Previous names

  • 1929 Ada Carter
  • 1923 Wanda
Certificate no 435
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Hull
Vessel type Humber Keel
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Warrens Shipyard, New Holland
Built in 1923
Hull material Steel
Rig Square
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
15.97 feet (4.87 m)
8.00 feet (2.44 m)
Length: Overall
61.25 feet (18.68 m)
Length: Overall
61.25 feet (18.68 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


The Humber keel COMRADE was built in 1923 as Wanda at Warren’s Shipyard, New Holland, for Turner Carmichael, of Hull. Originally she was probably an unrigged lighter, and carried coal and barley between Wakefield and Hull. Her bluff-bowed, flat-sided steel hull was made to the Sheffield  size of 61’ 3” length and 15’ 6” beam, ensuring she could navigate the locks as far as Sheffield. With a hold able to carry over 100 tons of cargo, she had a crew of two when under sail. She was later sold to John ‘Herrings’ Taylor who renamed her Ada Carter after his wife (presumably using her maiden name).

In 1929 the vessel was part-exchanged with Arthur Schofield of Beverley for his keel Galatea. The spars and rigging from Galatea were retained by Schofield for rigging Comrade, as he chose to rename his new acquisition. He used her for carrying general cargo in the West Riding and South Yorkshire, usually bringing coal back to Hull or Beverley. An Ogle 40 hp semi-diesel engine was first installed in 1933, and replaced by a 21 hp Lister diesel in 1942. At that point the sailing rig was removed. A 31 hp Lister diesel engine was fitted in 1953 and is still in use today. Arthur’s son, Fred, took over in 1958 as owner/skipper until December 1974 when COMRADE was purchased by the Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society. Fred Schofield continued as skipper whilst COMRADE carried her last cargoes from the King George V Dock in Hull to Richard Hodgson and Sons’s tannery on Beverley Beck side, until completing her contract in April 1975.

The Society then started work at Beverley on her restoration to sailing rig with both mainsail and topsail, supervised by Fred Schofield who became sailing master when she sailed again, and remained associated with her until his death in 1993. A 55 ft mast was stepped, with a 32 ft yard, and new sails made by Jeckells & Son of Wroxham were bent.  When the re-rigged COMRADE sailed for the first time on the Humber in August 1976 she was the first keel to be seen under sail for over thirty years. In 1980 she went to sea, visiting Bridlington, the first time a keel had visited that port since Thomas Scarr took a cargo of brick and tiles there in 1906.

Source: Historic Sail, Britain's surviving working craft, Paul Brown, the History Press.


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp144, Edition 2, 1993 
Sullivan, Dick, Old Ships, Boats and Maritime Museums, Coracle Books, 1978
Hainsworth, John, Ships Monthly: Rerigging the 'Comrade', pp10-13, August 1976  

Key dates

  • 1923 Built at Warren’s Shipyard in New Holland as an unrigged lighter named WANDA for Turner Carmichael to carry barley and coal between Wakefield and Hull
  • 1929 Part-exchanged with Arthur Schofield of Beverley for his keel GALATEA. The spars and rigging were retained by Schofield for rigging COMRADE, the name he chose for his acquisition
  • 1933 Fitted with an Ogle 40hp semi-diesel engine
  • 1942 Ogle engine replaced by a 21hp Lister diesel engine
  • 1958 Transferred to owner’s son, Fred Schofield
  • 1974 Sold to the Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society, whose members rigged her for sailing and retained Fred Schofield as her Captain until his death in 1993
  • 1974-76 Restored to original sailing configuration
  • 1976 First successful trip under sail
  • 1980 History made when COMRADE sailed to Bridlington, the first time a keel had been there since 1905
  • 2011 Still in ownership of the Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society


  • 2020

    They've been awarded £23,200 from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund (2nd round) - a new floating museum will be created aboard the Humber keel Comrade, which is based in Hull Marina

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