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Coastguard vessels
John Hicks
My grandfather was a coastguard in Ireland around WW1. His records show service on MFA Maria and Island Prince. Does anyone know what these vessels were?
 
crimea1854
Hi John and welcome to the Forum

The MFA (Mercantile Fleet Auxiliary) Maria was a 60 ton Drifter, built in 1905. She was requisitioned in 1915 and returned to her original owner in 1919.

Similarly the Island Prince was a 205 ton Trawler, built in 1911, hired in 1914 and returned in 1919, she was armed with 1-6pdr gun.

To find out more I'm afraid you will have to consult Lloyds Register for the period.

Regards

Martin
Edited by crimea1854 on 31/10/2007 18:51
 
John Hicks
Hello Martin,
Thanks for prompt reply ref small MFA vessels. Will certainly look them up next time in Greenwich library.

Lucky finding this website. Now looking for 1911 Irish census of coastguard stations for my relatives.

Best wishes, John Hicks
 
aussienoel
Perhaps a dunb question...but how do you find what vessels were attached to a particular Coastguard Station (or perhaps group of stations) at any particular time?

My interest being Achill-beg 1848-1853 and Portnafrankagh 1853-1859.

Thank you,

Noel
 
crimea1854
Hi Noel

Some of the Establishment Books (EBs) have a list of the boats at each station, unfortunately for the period you are interested in no such list is included. However, since ships' boats did not change significantly during this period I would assume the following could have been at each station, this is based on a typical list in the earlier EB's:

1No. 6 oared galley
1No. 4/5 oared whale boat
1No. 4 oared gig

If you're really interested in these boats, I would recommend The Boats of Men-of-War by WE May, a real anoraks book !!

Regards

Martin
Edited by crimea1854 on 03/09/2009 08:22
 
aussienoel
Thanks Martin.

Other than the book, can you point me to any suitable sketches, pictures, photographs etc. of these boats?

I'd like to sketch one as an illustration.

Thank you,

Noel
 
crimea1854
Noel

Iíve had a trawl around the Internet for suitable pictures, without any success. The galley seems to have been specifically developed for anti-smuggling work as a response to the faster boats being used by the smugglers. It was about 30ft long, narrow and lighter than the normal six-oared longboat, designed solely for speed. The Admiralty restricted the use of these boats to the CG Service and those ships engaged on anti-smuggling work. However, from 1860 flag officers were permitted to use them on their flagships.

By contrast the whaler had been developed as a stable platform from which to board other ships. Double ended to enable them to be more manoeuvrable, about 24ft long, they were meant to be unsinkable. Gigs ranged in size from 18-26ft, and were the work-a-day boats.

Martin
 
aussienoel
Thanks Martin.

I'll keep looking.

Noel
 
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