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Arctic Corsair

Arctic corsair.jpg
Arctic Corsair
United Kingdom
Name: Arctic Corsair[1][2]
Owner: Boyd Line Hull
Port of registry: Hull
Builder: Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley
Yard number: 959
Launched: 29 February 1960
Out of service: 1993
Renamed: Arctic Cavalier (15 January 1988), back to Arctic Corsair (18 June 1993)
Fate: Museum ship
General characteristics
Class and type: Diesel side-fishing trawler
Tonnage: 256 long tons (260 t) nett, 764 long tons (776 t) gross
Length: 187.1 ft (57.0 m)
Beam: 33.6 ft (10.2 m)
Installed power: 1,800 bhp (1,300 kW)
Propulsion: 6-cylinder Mirrlees Monarch diesel engine
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)

The Arctic Corsair (H320) is a deep-sea trawler that was converted to a museum ship in 1999. It is berthed between Drypool Bridge and Myton Bridge in the River Hull in Kingston upon Hull, England, and is part of the city's Museums Quarter.

Exhibits and guides aboard the boat tell the story of Hull's deep-sea fishing industry.


The Arctic Corsair is Hull’s last surviving sidewinder trawler,[3] a type of ship that formed the backbone of the city’s deep sea fishing fleet. She was built in 1960, at Cook, Welton & Gemmell in Beverley, and was the second diesel-engined trawler built for the Boyd Line, the first being the Arctic Cavalier which was launched the previous month.[1] She was designed for the harsh conditions encountered in the Icelandic grounds, having a rivetted rather than welded hull.[4]

In September 1967 she was holed on her starboard side in a collision off the coast of Scotland with the Irish collier Olive in thick fog.[4] Attempting to reach harbour in Wick she was beached in Sinclair Bay but eventually repaired and refloated.[1]

In 1973, the Arctic Corsair broke the world record for landing of cod and haddock from the White Sea.

On 30 April 1976 during the cod wars, she rammed the offshore patrol vessel ICGV Óðinn in the stern, after Óðinn had made three attempts to cut the Corsair's trawl warps.[5] The skipper, Charles Pitts, said that Icelandic seamen were becoming "more ambitious and dangerous in their tactics". With his ship holed below the waterline, and patched up temporarily by the Royal Navy, Pitts decided to head for home for permanent repairs.[6] Arctic Corsair was out of action for several months.[3][4]

In 1978 she was converted for midwater trawling, and in 1981 laid up at Hull. In 1985 she was taken out of retirement and reconverted for normal fishing. She was renamed Arctic Cavalier in 1988.

In 1991, a campaign led by Adam Fowler of STAND secured £45,000 from the DTI Hull Task Force which enabled Hull City Council to purchase the trawler in 1993. The vessel was immediately renamed Arctic Corsair again, and moored in the River Hull for use as a museum ship.[1]

After being restored by trainees and volunteers from the fishing heritage group STAND, the floating museum opened to the public in 1999. STAND entered into partnership with the City Council to provide volunteers to maintain and act as tour guides. Today, the floating museum is run entirely by volunteers but supported by Hull City Council. Vessel is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays (and Bank Holiday Mondays) from Easter until end of October. Guided tours are free.

In June 2018 to was announced that she was to move to dry-dock in September 2018 while flood defence work is undertaken on the River Hull.[7] This was delayed while other flood defence work was undertaken but on 4 August 2019 was she moved to a temporary berth at Alexandra Dock.[8][9][10]


Arctic Corsair

Many people worked on the ship during her long career. Her usual crew numbered 24. Skippers include:

  • Trevor Burnett
  • Bernard Wharam
  • Stanley Barwick
  • Harry Waudby
  • Richard Sackville-Bryant
  • James Brocklesby
  • Philip Garner
  • Charlie Pitts[11]
  • Brian Hodson
  • Barry Dawson

See also


  1. ^ a b c d and all infobox info:Thompson, Michael; Newton, Dave; Robinson, Richard; Lofthouse, Tony (1999). Cook, Welton & Gemmell: shipbuilders of Hull and Beverley. Hutton Press Ltd. p. 243. ISBN 1-902709-02-0.
  2. ^ "Arctic Corsair". Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b Hull City Council (2009). "Arctic Corsair". Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "A trawler built to withstand harsh conditions". Hull Daily Mail. Northcliffe Electronic Publishing. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Holed trawler 'in no danger' after collision". The Times (Issue 59693). 1 May 1976. p. 4.
  6. ^ Hornsby, Michael; Clayton, Hugh (5 May 1976). "Britain lays claim to 50 miles of fishing rights". The Times (Issue 59696). pp. 1, 5.
  7. ^ "Historic Hull trawler prepares to be moved to museum". BBC News. BBC. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Date announced for Arctic Corsair's historic move on the River Hull". Hull Daily Mail. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Arctic Corsair moved from home of 20 years". BBC News. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  10. ^ Emotional send off for Hull's Arctic Corsair [arctic corsair move] (online video). Storyboard Media. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019. External link in |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ Winter, Phil (14 December 2017). "Tributes to legendary Hull skipper who died after falling at home". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 July 2019.

External links