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The Blobber

Taken from The Humber, A. Watts,'1980...

So called because of their use for 'Eel Blobbing' in the Humber and River Hull, the Blobbers were converted from smacks boats. All fishing vessels, both sail and steam, carried a boat some 18'0" long, 7'0" beam and 2'6" in depth and, as they were condemned by the Board of Trade for sea-work, they were eagerly snapped up for conversion. After restoring the hull, and making good the superficial damage of a working life, the boat was decked and a false keel and cabin added. This varied between a low profile for use on the Humber to a raised top some 2'0" above the gunwale for use on the more sheltered waters of the Hull. Occasionally, the boats would have a flush deck and small cockpit, but this type was in the minority.

The Rig varied again with the use intended; for work on the Humber, and for racing, a cutter rig with gaff mainsail and bowsprit was adopted. Exceptionally for downwind work a mizzen was stepped on the archboard.

The boats on the River Hull were not generally rigged - being propelled by a long oar, and having an eel spear and two staves for suspending the eel blobs. In 1902, it was estimated that there were 50 Blobbers in the Humber creeks and dock basins, and some 100 on the River Hull.

The Blobber

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