Registration number 2932
Status Registered


Function Fishing Vessel
Subfunction Dredger
Location Brightlingsea
Vessel type Essex Smack
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Howard, John, Maldon
Built in 1889
Hull material Wood
Rig Gaff Cutter
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Sail


Length: Overall
34.10 feet (10.39m)
Breadth: Beam
9.70 feet (2.96m)
3.90 feet (1.19m)


Built in 1889 by John Howard POLLY was originally built as a transom sterned smack and is the last fishing smack to work commecially without an engine. She was specifically built for Wal and Ernie Pitt and used by them as a fishing vessel up until she was purchased by John Kemp and used to teach YHA girls how to sail. POLL won the 1960 Maldon Regatta with the aforementioned on board by taking a short cut on the inside of Osea Island. In her next ownership, by Ian Hunter-Edmonds, she rolled over off Southwold harbour and lost her mast. Thereafter she was purchased by John Hickman, the Brighthlingsea Harbour’s master, who attached her to a telegraph pole and pulled her up onto the saltings so that major works could be carried out and she was anchored to mark the boundary of the Colne Smack Preservation Society’s dock. After 17 years, she was then purchased from John Hickman and has since been used as a recreational fishing, cruising, and racing vessel. POLLY still has her original wet well, a frame dated back to 1881, and the original transom. She also has part of her original windlass and a flax mainsail believe to be over 80 years old. 

Key dates

  • 1889

    Built as a fishing vessel for Wal and Ernie Pitt

  • 1919

    Transform stern altered to a counter stern

  • 1960

    Sold to John Kemp

  • 1966

    Sold to Ian Hunter-Edmonds 

  • 1970

    Sold to John Hickman 

  • 1993

    Sold to current owner

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