Certificate no 105
Status Archived


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Bideford
Vessel type River Gravel Barge
Archive reason More information required
Current use None
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required Yes


Builder Harris, P K & Sons Ltd, Appledore
Built in 1926
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
15.18 feet (4.63 m)
4.00 feet (1.22 m)
Length: Overall
48.07 feet (14.66 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



ADVANCE was built in 1926 by P K Harris & Sons of Appledore for the builders merchants Devon Trading Co. to load and transport gravel and sand from the sand bars at the mouth of the Tow and Torridge Estuary to the merchants' yards in Bideford and Barnstaple. ADVANCE was originally designed as a gaff sloop, but was never rigged. Her hull is carvel built of oak frames with pine planking. The original engine was a Widdop semi diesel 15bhp, installed with a grab crane during construction. The crane was removed in the 1950s and a motor elevator was fitted instead which was loaded by hand. Her present owner states that she is one of two remaining wooden gravel barges still afloat in the Tow & Torridge Estuary. Gravel dredging was prohibited in 1998.

We are lacking information on this vessel.  if you having any details past of present by contact us.


Norman J Brouwer, International Register of Historic Ships (Edition 2, 1993, pp134) pub: Anthony Nelson
M and Small, E Langley, Lost Ships of the West Country (1988) pub: Stanford Maritime

Key dates

  • 1926 Built by P K Harris & Sons of Appledore as a river gravel barge
  • 2009

    Now in Sea Lock Basin, Rolle Canal near Bideford

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