Viking

Boat Specification
Boat Name: 
Viking
Boat Type: 
Barge
Boat Length: 
87 ft
Boat Beam: 
17 ft 4 ins
Boat Draft: 
3 ft 6 ins
Boat Displacement: 
63 tons
Boat Engine: 
None
Boat Construction: 
Pitch pine on oak
Boat Builder: 
Co-operative Barge Yard, Rochester
Boat Year: 
1895

Another Dunkirk survivor at The Dolphin Barge Museum, Sittingbourne, Kent, is the old sailing barge Viking, once a well-known trader around the Medway and the East Coast. Her origins are obscure. She was built in 1895 at Rochester's Co-operative Barge Yard, and her first master was William Jarrett of Upnor. By 1934 Viking had been converted into a yacht barge, and soon afterwards passed into the ownership of the Whiting family - well known Medway barge owners whose fleet numbered half a dozen vessels in the 1940s. After Dunkirk she continued her war service as a balloon barge, from which anti-aircraft barrage balloons were flown.

After the war she was re-rigged at Whitstable for cargo carrying as a coastal barge. At the end of that decade, Whitings were taken over by the London and Rochester Trading Company and throughout the '50s Viking worked for them.

She sailed around the East and South-east coast ports: Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Ramsgate and Felixstowe, and twice crossed to Calais. With the London and Rochester she had Yarmouth - Dover limits, but a considerable diversity of cargo. This included imported grain and animal feedstuffs from London's Victoria and Millwall docks consigned to the merchants of Ipswich; Canadian and American wood pulp for the big paper mills, and sawn timber from Scandinavia and Canada for the traders at Maldon, Essex. On her return journeys she often carried bags of cement, destined for the emerging third world countries, for industrial buildings and new airports.

In the late 1960's, Viking was beached in the Medway.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 & 19

Updated: No