Friar Tuck 

An Invited Friend of the Harrison Butler Association
Waterbug One Design by JW & A Upham Ltd 


 Yacht Supplies, Brixham, Devon

Friar Tuck : Some History 1965 -1970
James Bearblock has sent in an email about Friar Tuck, one of sixteen boats designed and built by Uphams in Brixham, Devon and thought to be derived from Harrison Butler's Z4 design. James writes, "I have fond memories of sailing in Friar Tuck during the mid/late sixties. My father was a relation of her then owner, Gerald Ashcroft, and we had many an outing, first from Brixham and then from Plymouth, sailing out to and around the Eddystone lighthouse or across to the Channel Islands, for example. I have vivid recollection of multiple attempts, often in vain, to get her Stuart Turner to burst into life when the wind died ! Before her sale in 1970, Friar Tuck was moved from her moorings off Brixham down to Antony Passage on the Lynher river (which flows into the Hamoaze on the Tamar, just below Saltash and across from Devonport Dockyard. She was wintered in Forder creek at Antony Passage and her mast stored in the Chapman property (the local fishing family) at the top of a very steep hill - quite an exercise needing a lot of local man-power to de-mast and haul the heavy wooden mast up the hill at the end of the season ! Friar Tuck's hull was painted white at the time. When she was sold, she moved only a few hundred yards down to the mouth of the Lynher where she was moored off and wintered in the old lifeboat house at Wearde Quay. Her hull was then painted a light blue/turquoise and a wooden doghouse was added to provide some protection from the elements. She was often seen during the '70s sailing up and down the Hamoaze and in Plymouth Sound, easy to spot with the distinctive colouring to her hull and also her sails (a maroon main and dark violet genoa if I remember correctly (but we are talking 40+ years ago)".
Thanks for that, James. In researching the Waterbugs, I came across the above photograph of Brixham's harbour front yacht chandlery of the 1950s. A high quality print is available from Francis Frith.

Friar Tuck Statistics
Built : 1954 by JW & A Upham Ltd of Brixham
LOA : 24' 3"
LWL : 21' 0"
Beam : 8' 4"
Draught : 4' 6"
Displacement : 6 tons TM
Lloyd's Register : N° 184056

Friar Tuck Custodians & Home Ports 
Dr David MP Pugh (?-1980-?) Milford Haven
AC Williams (1912- 1977-?) Plymouth
Gerald B Ashcroft (1964-1970) Brixham
Allan J Moore (1956-1963) Brixham
Stuart Upham (1954-1955) Brixham

Friar Tuck Links
The Waterbug - A Derived Design ? by Martin Hansen, HBA Journal N°75, New Year 2016 

Page last updated : July 2017


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