Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The Norfolk wherry is a black-sailed trader, kind of boat on The Broads in Norfolk. It is double-ended with the pole steeped well forward, tinted black with a single gaff sail. Mostly clinker-built, it would carry about 25 tons of goods.
Wherries were able to arrive at better boats just off coast and take their cargoes off to be transported inland through the broads and the rivers.
Before wherries, there was the Norfolk Keel, a quadrangle rigged, transom sterned clinker-built boat, 54 feet by 14 feet, and able to carry 30 tons of goods. The keel had been built since the middle Ages and the plan probably went back to the Viking invasion. After 1800, the Norfolk Keel (or 'keel wherry') disappeared, partly since a wherry could be sailed with fewer crew, and it had limited maneuverability and lacked speed.
A special wherry wheelbarrow was used to unpack cargo, e.g. stone, from the wherries. It was made from wood and strengthens with iron bands. It had no legs; therefore it could be rested on the 11 inches wide plank on the surface of the wherry.