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Historic sailing wherry returns to the water in wake of £12,500 refit

PUBLISHED: 16:45 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 12 September 2017

The Wherry Maud was returned to the water last week following four weeks of maintenance and refit work. Picture: Martin Carruthers

The Wherry Maud was returned to the water last week following four weeks of maintenance and refit work. Picture: Martin Carruthers

Martin Carruthers

The massive wooden bulk of the Maud, one of only two trading wherries left on the Broads, has returned to the water following four weeks of maintenance and refit work.

The Wherry Maud was returned to the water last week following four weeks of maintenance and refit work. Picture: Martin Carruthers The Wherry Maud was returned to the water last week following four weeks of maintenance and refit work. Picture: Martin Carruthers

The 118-year-old sailing vessel was lifted from the water in a delicate operation on August 9 at Goodchild Marine in Burgh Castle.

An inspection of the wherry revealed that she needed about 30ft of planking in her hull replaced.

Wherry Maud Trust trustee Linda Pargeter said other minor repairs had been carried out along with general maintenance work.

She said they had formulated a three- and six-year plan that would help spread the costs of keeping Maud afloat.

The Wherry Maud was returned to the water last week following four weeks of maintenance and refit work. Picture: Martin Carruthers The Wherry Maud was returned to the water last week following four weeks of maintenance and refit work. Picture: Martin Carruthers

The last time the wherry, which weighs about 22 tonnes, was taken from the water three years ago, the bill for the lift, repairs, materials, labour and storage ran up to £15,000.

“All work went as planned,” said Mrs Pargeter. “We have not received the final bill for the latest work yet but expect it to be in the region of £12,500.”

Maud was returned to the water on Friday morning.

“Everything went off smoothly,” said Mrs Pargeter. “She is leaking a bit but that is to be expected after being out of the water for a period of time.

The Wherry Maud Trust trustee Linda Pargeter. Picture : ANTONY KELLY The Wherry Maud Trust trustee Linda Pargeter. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

“It is not good for her to be out for too long as the planks shrink. Now she’s back in the water the wood will swell again and should seal the leaks.”

After being placed back in the water by Goodchild’s 32-tonne boat lift, Maud’s mast, gaff and about three to four tonnes of ballast were replaced.

“We managed to get her rigged up over the weekend and the sail will go back on Sunday,” said Mrs Pargeter.

“She will then be sailed to Ludham where she will remain for the winter.

The Wherry Maud at sail. Picture: Andrew Stone The Wherry Maud at sail. Picture: Andrew Stone

“We are planning on taking her out after that but all winter trips will be dependent on the weather.”

She said this was the first time the trustees had been responsible for the planning and costs of the three-yearly maintenance project.

“There was an appeal to raise £2,200 towards the cost and this has been exceeded.

“Currently they have raised £3,500 and the excess will be held in reserve for the work scheduled in 2020.”

■ The trust is still recruiting members and anyone interested should visit www.wherrymaudtrust.org

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