Master Hand

Books frequently borrowed from the library when I was a schoolboy included the excellent volumes by Edgar J March. Years later I acquired my own copies of “Sailing Drifters”, “Sailing Trawlers” and “Spritsail Barges of the Thames and Medway”.

These authoritative volumes included extensive line drawings and plans of many of the vessels described. Many years ago I built a sailing model of the Yarmouth lugger “Gypsy Queen”. More recently, having completed the shipyard diorama “Dandy Score” I was looking for a project. March’s “Sailing Trawlers” beckoned!

One vessel described and illustrated in great detail is the Lowestoft sailing trawler “Master Hand” built 1920 in Rye. March was able to measure up and take detailed notes on this vessel while she was being converted for power in the 1950s.

Full drawings are contained in the book, and many models have been built. These drawings are not published as a set, and “Sailing Trawlers” is well out-of-print; I feel it is a tragedy that these and the other drawings in March’s books are not available to modelmakers.

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