Boatbuilders vow to set sail again in Dover Bronze Age Boat

Posted: 05/20/2012 in all marine news

This Is Kent – 

The project leader of the team behind the construction of a replica Dover Bronze Age boat has vowed to attempt another launch after the craft took on water at its first sea trial last Saturday.

The public launch was to mark the end of more than three months work by a specialist team, including Canterbury Archaeological Trust deputy director Peter Clark, on building the vessel on Dover’s Roman Lawn using Bronze Age era tools.

The boat is a half scale replica of the 3,500 year old craft found in the centre of Dover 20 years ago during work on Townwall Street.

It will form the centre-piece of a £1.7 million, three-year European exhibition focused on the era and connections across the Channel starting in Boulogne next month.

The boat build and launch has been filmed as part of a Time Team special and crew members including frontman Tony Robinson were present for the failed attempt.

The craft had been lowered into the marina but had to be winched out almost immediately when water started to fill it.

Instead of being paddled up to the slipway on the seafront the craft was brought on the back of a trailer to the promenade by the Dover Sea Sports Centre so the gathered crowd, including Dover District Council chairman Sue Nicholas, could see it.

Mr Clark said he hopes to attempt another launch before the replica travels to Boulogne for the exhibition opening on June 30.

He said: “I am terribly disappointed, especially after such a hard week, but we faced challenges all the way along. We are going to go away, sleep on it and think about the lessons we have learnt.

“There was a lot of water coming in but we think the leaks were fairly localised.We think 80 per cent of it held but it failed along two seams which we were still doing at 2am (Saturday morning).

“We will launch it again.”

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