Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 08:28 UK

Boat reaches its 200th birthday

Boadicea
The boat was a working oyster smack until 1938

A man is celebrating the birthday of his boat built three years after Nelson died at Trafalgar and seven years before Napoleon met his Waterloo.

Boadicea, a twelve-and-a-half ton, 30ft (9m), oyster smack owned by fireman Reuben Frost of West Mersea, Essex, was built in 1808.

It is thought to be the oldest boat in the world still regularly sailed.

The smack worked commercially until 1938 when she was bought by Mr Frost's grandfather, Michael, for 175.

Mr Frost, his wife Donna, 36, son Izaak, 10, and daughter Amber, eight, have the boat's registration document and paperwork detailing the dozen owners she has had over the two centuries.

I think she's survived so long because she's always been loved
Reuben Frost

"During the spring and summer Boadicea can be found regularly racing against other smacks and classic yachts and if there is a stiff breeze we can hold our own," said Mr Frost.

"During the autumn we still drift net for herring."

Mr Frost said the boat, which was built by James Williamson of Maldon, Essex, had been repaired and renovated many times and had an engine fitted in the 1970s.

He now hoped to use her as a charter boat.

"I think she's survived so long because she's always been loved," he said.

"She's only had a dozen owners and they've all taken great care of her. She'll see me out and hopefully pass on to the next generation of the family."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific