Oh, Snap! (kutsuwamushi) wrote in little_details,
Oh, Snap!

[ANON POST] Historical fishing boats and crossing the English Channel

Here's the situation: I am trying to get my characters from Dover, Kent (of white cliffs fame) across the English Channel to France. Setting is late 19th century, but for various reasons, the ferries/mail packets are not an option. My working assumption is that they can find a fisherman with a boat that can make the crossing if they offer him enough money (although if you have another/better idea, by all means share it!).

What I am trying to figure out is what sort of a boat that would be (and from there, how many people it would take to operate it, how fast it would travel, what sort of fish it would be designed to catch, etc). I have never been to the UK and I've lived in a landlocked area for most of my life, so I'm a bit lost! I've Googled various permutations of "fishing industry Kent," "history of fishing industry in Britain," "English Channel," "dover fishing fleet," "historical british fishing boats," "english channel fishing," and while I can find information about types of boats that were in use at the time (sailing trawlers and perhaps early steam trawlers, drifters) I'm having trouble finding which ones would specifically have been used in Dover - I don't want my characters in a boat that's designed to catch herring if herring fishing wasn't happening in Dover. In spite of the fact that it's fifty years later, I even looked into the evacuation of Dunkirk to try to get a feel for small ships that could have made the crossing, but I think the technology had changed too much by then for it to be helpful.

I'm aiming for something pretty small, that the captain would believably own himself. Any ideas?
Tags: 1800s (no decades given), france (misc), uk (misc), ~boats and other things that float, ~travel: sea travel

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