Certificate no 1030
Status Registered


Function Fishing Vessel
Subfunction Dredger
Location West Mersea
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Aldous & Sons, Brightlingsea
Built in 1894
Hull material Wood
Rig Unknown
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Sail
Primary engine type Unknown
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
48.98 feet (14.94 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



ABC is a fishing smack, built 1894 by Robert Aldous, Brightlingsea and registered as CK53. She operated mainly in the area where she was built in the ownership of the Barbrook family and was named after three of the sons - Arthur, Bert and Charlie. In 1937, she was sold to Arthur Hempstead and taken out of fishing. Two years later, she was laid ashore on the edge of Feldy Marsh, opposite West Mersea. The first winter there saw her surrounded by ice and damage to her wooden hull caused her to sink. In 1997, a local resident conceived the idea of raising her as a restoration project. She was dug out of the mud and towed to a nearby yard for the work to take place.


Blackwater Matters (Spring Edition 10, 1998) The 'ABC' of smack restoration

Key dates

  • 1894 Built as a fishing smack by Robert Aldous of Brightlingsea and registered as CK53
  • 1937 Taken out of fishing
  • 1939 Laid ashore opposite West Mersea
  • 1997 Dug out of mud and towed to a hard for restoration

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk