The Ship

Britannia under full sail in the Hebrides in the 1980s.

Britannia is the last functional example of an East Coast Smack. She was built by the Worfolk Brothers – a well known pair of shipwrights – working from their yard in Alexandra Dock, King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Construction was started in 1914 and Britannia was launched in 1915. She was the largest and fasted vessel in the King’s Lynn fleet.Read more about Britannia’s history…


Beam: 13.28ft (4.05m)

Draught: 7.34ft (2.24m)

Length Overall: 55.15ft (16.82m)

Gross Tonnage: 25T

Fishing Number: BN72 – Boston

Britannia was built as a whelking ship. Whelks are a type of marine snail which was an incredibly popular street-food at the time – now mostly forgotten! She would lay lines of baited wicker pots into which whelks would crawl. The pots would then be hauled up and the live whelks rushed back to shore to be steamed, bagged and sent to market.