Lurch and the West Mersea men

Lurch and his mates have been out for a bit of winter punting


brilliant stuff



This is about Duck Punt films, Dylan Winter's Blog. Tags: ,

5 Responses to “Lurch and the West Mersea men”

  1. 4 February, 2012 at 4:34 pmcolin northcott says:


    At first I thought ‘lurch’ was the name of your duck punt :-)

    Do you have a name for it yet?


  2. 7 February, 2012 at 3:26 amSails149 says:

    Great stuff nothing like sailing in the saltings at high tide.
    I remember the stories about the real use for a West Mersea duck punt, Shooting ducks for dinner not sport. Weather you agree with that or not I was told that they used to mount a very large bore single shot ‘shot gun’ in the centerline of the punt and sneak thru the saltings (marshes) with the hunter lying on his belly, When the pray was close he lined up his shot by aiming the whole punt with his hands over the side. Just before he fired he would raise his knees well clear of the floors in the bottom of the boat as the recoil would drive the boat astern and could break the knee caps of the unwary hunter!

  3. 7 February, 2012 at 3:42 amSails149 says:

    The Sailing punts remind me of the America canoe sailing regattas we have been hosting the past few years. This is where the international canoe sailing started. But this is a more traditional canoe racing using various ‘standard paddling hulls converted to sailing.
    They have to use a single sided lee-board because of the round bilges of a American type canoe (think Indian canoe) . They still use often use just a paddle for steering too.
    They have 2 rigs a smaller standard 41 sf and a larger ‘unlimited’ type.
    I have posted videos from the 2011 national races I ran.
    sorry not up to your standard Dylan
    Google ‘ACACANOE SAILING’ and find about 6 videos under my channel ‘sails149’
    or others on our club web site of the first day
    It would be interesting to compare them side by side.
    The breeze was up on the second day so they did very well especially almost all the racers are at or beyond retirement age!

  4. 29 February, 2012 at 4:43 amRay in Keyport: [email protected] says:

    Here’s an American cousin of the duck punt… I think its a beautiful design, sleek and functional and sails well. Same rig as the duck punt too, but it does have a rudder on pintles at the stern. Great hunting boat. You sail up to the spot you want to be, then take down the rig, stow it, out with your gun! Paddle amongst the reeds, wait for the right moment, then point the bow at the prey and fire! I guess your bird dog was supposed to ride with you so you didn’t get your feet wet retrieving you main course. I can speak for the wildfowl too– I never shot any myself, but I have had the good luck to be given some now and then. –Ray

    The Original New Jersey Sneakbox or Barnegat Bay Duck Boat

    The first printed description appeared in Forest and Stream on April 3, 1874 in a short letter from Robert B. White. White included a rough dimensional drawing that is recognizably a sneakbox. It was conceived as a low-profile, lightweight, seaworthy hunting craft that one man could easily handle in any of the weather conditions likely to be encountered in the Jersey marshes.

    As with most American small craft, its origin is not well documented. Its generally accepted that Captain Hazelton Seaman invented the first sneakbox about 1836, in West Creek, New Jersey. It was usually built of the white cedar once plentiful throughout the mid-Atlantic states (West Creek, named for the stream that runs through it, is an informal “village” within Ocean County’s Eagleswood Township… “West Creek” is from the Lenape word “westeconk,” meaning “place of fat meat.”)

    From “Forest and Stream” 1874

    Shrewsbury, April 3, 1874.

    Editor Forest and Stream:-
    Agreeable to promise I send you a description of a Barnegat duck boat, or, as it is called, a sneakbox. This boat needs no recommendation. It has stood the test for years. Yours truly, Robert B. White.

    Length, 12 feet. Width midships, 4 feet; width of stern, 2 feet 9 in. Depth of stern, 7 in. Sprung timbers all of one pattern, 9-16×13-16 in. distance apart, 8 in. deck timbers natural bend, 1 in. x 1 in. Cock-pit, inside measurement, length 3 feet 4 in. width at bow and stern, 18 1/2 in. midships, 19 in. Combing, height of inside at bow and stern, 2 1/2 in., midships, 2 in. From bottom of combing to top ceiling, 18 in. Trunk on port tide, set slanting to take a 15 in. board trunk placed alongside and abaft of forward corner of combing. Rowlocks, height 6 in. from coaming 9 in. middle of to stern, 4 feet 7 in., made to fold down inboard and to fasten up with a hook. Stool rack runs from rowlocks to stern, notched at ends into fastenings of rowlocks, also notched at corners and hooked together, rest against a cleat on deck outside, and are hooked to the deck inside. In a heavy sea the apron is used. It is held up by a stick from peak to combing. Thus rigged the boat has the reputation of being able to live as long as oars can be pulled. The apron is tacked to the deck about two-thirds its length. The wings are fastened to the top and bottom of the rowlocks. Mast hole 2 5/8 in., 2 in. from coaming, Drop of sides from top of deck, 5 5/8 in., dead rise, 8 in. Over cock-pit a hatch is placed. Everything connected with the boat is placed inside, gunners, often leaving their guns, etc., locking the hatch fast. The boats sail well and covered with sedge are used to shoot from. With the hatch on a person can be protected from the rain, and with blankets, can be accommodated with a night’s lodging. The “Fishing Tourist” I find very interesting. We have no fishing, thanks to our laws that give us no protection from eel and other scines. Our legislators don’t take Forest and Stream.
    P.S.–Boards for boats, white cedar, 5/8 in. thick, deck narrow strips tongued and grooved. R.B.W.

  5. 24 May, 2015 at 4:33 pmWarren says:

    I don’t think the Jersey sneekbox is the us version on the duck punt.
    It’s uses were similar but the design is completely different , round hull shape,centerboard.,carvel type planking, decked over.
    Try looking at Bayou Pirogue on google
    These are similar cheap flat bottom designs but not used for sailing

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