The Kent Traditional Boat Association is not currently a formally constituted organisation but represents a vision that the promoters would like to develop provided a viable team can be put together to take it forward. This website has been set up to set out the vision for this proposed organisation and to encourage people who might be interested in its aims to support it.
The Dream is of an organisation that would celebrate the wide range of traditional boats that were used and developed in the County of Kent. Several different elements are proposed to further this end. One would be to carry out research into the various types of traditional boat and to produce a register of the types and a register of surviving boats. The Association would encourage and support those wishing to restore and preserve existing Kent boats. In the longer term it might possibly set up workshop and storage facilities where such boats could be kept in safe dry conditions and worked on. It would also encourage the replication of traditional Kent boats not only of those where there are no examples still surviving but also of those where the only surviving examples are in Museums and will therefore never be used again. It would organise events to promote the project and to engage the supporters. These would include conferences and races. Click herefor further information on the proposed activities. The focus of the association would be mostly on the smaller craft that tend not to by other organisations.
Kent, because of its widely varied coastline and waterways, has a wide range of traditional boat types. This website includes a list of boat-types. This is not exhaustive and more boat-types are likely to exist. While quite an amount is known about many of these, other boat-types are much less well-known and in some cases, especially where these were taken out of use early in the last century, there is very little if no information currently available. One of the aims of the Association would be to carry out research to bring together information on boat types and find out about those types that currently nothing is known about. Sailing barges, fishing smacks and bawleys would not be included because these are already covered well by other organisations. Please click here to see details of some of the boat types currently known about.