition: The Excelsior Trust's Historic Vessels
East Channel Punt ESTRALITA as found, abandoned at Dungeness
Original elevation and sail plan of CITY OF EDINBORO
CONCRETIAN on the slip at the Excelsior Yard, Lowestoft, in 2005 having been sunk for 55 years.
CITY OF EDINBORO as the charter vessel WILLIAM McCANN after her return to the British flag
CITY OF EDINBORO on the slip at the Excelsior Yard. The man is 6 ft. tall which illustrates her great size. She has a typical Victorian counter stern.
EXCELSIOR under full sail consisting of Jib, Jib topsail, Foresail (smacksman term), Mainsail, Main topsail, Mizzen sail, Mizzen Topsail.
An elevation and sail plan of ESTRALITA RX8 showing her rig as built, and how she will appear when completed.
ESTRALITA after an engine was installed.
Excelsior at Lowestoft Marina