|In 1893, the Smack Yacht "VERA", launched as 'Tewke',
was built by Forrest & Sons in the shipyard next to Wivenhoe railway
At the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries, the vessel was
owned by Arthur Briscoe, the renowned etcher and marine artist of West
Mersea. Since that time she has had a number of owners in the UK but is
now owned by Mr Henk Duister, a former conservator at the Zuiderzee
Museum, Enkhuizen, in Holland.
The beautifully preserved and maintained yacht is now sailed from
Broekerhaven on the Marker Meer by 'skipper' Duister, his 'mate' wife
Willi and a family crew.
Originally rigged as a cutter, "VERA" was converted to ketch
rig in 1990.
In the hands of the Duister family, "VERA" has won many
awards in sailing races and has now been honoured by the Dutch
organisation Monumentemzorg which cares for old historic buildings, ships
and other artefacts.
At the ripe old age of 110 years, this Essex lady has been designated a
The Smack Yacht "VERA" built at Wivenhoe,
1893. Dimensions: 32.5 feet x 9.5 feet. 11 Thames tons.