Big splash as two new sailing cobles launched

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Two coble boats were launched from Bridlington Harbour on Friday after months of hard work and dedication by their builders.

The boats, which were christened Free Spirit and Misnomer, received a warm reception at the Harbour with hundreds on spectators turning up to witness the result of three months of nautical craftsmanship and labour.

John Clarkson, who built the boats alongside Joe Gelsthorpe, said: “The launch was absolutely brilliant.

“About 200 people turned out for the launch which was excellent, and we presented all of the volunteers who helped us over the months with certificates to thank them for all of their excellent work.”

Much to the delight of onlookers, the vessels received a traditional maritime send-off - champagne included.

The boats, which are known as sailing cobles, are the first to be built since 1976 when the ‘Gratitude’ was built in Amble, Northumberland by Hector Handyside for Dave Wharton of Whitby.

Once the mainstay of the fishing industry in the North East, cobles have a deep forefoot and a shallow draft aft to ease coming ashore and being pulled-up.

John added: “I’m retired now and have been working nonstop on the boats for three months now, so it was a lot of hard work.

“It’s absolutely brilliant to see them finished and in the water now.”

The cobles are now up for sale fully rigged, and if they stay in Bridlington, will put the town on the map for having five sailing cobles in the harbour.