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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Boats / The elusive Herbert Bunn
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Posted By Discussion Topic: The elusive Herbert Bunn

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MarcFD
Aug-17-2020 @ 11:24 AM                           Permalink
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I'm in the process of putting togthter an article on the various Sabrinas for a magazine. Herbert Bunn, who is credited with the design and build of the original boat in 1910, as well as Dragonfly a few years earlier. According to census data, he was working in Horstead in 1901, but that's about all there is - his son Graham, of Windboats fame, is rather better known. Any extra nuggets or leads would be much appreciated - as well as on the rest of the Sabrinas!

Marc

Japonica
Aug-18-2020 @ 6:51 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Marc,
Herbert Bunn built Sabrina 1 around 1910. After the first world war Sabrina 2 to four were built by George Smith of Wroxham who had acquired Sabrina 1. The others were built using the same moulds with the addition of another plank in the sheer to increase cabin headroom. Some time later Sabrina 5 was built.
No 1 is kept at Thurne and retains the gaff rig with bowsprit. We replaced the stem and some planning a few years ago.
No 2 is at the EACC moorings at Thurne and has a profiled keel and integral topsail rig. We replaced the transom and did some work on the lifting roof.
No 3 was owned by a Canadian gentleman who used to holiday two weeks every year on her before she was taking on by Mr Russell who made a fabulous job restoring her to near original condition.
No 4 is called Satyr and has a shortened cabin, longer cockpit, cut down sheer and big gaff rig with separate topsail.
No 5 I own, previous name Rusalka. She was lying in a yard at Loddon and had not seen the water for twenty years. I've replaced decks, cabin sides, bulkhead, transom and designed and fitted a new integral topsail rig. I'm currently replacing the hog and all floor bearers.
I think I have your phone number which was passed onto me by my boss at Coxs boatyard.
Cheers Mat

MarcFD
Aug-19-2020 @ 11:12 AM                           Permalink
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Morning Mat - and thanks for getting back to me; you do indeed have my phone number! Rod really has made a great job of Sabrina 3; we did the photo shoot of her on Friday, and she does look rather special - even while still sporting her original high peaked  hire fleet rig. Rod tells me she was very badly hogged when he started work on her, with no sheer at all. Her shape was apparently restored by someone who did his apprenticeship at a Bunn yard - presumably Grahams - resulting in a marked improvement in her handling.

The drawings her used have since vanished, but I imagine you're familiar with the Sabrina Trophy? I don't know when the half model was made, but it does show a very familiar shape. I don't suppose you happen to know where I could get a good picture of it? The RCC sent me some lo res ones, but I can't read all the plaques on the backboard. The RCC nw seems to have gone a bit quiet.

As far as the man himself goes (from the 1901 census), a 37 year old Herbert Bunn was living in Station Rd, Horstead and is listed as a boatbuilder. Among the children listed, is a 7 year old Graham - presumably later of Windboats fame - but I've not been able to find out where Herbert's yard was though, but it was probably pretty close. Do you know where it might have been? Bunn senior isn't an easy man to track down...

It sounds like all the Sabrinas are still in existence and being looked after, which is good to hear. I did hear a rumour that the Easticks 28 was an evolution of the Sabrina shape, but that appears to be hotly disputed! Having looked carefully at both, I'm not convinced - the Easticks looks rather chunkier to me. Do you have an opinion on the Easticks debate?

If you have some good pictures of your boat, either afloat or being worked on, I may be able to include some of those in the article. The deadline is pretty tight - the end of the month - which is why I'm digging around with a fair bit of energy! Let me know what you think.

Cheers,
Marc



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