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Wherry

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A wherry is a working sailing vessel, designed for use on the Norfolk Broads. (The name wherry is also applied to a type of rowing vessel on the Thames).

In Peter Duck Peter Duck has a wherry, the Arrow of Norwich, which he sails between Norwich and Lowestoft (PD1,6):

Mr Duck usually lived in an old wherry on the Norfolk rivers, sailing this way and that between Norfolk and Lowestoft and Yarmouth and Beccles, sometimes with a cargo of potatoes, sometime with a cargo of coals, and sometimes with the deck of his wherry piled so high with reeds for thatching that the sail would hardly clear them. But he had not very much to do, and every now and then he used to leave his old wherry in Oulton Broad and slip down to Lowestoft to look at the boats ....

In Coot Club and The Big Six, the wherry Sir Garnet is captained by Jim Wooddall, with Old Simon.

Harry Bangate the old eelman recalls the hundreds of wherries there used to be (he had been a wherryman himself in his youth} (BS3).

There are few wherries left on the Broads today, generally used as pleasure craft. These include Albion and White Moth. Albion was the boat used for the Sir Garnet in the BBC adaptation of Coot Club and The Big Six, Swallows and Amazons Forever.

There are a few different types of wherry. Albion is a traditional trading wherry, whereas White Moth is a wherry yacht, designed as a luxury pleasure craft. But they have in common: a long thin hull and one big, gaff-rigged sail (traditionally black from being treated with tar).

See also Norfolk wherry.

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