s.v. Merry Lass FD146

Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm and Maurice Voss


Official Number: 106596
Gross Tonnage: 49.37
Net Tonnage: 40.65
Length: 67.4 ft
Breadth: 18.2 ft
Depth: 8.45 ft
Rig: Ketch – trawling
Auxilliary oil engine by Laval


1897: Completed by R. Jackman & Sons, Brixham for John Berry James, King Street, Brixham as MERRY LASS. Registered at Dartmouth & Brixham O.N.106596 (16/97). Registered at Dartmouth (DH437). John Berry James designated managing owner.
14.12.1897: At 11.30am. in Plymouth Sound, in collision with steamer LADY WOLSELEY (1450grt/1894), from London, which was making for the docks. Bowsprit carried away and damage to stem.
30.11.1898: Arrived Brixham having lost her trawling gear valued between £30 and £40, caused by shooting the trawl without shackling on to the trawl warp.
15.2.1900: In a very strong gale and heavy rain in the Channel, many of the trawlers caught at sea with their trawls down either lost gear or sustained damage to it and all returned to harbour under double reefed canvas. Along with the smack had bowsprit carried away.
7.1.1901: The Brixham Fishing Smack Insurance Co Ltd received tenders for repair of the damage caused by the recent gale. MERRY LASS, J. W. & A. Upham £25; R. Jackman £27.10s. The tender of Messrs Upham was accepted.
26.5.1902: Registered at Brixham (BM29).
1907: Sold to Thomas Nicks, 61 Rotterdam Rd, Lowestoft.
5.10.1907: Brixham registry closed.
14.10.1907: Registered at Lowestoft (LT1091).
10.11.1907: Arrived Lowestoft in the afternoon with the crew of the London registered, Hartlepool owned, schooner JOHN SHELLEY (175nrt/1875) (Capt J. Storm) Hartlepool for London cargo coals, transferred from the fish carrier SPEEDWELL (H481). In dense fog in the North Sea the JOHN SHELLEY was run down by the SPEEDWELL although both vessels heard the fog signals from each other. SPEEDWELL took the crew onboard and then, on account of the weather, drifted until 10.00am, when some 12 miles off Lowestoft, she fell in with the smack.
21.11.1907: In South Bay, off Pakefield with thick fog, in collision the Banff steam drifter SUCCEED (BF1399) sustaining considerable damage. Went to anchor as not considered prudent to try and enter harbour in the weather conditions.
23.8.1910: Proceeding to sea from the former Herring Dock at Lowestoft (Sk. Thomas Vicks), in collision off the South Pier with the smack WHITE HEATHER (LT1013) which had left the Trawl Dock. Sk. Vicks who was bending over at the time, completed a somersault over the rail and into the water. Some of the crew of the WHITE HEATHER got hold of him until a boat came out, picked him up and put him back onboard his own vessel, apparently little the worse for his immersion.
10.9.1910: FOR SALE at once, ready for Sea, the SMACK “MERRY LASS”. Apply owner, T. Nicks, 61 Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft.
1911: Sold to John N. Ward, 114 Dock St, Fleetwood.
5.5.1911: Lowestoft registry closed.
11.5.1911: Arrived Fleetwood. Reported sold along with the smack SUNRISE (LT432) to a Fleetwood syndicate for the purpose of fishing in Morecambe Bay.
1911: Sold to Thomas Fairclough, 107 Mount Street, Fleetwood 7 others (The Sunrise Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood). John N. Ward designated manager.
18.5.1911: Registered at Fleetwood (FD146). Richard Wilson skipper.
1912: Magnus B.J. Wedum, Dock St, Fleetwood designated manager.
1.3.1912: At Fleetwood Police Court, Alfred Richardson, ship’s fireman, was charged with stealing an oil frock from the cabin of the smack. William Slinger, one of the crew of the smack, said the oil-skin belonged to the skipper and was seen hanging up in the cabin at noon on 28th February and was missing in the evening. Richard Wright, a broker, said that he bought a pair of sea clogs from the prisoner who asked if he would buy an oil frock. The prisoner returned with the oil frock and he was given 5s 6d for it. He afterwards heard that the oil frock was stolen from the MERRY LASS. He went in search of Richardson and kept him in conversation until P.C. Campsie arrived and arrested the prisoner. Sentenced to one month’s imprisonment.
3.10.1913: Tonnage altered to 24.94net as per Surveyor’s Certificate dated Liverpool 2nd October 1913.
27.1.1914. In a light fog, fishing some 20 miles WSW of Morecambe Bay Lightship (Sk. Peter Leadbetter). Sighted what appeared to be a submarine. Further ahead the skipper saw two small boats and a steamer to the westward with her bows in the air. Trawl was recovered and started for home, when some ten miles north of Lune Buoy met several steam trawlers that had left Fleetwood on the morning tide. Signalled to them that a hostile submarine was in the area and they returned to port. (The submarine proved to be U-boat (U21) and the steamer the BEN CRUACHAN (3092grt/1903), the survivors in the two boats were picked up by the smack MARGARET (FD208) and brought into Fleetwood.)
18.1.1919: Sold to Henry Boyden Hornby, Dock Road, Birkenhead & others. Henry B Hornby designated managing owner.
18.1.1919: Fleetwood registry closed.
3.2.1919: Registered at Liverpool (LL15).
1920: Sold to Henry Utting, 188 Denmark Road, Lowestoft & others. Henry Utting designated managing owner.
9.2.1920: Liverpool registry closed.
1920?: Remeasured 52.11g. 25.68n.
12.2.1920: Registered at Lowestoft (LT897).
8.1921: Sold to Engel Lycke, Oostende.
20.8.1921: Lowestoft registry closed. “Sold to Belgians”. Registered at Oostende as MERRY LASS (O146).
19??: Registered at Oostende as ANTONIA ISABELLE (O65).
1930: Re-registered at Oostende as HERMINA (O177).
25.1.1937: Sold to Henri Vanhoutte & F. Calcoen, Nieuwpoort. Oostende registry closed. Registered at Nieuwpoort as JAN BART (N55).
9.1937: Owner became Henri Vanhoutte.
19??: Fitted with 96hp oil engine by Laval
5.1940: German troops entered Belgium. Sailed Nieupoort for St.Vaast-La-Hougue. Returned and impounded by German authorities in ‘de Creek of Lombardsijde’, Nieupoort harbour.
8.1940: Capsized and total wreck.

Click to enlarge image

sv Merry Lass O146

sv Merry Lass O146
Picture courtesy of The Maurice Voss Collection

22/02/2009: Page published.
15/02/2023: Major information update.
06/06/2023: Updated information and added an image.